This past weekend I had the honor and privilege to play for the Roadies in the Fann Cup Lacrosse Tournament in Rochester, NY. The Tournament had seven teams (two from Rochester, two from Buffalo, Philadelphia, Toronto, and the Spirit Squad, a mix of people from everywhere). One of the Rochester teams won, but truly it was secondary to what the Fann really means.
A little history:
Many years ago (2002 to be exact), Toronto, Rochester, and Buffalo fans got together in Mississauga to play a friendly game of lacrosse, with a case of beer on the line.
What has grown from that is an annual tournament with teams of fans from past and present NLL franchises gathering to traumatize hotel patrons, empty local stores of their beer, all to wake up the next day and play many games of lacrosse for charity. While it’s only for bragging rights, there’s some pretty good lacrosse played and the money raised goes to a local charity.
There have been teams from Minnesota, Chicago, Toronto, Buffalo, Rochester, Philadelphia, and a mixed team called Spirit Squad over the years. Each team gets a chance to host, raising money for their local charity.
During the games, volunteers run 50/50’s, silent auctions, as well as raffles to help raise funds for the cause as well. There are some amazing retro signed jerseys, sticks, balls, framed pictures, bobbleheads, etc. to bid on.
The players, family, friends, and interested bystanders get together the day before for a pre-night party, catching up on a year’s worth of news, adult beverages, games and bragging rights of who stayed out the longest and still made Saturday’s first game. This year’s parking lot Champs were the Roadies.
A little History On The Roadies:
Each team has it’s own history, but being part the game day Roadies for many years, and now the tournament team, this is the one I know about.
The Fann Cup Roadies traveling tournament team are the fathers of the fan group we know as the game day Rock Roadies.
If it wasn’t for the initiative and creativity of Donald Duclos , Wayne Duclos , and Aaron William Freeland, the Rock (game day) Roadies would not exist.
The Lacrosse community is a very close knit one, and though competitive when playing, have hearts of gold and love for one another. Whenever there is a tragedy, people come together from all walks of life to try and help each other in any way they can.
The tournament has brought many people from many backrounds together to celebrate the Creator’s game, and enjoy each other’s company. Many of the participants have been playing the tournament for a lot of years, circling the date on the calendar, and planning their trips months in advance.
To be absolutely honest, the result isn’t important. It’s about playing, having fun, honoring the game, and raising money for good causes. Skill is not a requirement, but heart and good spirit go a long way.
The banquet that follows the tournament is another chance to get together with one another, laugh and joke about the games, enjoy good food, adult beverages, and each other’s company one more time before the trek home the next morning. Speeches and awards are also given.
The Saturday night parking lot party is the last of the get togethers for the weekend, with more nik naks for purchase, games, drinks, and more comraderie between old and new friends alike.
If you have an opportunity to go, or want to play, stop thinking about it and just do it! You will have a great time meeting some absolutely fantastic people, making friends, and enjoy sharing your love of lacrosse with a community of people with the same passion.
Next summer’s Fann Cup is in Toronto.
Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.
An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game 10 years ago. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob had an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.
Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.
In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.
Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).
Mr. Groob also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.
Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.