Watson the MLL's Perfect Icon
Hall of Fame 2013
What: The National Lacrosse Hall of Fame induction ceremony
When: Saturday, October 26, beginning at 5 p.m.
Where: Grand Lodge of Maryland, Hunt Valley
Who: Jim Berkman, Quinn Carney Burke, Michell DeJuliis, Sue Heether, Bill Miller, Tracy Stumpf, Ryan Wade, Michael Watson.
Tickets: $135. Not available at door. Call the US Lacrosse Special Events Department at (410) 584-7070 (x 172) to purchase tickets.
A version of this article appears in the October 2013 issue of Lacrosse Magazine, the flagship publication of US Lacrosse. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 400,000-plus members today to start your subscription.
When brainstorming ideas for a logo to represent their new league, Major League Lacrosse's founders had a few different ideas kicking around besides the basic concept of a profile of a player framed by a lacrosse head silhouette.
Jake Steinfeld, of "Body By Jake" fame, envisioned a heavily muscled player going to the goal. Dave Morrow, a former Princeton All-American and founder of Warrior Lacrosse, thought long hair out of the back of the helmet would fit the lacrosse player prototype.
But both men ultimately figured they needed to find an individual to serve as the MLL's muse, much like the NBA logo is designed on the iconic figure Jerry West driving to the basket. Morrow immediately thought of Michael Watson, his teammate on the 1998 U.S. team and a 2013 inductee into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
"He was living out west, I liked his style — it was just one of things that totally clicked, in retrospect," Steinfeld said.
With the player in mind, the design quickly followed. A photo from the 1998 world championship, which had previously been used on an autograph card to promote Watson as one of the new league's stars, featured Watson dodging toward the goal moving left to right.
The MLL had its Jerry West.
"I thought it was great," said Watson, who played seven seasons in the league and finished his career with 251 points. "It's a great part of history and part of the league. I feel lucky that they selected me for the logo. It's just a classic lacrosse shot."