What would you think if your best friend bet his wife and kids on the outcome of the Super Bowl game? Assume he’d lost his mind? Suggest he seek counseling for an obviously out-of-control gambling addiction?
If it seems inconceivable, think again.
Think back a few centuries, to a time when lacrosse was more than just a game. And winning really was a matter of life and death.
Many people may already be aware that the sport of lacrosse originated with the Native Americans, but very few understand that it wasn’t just a form of recreation, it was much more than that.
When two tribes argued over the rights to fish in a stream, a lacrosse game would settle the matter. It was a brutal, war-like game, used to toughen and train young warriors for combat.
In fact, the Native American term for lacrosse, “Tewaarathon,” literally means “Little Brother of War.”
Because the victorious team would win the favor of the Gods, winning meant everything.
Losing meant starvation, sickness and disease.
The fate of the entire tribe rested on the outcome of a game and people bet heavily. Each bet was met by an item of equal value. Usually the wager was a treasured tomahawk, a fine necklace or prized horse. But once in a while it was a wife or child.