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An Open Letter to the U.S. Men's National Team

January 28, 2014    6583 Views

Morgan Crutchfield | @centralmorgan

An open letter to the U.S. Men's National Team

This is a guest post from Morgan Crutchfield, editor of The Source e-magazine. She originally authored this post on


As the publisher of an e-magazine about Disney trip planning, I cover sporting events at ESPN Wide World of Sports. This weekend I had the privilege of press access to the Champion Challenge, an event that in the past has been something of an exhibition, but this year was a career changer for all 51 of you.

I did not grow up with lacrosse, but instead was introduced to it by a friend who coaches and subsequently, my 10-year-old son, Ben, who has decided to become a lifetime devotee to “the flow.” It is for him that I am writing to you today.

As a single mother with a young son, I spend a lot of time monitoring. I watch talking oranges on YouTube, check for errant text messages on iPhones, eavesdrop on Sportscenter just in case, preview cable television shows, and last week I launched myself across the living room at the mute button when a football player went on a rant after an NFL playoff game. It’s not that I’m a helicopter parent, it’s just that much of today’s world needs to be explained in a context that my kid doesn’t understand yet. Until he can build those frames of reference, I work really hard to regulate what comes into his wheelhouse. As the gatekeeper of what sometimes seems like an endless stream of junk, as a mom, and as a fan, I want to say thank you to each and every one of you.

Thank you to the U.S. Men’s Lacrosse team for being entirely classy on and off the field. Thank you for letting our children “sneak” to your practice to watch you work with each other and comport yourselves in the most respectable of manners. Thank you, U.S. Men’s Lacrosse, for coming to dinner on the eve of what would be one of the most important games in your careers, and for leaving that at the door while you laughed and talked, took photos and signed posters for kids like Ben. Thank you for going 110% during the entirety of the game and for being gracious afterward in signing autographs for the throng of young lacrosse players who rushed what was surely an emotionally charged meeting.

Steele Stanwick takes time to take a photo with Ben.

Steele Stanwick takes time to take a photo with Ben.

Thank you also for the smallest of things that made the biggest of impressions: the constant support you audibly gave each other during the match, the table manners you used while you put away what my son characterized as “more food than he thought guys could eat,” and the language you did not use when you took a shot to the chest plate during the first minutes that rattled my kidneys halfway across the field. Because while you were locked in a battle that would see 21 of you getting cut from the National Team, my 10-year-old kid was watching. And listening. And processing. While you and your coaches broadcasted positivity and excellent sportsmanship, my son was constructing an idea of what it means to be an elite athlete. I could not be more proud to say that he had all of you as examples.

To those of you who continue on with Team USA, we will cheer for you from wherever we are as you compete in Denver, and when you return to your respective teams. You are truly representative of an America I want to raise children in. For those of you who did not make the cut, continue playing admirably. Your time is coming, and no matter your status on this team, we will be lifelong fans. To each and every one of you who attended Champion Challenge this weekend, thank you. You have been role models and in doing so, have made my job as a mom easier. That, in these times, is saying something.

Most Sincerely,

Morgan Crutchfield

Photo Credit: John Strohsacker

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