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Lacrosse Gets the Simpsons Treatment

Lacrosse Kids

Lacrosse is hitting the mainstream Sunday night, Sunday Nov. 6th

It took just over 600 episode and 28 seasons, but the fastest growing sport in the country had its Simpsons moment. The animated sitcom featured lacrosse throughout the sixth episode of Season 28, titled “There Will Be Buds.”

A clip was teased out by Lax Sports Net on Friday and the lacrosse community watched with anticipation for the episode to air at 8 p.m. ET.

LSN EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: #lacrosse on @TheSimpsons! Episode airs this Sunday 11/6 at 8pm ET. Clip courtesy of @FOXTV #GrowTheGame pic.twitter.com/908d5CKB2n

— Lax Sports Network (@LaxSportsNet) November 4, 2016

Lacrosse hit the mainstream on Sunday night.

It took just over 600 episode and 28 seasons, but the fastest growing sport in the country had its Simpsons moment. The animated sitcom featured lacrosse throughout the sixth episode of Season 28, titled “There Will Be Buds.”

A clip was teased out by Lax Sports Net on Friday and the lacrosse community watched with anticipation for the episode to air at 8 p.m. ET.

How did Homer, the main character, end up on the sidelines of a lacrosse game? Would there be any lacrosse name drops?

Luckily for fans, the show worked behind the scenes to make sure they were satisfied. Matt Selman, executive producer of the episode, said his team worked hard to make lacrosse’s appearance on The Simpsons was authentic.

“If we were going to do lacrosse, we wanted to get the action right and have the right terminology down,” Selman said. “We wanted insider references so that someone who does play lacrosse is going to watch this and not go ‘Oh, these guys are just throwing it in.’”

Mission accomplished? Selman and his team watched more than a few lacrosse games on YouTube, read up on a lacrosse dictionary and cross-checked the script with former lacrosse players Selman, all to weave the sport around a prevailing plot line.

Here’s the gist:

The town of Springfield needed an alternative to football, and Kirk Van Houten (father of Millhouse) proposed lacrosse. Homer and Kirk, who played lacrosse at Gudger College, signed their kids up to play.

Homer and Kirk, like many lacrosse dads, were in charge of driving the kids to and from games on the weekend. They developed a “dysfunctional bromance” that carried the rest of the episode. We’ll spare you the rest of the plot, but you can watch here.

“I know tons of dads and moms and that’s every weekend,” Selman said. “That’s kind of a funny area to us. This new phenomenon of overdosing on this super-intense version of kids sports. We just thought ‘What’s a good sport that we haven’t done yet that’s funny and interesting?’”

Still, Selman and his team were able to insert a few terms for the lacrosse junkies that watch the show. Most notably, the children were shown a video of the Gait brothers playing at Syracuse.

“Textbook ankle-breaker by Gary Gait,” said Lisa Simpson.

“And Paul Gait with the Dip-N’-Dunk,” said another boy.

Gary Gait, a self-proclaimed Simpsons fan (it's a guilty pleaure), didn't know he'd be mentioned in the episode until it aired. Still, he rates it as one of his biggest honors.

“I was joking around saying ‘What else is there to do now?'" Gait said. "'I made it on The Simpsons.’ I can retire and get out of lacrosse. It’s over. ... It was fun. I never would have thought it was going to happen.”

That scene, paired with mentions of the Canadian Egg Roll, “gobble" and "goose” had the lacrosse world talking.

Selman never played lacrosse, nor did anyone on his crew. However, they worked hard to present lacrosse as it really is. From moving the goal animation from the endline to the crease, to clever references, The Simpsons did lacrosse justice.

"It was really fun to dig into that world and delve into it," Selman said. "I hope [they] were happy with the show."

PROVIDED COURTESY OF US LACROSSE MAGAZINE

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