Photo courtesy MajorLeagueLacrosse.com.
This past weekend, the MLL All-Star game came to Boston, and although many All-Star games are a waste of time, this one was not. In fact, it looked like a pretty good time! Overall, the event was a huge success and really highlighted the free-wheeling, fun-loving aspect of lacrosse that so many have come to enjoy. It was an All-Star game, so there wasn’t a ton of help D, and offense dominated, but it was close and we saw some remarkable goals. So, what exactly worked for the MLL All-Star game?
The game play was awesome. 2 pointers, transition, longsticks getting involved, and some unreal moves put on by some of the best to play the game. Ned Crotty was just fantastic to watch, and Mike Kimmel was also a standout. Some of the outside shots in this game, particularly those by Brad Ross, were textbook, and you saw very few hacks and slashes. The players did a great job of just having fun out there, and it definitely helped foster an enjoyable overall experience.
The finish was exciting, and close. 21-20 with chances near the end is a great All-Star game in my book. The halftime score was 11-10, and these guys didn’t stop there. The goals kept coming, but it wasn’t a deluge. It was just an offense heavy All-Star game. It was perfect in that regard.
The goalie competition was also highly entertaining. Jesse Schwartzman showed a lot of hustle out there, and really gave it his all, whereas other guys kind of jogged through it (I’m looking at you Drew Adams!), but it was still a great innovation for the halftime experience. It was new, and could have been disastrous, but came out great.
The trick shot competition was awesome until the end, when it was won with a gimmick, but whatever. Sponsors pay to make this thing happen, right? Thankfully, we got to see Stephen Berger put on one of the most original trick shot build ups ever (the Time Machine one) which featured an 8 year old lax prodigy from Rocky Point, LI (Brian Spallina’s nephew) doing all of Berger’s tricks from the past. He made sportscenter, which was fair. Crotty’s jump rope shot was also hysterical and if his acrobatic attempt have gone in, he should have won. I’ll get to Rabil’s winner later.
The uniforms were also excellent. They were All-Star uniforms to be sure, but they weren’t ugly one bit. All the teams’ gear matched up well enough with the color schemes and if you buy one at auction you won’t be afraid to hang it on your wall. Well done MLL and Warrior!
The Not Quite As Good
I really only have two complaints about the whole MLL All-Star game, and they’re pretty minor, but you don’t pay me to talk rainbows and unicorns all the time. And no one pays me otherwise, so I can say what I want.
Paul Rabil’s winning trick shot was too easy. Anyone can jump over the hood of a car and shoot a ball into an empty net. Seriously, look for it on Youtube. I bet there are 14 year old kids who can do that. When Chazz Woodson jumped over two kids and did a wide split, and scored behind his back at the apex of his jump, I was impressed. When Rabil jumped over a golf cart hood, I was less impressed. Come on guys, Rabil’s got an Edge, right? Berger should have won. Oh well. Not important.
The other speed bump was the fastest shot competition. 102 is impressive, especially with a longstick… but Kyle Hartzell was the only one to break 100mph. And there was no Rabil, and no Seibald. MS42 may be coming back from an injury, so I’m not surprised there. But if Rabes can jump over a small car, he can rip some rope too. I want to see 113. Seriously. Or at least make Ryan Cranston an All-Star so he can shoot that fast. No? Is the fastest shot portion dead now? Am I missing something? 112 or 113 seems attainable!
So yeah, other than that, the MLL All-Star game was pretty sweet. Quint and Joe were great, the fans seemed into it, the game was fun to watch on TV, and the game wasn’t bumped from ESPN2 to ESPN Classic like some had feared! Overall, a pretty successful event!