HANGIN’ WITH PAUL RABIL

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STYLE: How did you get picked for Man Caves?

RABIL: The producer Matthew Stafford has kids who play lacrosse—they love it. One day they were running around at a family function pretending to be me. So Matt was like, ‘Who is this Paul Rabil kid?’ He looked me up online and called my agent to see if I’d be game.

So you’re basically a superhero to small children?
[Laughs] No, it’s all about what you’re into. I did the same thing when I was little, running around pretending Michael Jordan. I did the buzzer, the countdown, the trick shot—all in my back yard.

What’s your favorite part of the Man Cave design?
The bar. The marble is beautiful—and it’s great for entertaining. There’s a door that comes off its hinges to become a ping pong table. And I can just push a button and a Pioneer turntable comes right out of the bar so I can DJ.

What kind of music do you listen to before a big game?
I used to come out in football mode, listening to upbeat, aggressive-style music. But as I’ve gotten more sophisticated as an offensive player, I realized that I need to be more calm and relaxed like a quarterback. Sometimes I’ll just kick back and listen to Beethoven.

Can you dance?
Yes! Well, actually, it’s probably one of those things everyone thinks they’re good at but aren’t—like golf.

Any chance you’ll pull a “Jacoby Jones” and do Dancing with the Stars?
We’ve talked about it. But the timing has to be right. There’s a fine line between growing the sport in the public sphere and continuing to excel as a player. The pro game is what I continue to value the most. So I’m focused on my work in on the field.

Then I guess the next big dance for you will be your wedding in January. Tell me something about your fiancée Kelly [Berger].
She plays lacrosse for the U.S. women’s national team. She’s extremely responsible, loving and very family oriented. Things I always looked for in a girl.

Does she like the Man Cave?
She does. It’s funny, the ladies all love the AstroTurf wallpaper. I would have thought it was too gnarly of a texture. But they love it.

So are you truly lacrosse’s sexiest man alive, as The New York Times suggested?
I guess I try to express a different style. Lacrosse used to be associated with pink polo shirts, khakis, white tennis shoes and shaggy hair. I’ve got long hair but I like more of a professional, eclectic look. It’s a tough thing with opportunity. You have to seize it,  but it can always be looked at as seeking the limelight. To me, the most important thing is growing the sport.

What do you love most about lacrosse?
What really hooked me was the personality and lifestyle of the game. It’s got the power of a team sport, the contact of football and the speed of soccer. But the individuality is unmatched. There’s no other sport where you get to have your own stick, lace your own pocket and dye your own head. It’s just a special kind of ownership that captures young kids and encourages them to be unique. That’s why some of us never put the stick down.

Read “The Business of Lacrosse” featuring Paul Rabil. >>

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