If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Or at the very least, try to manipulate the obsession that’s keeping them from your goal in the first place.
That was the mentality that inspired a Fortnite-themed pregame speech from a youth travel lacrosse coach, which in turn inspired an eighth-grade tournament championship performance from a rowdy group of 13 and 14-year-olds.
You can see the speech in question from O2 Lacrosse coach Brendan Gorman in the video above, but suffice to say it hit all the Fortnite high notes: a Golden SCAR reference, Chug Jugs, the general Battle Royale ethos. You get the picture.
For the record, here’s how Deadspin’s Samer Kalaf transcribed the speech (we came to the same auditory conclusion, but Kalaf did the dirty work first, so he gets the credit):
Twenty-four teams came here, okay? This is just like Fortnite, just like Battle Royale. Twenty-four teams, there’s four left. But you know what? There’s four left, we got chug jugs, we got the Golden SCAR. Let’s go. It’s no different than a Fortnite battle! Let’s go win this, baby!
And yes, this type of thing really does work on middle schoolers, even (or perhaps especially) of the elite lacrosse variety; per Deadspin, the O2 squad trailed in the championship game of their West Chester, Pa. tournament 5-1 with one half remaining, only to rally for an 8-7 victory.
So, what have we learned here? 1) middle schoolers remain obsessed with Fortnite (no surprise there), 2) athletes will relate to metaphors tying their athletic accomplishments to Fortnite competition, and 3) If none of this makes any sense to a youth lacrosse coach, they should just yell, “Chug jugs, boys!” about a dozen times just before the opening faceoff and things should go just fine.