Can Paul Rabil Make Lacrosse Sexy?
by James Vlahos
PAUL RABIL, “the LeBron James of lacrosse” to loyal fans, was shooting. He can fire the ball at up to 111 miles an hour, faster than a slap shot in hockey and only slightly slower than an archer’s hurtling arrow. But this time the shot missed, hitting the top goal post and ricocheting out toward the stands. A little girl in the line of fire screamed in an accelerating crescendo, “I don’t want to get hit, I don’t want to get killed!” The ball sailed harmlessly overhead. Calming down she asked, “Who shot that?”
“Paul Rabil,” her mother replied, as people nearby in the stands nodded appreciatively.It was a sweltering August afternoon near Annapolis, Md., and the Boston Cannons had gathered for their final practice before facing the Chesapeake Bayhawks in the semifinals of Major League Lacrosse, the sport’s outdoor professional league. The formidable powers of Mr. Rabil are no secret to anyone who follows the sport. At Johns Hopkins University, he set a school record for goals, points and assists. After graduating in 2008 he signed with two professional teams: the Cannons and the Washington Stealth, part of the National Lacrosse League, which competes indoors.
He quickly established himself as a ferocious competitor, and in 2009 Major League Lacrosse named him its most valuable player.....CLICK HERE TO READY THE FULL STORY ON NYTIMES.COM