No, I don't believe they are disconnected. The reason why many sports become popular is because the people watching have had direct experience with the sport in the past. If not with the exact sport with the same rules and equipment, at least a variation where they can get a feel for some of the skills and concepts.
Running is the most obvious version of this. There's a reason why the 100m dash is one of the biggest draws in the Olympics. But the same thing happens at all levels. Most people have kicked a ball. Most people have thrown a ball and caught it. Even with boxing, many people have a pretty clear idea what's involved when punching or being punched. Most people have tried and failed to dunk a ball. Most people have swung a stick at a ball thrown at them.
But sports with specialised equipment like lacrosse? Unless you've played it, do you have any conception or appreciation of what's going on? The only way I can understand it is through the lens of either hockey or handball.
Looked at the wikipedia page for lacrosse, and I still have no idea what it looks like or feels like to play the game. Part of that is because it's a terrible wikipedia page, but also because it is so far removed from my lived experience of all other physical activities.