This sure isn't the game of lacrosse it used to be

JOHN SHORT

, Last Updated: 12:09 PM ET

One man's opinion of this new form of lacrosse: it's basketball in pads with body contact and sticks.

The Edmonton Rush are fun to watch, but the NLL product, geared widely and successfully in this town to a specific (young) demographic, is a learning experience for folks who grew up with the old game that had been handed official "national" status.

This lacrosse has nothing in common with the old one, which now exists only in small, obscure markets across this land although national championships are contested every year for the storied Mann and Minto Cups.

Lacrosse, as I knew it, had become nothing more than an off-season afterthought for hockey fans.

After the introduction of on-ice summer camps, it existed mostly as an off-season training option for players.

Watching the Rush lose to the San Jose Stealth, it was difficult to remember when hockey and lacrosse nets were the same size, goaltending equipment was almost the same in each game, and the age of complete specialization - what in heaven's name is a transition player? - had not begun to appear.

Rush president Duane Vienneau, GM/coach Paul Day and operations director A.J. Jomha have maintained all along that their organization will continue to thrive after the major junior Oil Kings get involved in competing for the teen sports dollar. I think they're right.

GET OVER IT

Three words on the Ryan Smyth catastrophe, if it's fair to use such a word in discussing a man being paid thousands of dollars per minute to play what used to be a game ...

Get over it!

BE A HOMER

I'm anxious to see how Fort Saskatchewan fans react to the Traders during the AJHL playoffs.

If they want to keep the team from moving to St. Albert, it would be wise for them to put their backsides in the Jubilee Recreation Centre seats for every home game.

The current owners maintain it should be their right to move. After all, they own the franchise and other teams have moved without much fuss.

On the other side of the argument, several citizens have banded together to buy the Traders and keep them in place.

I'm pulling for the new group because I'm convinced Parks and his advisors put this exit strategy in place before one dollar was handed over.

But my view, as so often happens, is unimportant.

A WIZARD NAMED SIR

As the high schools hoops season heats up here and elsewhere, Steve Sir of the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks looks like a wizard.

The Ross Shep Thunderbirds grad gave up a lot of his leisure time last summer to be part of a team commitment.

A commitment that was supposed to take them into the NCAA March Madness.

After a slow start, the plan is working.

Northern Arizona will enter the Big Sky conference tournament as the second seed.

Last year, Sir led the NCAA in three-point shooting percentage.

This year, he averaged 15 points per game, and became a second-team Big Sky all-star.

It's a reasonable guess that this likeable son of Concordia coach Paul Sir will play pro somewhere, probably in Europe.

Nobody works harder.


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