Five Things You Didn’t Know Your Odor Gladiator Could Keep #SoFRESH

NubbleI’m not shy about saying I’m product-loyal. If I find something I love, it’s likely that I’ll stop you in the store near or around that product (or, you know, seven aisles down) to tell you how awesome it is and how many different ways you can use it in addition to those conveniently listed on the packaging.
Because I was starting to lose my voice and didn’t want the words “restraining order” to ever come into play, I took to telling people in blog posts about awesome product finds instead. A few months ago I was introduced to Odor Gladiator by some lacrosse friends. ( It’s a nifty plastic container that holds a semi-solid, detergent-free, environmentally safe deodorizer that smells like fresh linen. You toss it in sports equipment bags to de-stench them. With two lacrosse guys, and at least three equipment bags, I had plenty of testing ground. I ordered a bundle with customizable helmet holder (team colors!) and four Fresh Linen Shields. My order arrived within a week and I took Odor Gladiator to task. My son’s lacrosse bag (sort of like a cesspool in the Florida super-heated vehicle) became accessible without the use of a Hazmat suit and unzipping it no longer required tongs. Score one for OG. I was so ramped up about the effects on the stinky lacrosse bag that I immediately broadened the Gladiator’s horizons and found 5 places I don’t want to be without Odor Gladiator ever again.


Concussions: The Need to Know about Sports’ Silent Injury

IMG_7017A few weeks ago I was watching a high school lacrosse game that got particularly salty when I saw one of the players go down and stay down after a brutal cross-check. My heart sank. I knew there was no way this player was coming back to his team for the last week of his senior season; that hit had concussion written all over it. I heard after the game that the player had been looked at by a trainer, assessed as concussed, and sent home. His parents took him to the doctor where he was formally diagnosed. His treatment? Two weeks of rest with no practice, no games. It was the second concussion he’d sustained this season. What did it mean – or should it have meant – for this player and his family? How serious are concussions actually? Was two weeks enough rest to achieve full recovery? Should he have played after the first injury was sustained? His parents and even his coaches weren’t totally sure of the answers to these questions. There’s a lot of information out there, some of it highly conflicting. Ultimately, we’re just starting to understand concussions and the implications of repeat injury, but there are some basics that every parent and player should know to be as safe as possible on and off the fields.


The Nine Habits of Highly Effective Lacrosse Players

DSC_0053 In 1989 Stephen Covey published a self-help book called The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In it, he explored concepts like “synergy” and “self-mastery” in relation to the ways that people interact. It was an incredibly popular book and its directives still cycle around in management classes and the occasional teambuilding exercise. When I began talking to the members of Team U.S.A. about their lacrosse careers, I didn’t really expect to think about Mr. Covey’s book; in my head, this series was forming as a look at the players’ backgrounds with some warm fuzzies thrown in – a little like an Olympics backstory piece without the weird Bob Costas pink eye.


Florida Launch Lacrosse: Five Reasons You Should Be a Fan and Bring Your Family

Florida-LaunchMajor League Lacrosse has come to Florida and the Florida Launch has positioned itself to be a highly competitive team. Based at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, the Launch played its inaugural game on Saturday, April 26, 2014, taking on the Denver Outlaws. For fans of the sport in the Florida, it’s a welcome change to the lacrosse scene, adding a local team with a venue much closer than the next closest team’s home in Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s a safe bet that with the sport growing at nearly ten percent annually over the past ten years that those familiar with the game will fill the stands. But if you don’t know lacrosse yet, here are five reasons why this team and their games should be on your family To Do list:


A Lacrosse Introduction

DSC_3414Years from now when someone asks me, “Why lacrosse?”, I’ll tell them it was the equipment that caught my attention. I was walking along the sidelines of a Saturday practice at Champion Challenge in January when I noticed a row of lacrosse bags in perfect alignment, all turned the same way, all zipped. And as odd as it may sound, it was that line of uniform equipment bags that was my first indication that lacrosse was going to make a huge impression on me.


An Open Letter to U.S. Men’s Lacrosse


As the publisher of an e-magazine about Disney trip planning, I cover sporting events at ESPN Wide World of Sports. This weekend I had the privilege of press access to the Champion Challenge, an event that in the past has been something of an exhibition, but this year was a career changer for all 51 of you.

I did not grow up with lacrosse, but instead was introduced to it by a friend who coaches and, subsequently, my 10-year-old son who has decided to become a lifetime devotee to “the flow”. It is for him that I am writing to you today.


Steele Stanwick takes time to take a photo with Ben at the team dinner held prior to the Blue & White game.

As a single mother with a young son, I spend a lot of time monitoring. I watch talking oranges on YouTube, check for errant text messages on iPhones, eavesdrop on SportsCenter just in case, preview cable television shows, and last week I launched myself across the living room at the mute button when a football player went on a rant after an NFL playoff game. It’s not that I’m a helicopter parent, it’s just that much of today’s world needs to be explained in a context that my kid doesn’t understand yet. Until he can build those frames of reference, I work really hard to regulate what comes into his wheelhouse. As the gatekeeper of what sometimes seems like an endless stream of junk, as a mom, and as a fan, I want to say thank you to each and every one of you.

Thank you to the U.S. Men’s Lacrosse team for being entirely classy on and off the field. Thank you for letting our children “sneak” to your practice to watch you work with each other and comport yourselves in the most respectable of manners. Thank you, U.S. Men’s Lacrosse, for coming to dinner on the eve of what would be one of the most important games in your careers, and for leaving that at the door while you laughed and talked, took photos and signed posters for kids like Ben. Thank you for going 110% during the entirety of the game and for being gracious afterward in signing autographs for the throng of young lacrosse players who rushed what was surely an emotionally charged meeting.


Thank you also for the smallest of things that made the biggest of impressions: the constant support you audibly gave each other during the match, the table manners you used while you put away what my son characterized as “more food than he thought guys could eat”, and the language you did not use when you took a shot to the chest plate during the first minutes that rattled my kidneys halfway across the field. Because while you were locked in a battle that would see more than half of you getting cut from the national team, my 10-year-old kid was watching. And listening. And processing. While you and your coaches broadcasted positivity and excellent sportsmanship, my son was constructing an idea of what it means to be an elite athlete. I could not be more proud to say that he had all of you as examples. 





To those of you who continue on with Team USA, we will cheer for you from wherever we are as you compete in Denver, and when you return to your respective teams. You are truly representative of an America I want to raise children in. For those of you who did not make the cut, continue playing admirably; your time is coming and no matter your status on this team, we will be lifelong fans. To each  of you who attended Champion Challenge this weekend, thank you. You have been role models and in doing so, have made my job as a mom easier. That, in these times, is saying something.

Most Sincerely,

Morgan Crutchfield

This post originally published on my Disney-focused website, and its corresponding blog. It also ran on the US Lacrosse blog at and in their flagship magazine, Lacrosse Magazine. Since then, I have received such fantastic feedback from parents and athletes around the country that I am writing a series with US Lacrosse about this incredible team.