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The Greenlight Blog

The Greenlight Blog

Giving Minority Pursuits a Sporting Chance

By Ian Sharpe

Welcome to the second Greenlight, an occasional series with a mission: to map the world of obscure sport, discover new experiences for EA Sports fans and present them to our President Peter Moore. Our last expedition explored the world of Ultimate and our thanks go to all the people who contributed to the debate how to bring it to life.

This week we travel into more dangerous territory -- Lacrosse.

Now, if, like Robin Williams, you thought la crosse was what you found in la church, prepare to be pummeled by the "Angry LAX" fans who bombard our Communications Supremo from this Facebook Group. Lacrosse isn't just a genteel game for English public schoolgirls -- it is a full contact sport played with big sticks descended from Native American ritual combat.

The game was originally called "baggataway" , "tewaraathon" or "the little brother of war" by the many tribes who contested games since time immemorial, any of which would have been difficult to fit onto the front a PS3 box and might not have sold well alongside God of War. Thankfully, it was rechristened by a French missionary who thought the sticks used to play the game looked like a bishop's croisier.

So, how would you turn Lacrosse into a videogame? The traditional Native American version boasted teams that consisted of anywhere from 100 to 1,000 warriors on a field that stretched for over a mile, and games that lasted from dawn to dusk for two or three days - which sounds more like a game of Age of Empires than a sports title. When it's placed indoors (as Box Lacrosse, the version of the game most popular in Canada) it plays more like Speedball meets NHL.

Lacrosse is certainly growing in popularity. The NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship apparently attracts more fans than attend the Final Four of men's basketball. One of the thorny issues would be the licensor -- would EA get the backing of the National Lacrosse League or Major League Lacrosse. Perhaps we could feature the countries that compete in the International Lacrosse Federation, including the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy who play as the Iroquois Nationals (the only Native American team who are registered to compete internationally). They are even sponsored by Nike, as this press release attests.

And if Adidas can find an athlete or two to promote its equipment, then I am sure EA can find a cover star.

And so, over to you -- why do you think EA should make a lacrosse game? How would it play? How many goalkeepers die each year?

The floor is yours and if LAX isn't your thing, why not nominate a subject for discussion in the next blog? Being a classical man, perhaps I'll take a cue from Homer and look at the sports of antiquity -- "If the Bible has taught us nothing else, and it hasn't, it's that girls should stick to girls' sports, such as hot oil wrestling, foxy boxing, and such and such."

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