9R’s Holiday Blog
Lacrosse Nation- how’s everyone doing?
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! Our 2010 season was full of ups and downs, positives and negatives, wins and losses, happiness and anger…was it enough to be gifted this Christmas, or to receive coals in your stockings??? I’m going to recap some of the best events this year, but also choose wisely not to forget some of the worst…
January 2010: The Stealth Season begins:
Year 2 in the NLL couldn’t have gone any better…the most difficult thing for me about the two different leagues, is really my role within each team. I grew up playing field lacrosse, dodging from up top at the midfield, shooting on the run, and feeding cutting attackmen. In the NLL, my coaches tell me my biggest asset is in transition, pushing the ball up the floor, darting towards the 4×4, and creating opportunities for the O-guys. I’m a “buy-in” guy that believes the greatest compliment from any coach is, “he’ll do anything to win”. We trained hard in the preseason, and started the 2010 season 6-0. Non-Lax Event: The Winter Olympics are underway…Team USA Hockey makes a GIANT surge in just miss the gold, coming up short in OT against Canada.
March 2010: College Lacrosse and the NLL post-season battles:
Johns Hopkins Lacrosse battles one of it’s most difficult seasons of the century, but still make the playoffs. A rebuilding year? I don’t believe in those. TONS of talent in the division 1 ranks, supported by an all-time classic Cuse/Virginia early season bout…Also, at this time of the season, the Stealth went on a 3-game skid, struggling to find the same team synergy we had to kick the season off. Captain Jason Bloom got us going by hosting several player-only meetings where each person laid out everything on their mind, and how important it is to be a part of a championship team. World Event: April 13th, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake occurs in Qinghai, China, killing at least 2,000 and injuring more than 10,000.
May: College Lacrosse playoffs begin and the NLL Championship is decided:
Duke University finalllllyyy takes one home. Congrats to all those players who persevered through the unfortunate, emotional tragedy of 2006. Big props to my buddy, Ned Crotty. What an unbelievable season leading such a talented group. I’m excited to be a part of this growing game in the MLL and NLL with him. Past D1, we all know how great of a finish to the NLL season it was with the Championship showdown airing live on the VS network between the Washington Stealth and Toronto Rock. This Championship gave me more life and energy in the pro game than I ever thought possible. What a grueling 19-game season it was, and to end it on top, with 23 other phenomenal men, was amazing. Non-Lax Event: The start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. One of my all-time favorite events, showcasing the best footballers in the world. The most deserving team won…congrats Espana.
July: Boston Cannons playoff surge:
We were on form…the best team in the league, with the most consistent players playing together at that moment. Unfortunately for us, championships are determined in the playoffs. The Cannons went on a 3-game win streak versus the Bayhawks, Nationals and Outlaws, winning 16-10, 18-10 and 16-5. REAL WORLD EVENT: The World Health Organization declares the H1N1 influenza pandemic over, saying worldwide flu activity has returned to typical seasonal patterns.
August: Boston Cannons lose to eventual champ, Chesapeake Bayhawks:
I won’t forget this one. I’ve been training hard ever since. The MLL title has been difficult for me to get. I won’t stop working…That’s it.
October: ESPN the Bodies and NY Times articles come out, Launch of PR99.com:
The months of the mainstream media surge in lacrosse. Having ESPN and the NYT invest in the sport is great for lacrosse, great exposure for the players, and lifts the expectations and mentality of the players in the professional game. In July, ESPN the Mag producers contacted me about doing “The Body” issue. At first, I thought it was a joke, then after much deliberation, I realized this was real and absolutely got on board. The Times article was actually a progression from your typical Sunday Spotlight feature. Meaning, originally they were just going to write a blurb about the MLL Championship, highlighting me as a specific player. However, after a couple sitdowns with the writer, I think he began to see the potential in the sport, listening to the growth of the high school and collegiate game, to the wild exposure the sport has received from outside sponsors, to the dedication the professional players show in the MLL and NLL. The article then turned into a 6-page headline feature. What a great experience. Real World News: Well, not really, but speaking of mainstream media…the Victoria Secret Fashion Show is showcased in NYC, airing live on all major cable networks. During the sporting segment, not a basketball, not a football, not a baseball is showcased…but the VS models walk down the runway with a lacrosse stick in hand. Talk about mainstream! Haha!
A year to remember. Preparing for 2011 begins now.
Merry Christmas and have a very happy New Year!