5 Takeaways from Paul Rabil's Appearance on "Overtime"

PHOTO BY MASON PERRICONE


Paul Rabil, the two-time gold medalist and all-time leading scorer in pro field lacrosse, left an enormous legacy on the game through his ability on the field. Just months after his retirement, he’s poised to have an even more significant impact off of it.

The co-founder of the Premier Lacrosse League and one of the most visible athletes in the sport reflected on his career thus far on Season 5, Episode 1 of “Overtime,” a USA Lacrosse Magazine podcast.

In the longest episode in the podcast’s history, Rabil provided an honest and raw account of his life and how he perceived success today. Carcaterra and Rabil covered plenty of topics, from growing up in the D.C. suburbs to the long nights building the PLL.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

You can listen to the episode on Apple and Spotify today. Here’s what we learned from Rabil’s conversation with Carcaterra:

1. Rabil remains loyal to Dave Pietramala

Rabil voiced his frustration with Johns Hopkins, his alma mater, on its handling of the departure of Pietramala, one of the most decorated coaches and players in the game’s history. The two sides parted way in the spring of 2020 after two decades.

“It’s hard [rooting for Johns Hopkins],” Rabil said. “Loyalty starts and ends with people, not institutions. … I became loyal and interested and committed to Hopkins because of Petro and his staff. When your coach is exited in a way that’s not hurt, which is not right, it’s hurtful.”

While Rabil still supports the Blue Jays’ program, he now has a reason to root for his former rival at Syracuse.

2. He wants PLL players to be comfortable with confidence

Rabil spoke to Carcaterra about the PLL Players Top 50, and how he encourages athletes like Tom Schrieber, Grant Ament and Myles Jones to write their own name in as No. 1. He felt the sense that some players were uncomfortable vocalizing how they viewed themselves compared to their peers.

“All of those guys believe that they’re the best player in the world,” Rabil said. “If they don’t, they’re going to lose their edge. … For most of the athletes listening who are in high school or college that want to be great, there’s a part of them that feels what I’m saying. Let yourself feel that.”

3. Meeting Michael Jordan was on the bucket list

Rabil named two people that stopped him in his tracks as soon as they met — Barack Obama and Michael Jordan. For Obama, all Rabil could muster was an offer of a free lacrosse clinic for his daughters, Sasha and Malia.

When he met Michael Jordan, he was more prepared, sharing his parents’ background with North Carolina, among other similarities. He felt he and Jordan view playing professional sports the same way, so it was a dream come true to share time with arguably the greatest basketball player of all time.

“[Jordan] is one of the brightest people and one of the most engaging people around,” Rabil said. “When you’re around him, he’s a giant. … I rehearsed and thought about what we had in common. What I found is that Michael is normal.”







4. It’s up to Tom Schrieber if he wants to break Rabil’s records

Rabil retired as pro field lacrosse’s all-time leading scorer with 647 points, passing John Grant Jr. in the summer of 2021. He told Carcaterra that he knows his record will someday be broken, but it’ll be up to this generation’s stars to decide if they want to do so.

He specifically mentioned Schrieber, his fellow U.S. national team gold medalist, who possesses the skills to become one of the greatest scorers in lacrosse history.

“I’ve told Tom this a lot, but the only thing that stops Tom is Tom,” Rabil said. “He’s really thoughtful, and he’s a good human being. It’s like Tim Duncan vs. Jordan. I want Tom to be more like Jordan, mentally. Access this behavior that I think he has but he’s never let himself access, where he can just take over a team and be a little more violent.”

5. The PLL is announcing a new media partner, and Rabil has big plans

After three seasons with NBC, the PLL is moving to a different media partner. Rabil shares his expectations for the next media partner, and why he won’t settle for less.

“I thought about and cared about in our deal with NBC, ‘Who are the people that are greeting the fan at home?’” Rabil said. “I want our best people on every broadcast, full stop, or we’re not calling the game. It’s so important. These are the narrators. These are the storytellers. If you don’t have great storytellers on screen, the broadcast is lost.”

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