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Lax Tourney - Women Out, Men Play On

For Duke men, the lacrosse dream lives on and the drive towards a title will resume Sunday. For Duke women, it came to an end on Saturday, as the Devils lost to Northwestern, 12-7.

Duke finishes the season at, well, 12-7. Odd little coincidence there.

By the way, if you are unfamiliar with the history of lacrosse, it's worth reading about. It came originally from Native Americans, and their version of the game was vastly different than today's.

For one, hundreds of warriors might play. For another, the "field," for lack of a better term, could be miles long. There was immense gambling too, with stakes up to and including wives and children.

It was a central part of life among many nations for a long time.

According to Russell Shorto, in his brilliant book "The Island At The Center Of The World," shortly before the Europeans colonized the East Coast, there was a catastrophic reduction in population, caused by exposure to European disease, with some estimates that up to 90% of the population died off.

In fact, when the Dutch and English came, one reason why they found allies among the natives was because some tribes were so decimated, and desperate, that they sought alliances with the newcomers in order to defend themselves against rival peoples.

There were many more serious things happening at that time, but you have to think that a serious disruption of the sporting tradition had to really hurt, as any lost ritual would hurt.