It’s Saturday morning at about 10:30 and about ten of us are huddled around a tiny propane grill, guzzling down hot dogs and brew just like any real American tailgaters would. But we’re not at Lambeau Field, we’re at Alumni Field. And this isn’t Packers-Bears. It isn’t even football.

It’s lacrosse. You know, that game with the sticks with nets that the natives invented in Canada?

For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, it is, as Sports Illustrated wrote last week, the fastest growing sport in America, and the sport that has occupied the back page of this newspaper for the better part of a month, thanks to the play of Ted Spencer’s Stags, the winners of seven straight coming into their showdown with tenth ranked Maryland, and the inspiration behind the Saturday morning tailgate party and the Fairfield police officers directing traffic on campus.

See, the thing is, you don’t have to know the difference between a groundball and a groundhog to understand that what these guys are doing is one hell of a good thing for this school.

The fact that Maryland Head Coach Dave Cottle said that he didn’t intend to schedule a team as dangerous as the up-start Stags, means something.

It means that despite the fact that we’re a tiny school whose prominence is otherwise not in the top 20 in New England, we’re on the national map now, thanks to a relatively anonymous group of young men who last week made the guys with “Notre Dame” on their chests walk off the field with a loss.

It means that whether or not you know what a long stick defender is, you can appreciate the fact that my friends and I actually weren’t the only guys foolish enough to stand in the pouring rain and tailgate for Saturday’s game. In fact, a group of people actually brought a tent, just like they do at football games.

The only thing that was missing was Chris Fowler and the rest of the ESPN “College Gameday” crew. But hey, maybe they’ll come to a game next year.

It means that, even though the Stags walked off the field hanging their heads and called their 9-6 loss a “disappointment,” they’ve been anything but disappointing to our school this year.

They’ve made kids stop wishing they had gotten into Holy Cross and start getting excited about lacrosse.

They’ve made kids drag their hung over selves out of bed and out to the field on back to back weekends, despite the fact that Saturday looked more like a scene from “The Perfect Storm” than the perfect day.

Think church has that effect on kids?

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