Editor’s Note: Welcome back to Monday Night Memories! Randy Fraser Remembered the Rough Stuff, and Brian Cost Got Crushed in our first two stellar editions of this series. This time around we’ve got a story from Anthony Kelly. In it, John Grant Junior steals his helmet!
It’s 2007, the US is playing Canada in the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships, and Anthony Kelly is about to learn a valuable lesson… fade to scene.
The 2007 WILC was an awesome time! Halifax is amazing and beautiful and such a unique little place. The downtown area is a lot of fun with pubs and restaurants around every corner… And in the middle of it all is the arena, where we played the 2007 tournament. I remember we had such an awesome group guys on the USA roster and we had an awesome time while we were all in Halifax for roughly 9 days. It was a really good time to bond with and get to know some great players and people. Watching the video above brings back all kinds of memories!
For me, there is one moment that stands out while playing against the Canadians in that particular game.
I was matching up on John Grant Jr. most of the game, since I’m a big righty and he is a big lefty. We were defending our bench side of the floor this particular quarter and I was the 2nd guy out of the box, heading out to match up with Junior, as he was the 2nd out of their bench. He ran across the floor to the far side and he was the first guy from his team to that side as the ball was in transition. When I play indoor I try to be very physical off ball and deter guys from crashing through the middle. Junior obviously knew this after some battles, and being the savvy vet he is, he set me up.
He jogged towards me, initiating contact. Then he grabbed the front of my jersey and pulled me in with his left hand. At the same time, he reached around to the back of my helmet with his right hand and flipped my helmet right off my head. As my helmet was in the air, and before I had even realized what had happened, he looked at the ref and said, “His helmet is off, he can’t play”.
He completely took advantage of the fact that I was only wearing a single, loose, leather strap on my helmet – and not a normal chin guard or a 4 pointer. As I reached down to try to get my helmet on, he had already made a smart remark to the ref, posted up on the back door, caught a skip pass, and put about 26 fakes on my goalie before burying it in the back of the net.
I obviously had some choice words for him as he ran off the floor, and he simply looked at me and said something along the lines of, “Keep your chin strap tighter if you don’t like it”.
The two of us laugh about it now, and I always bust his chops for scum bagging me. But hey, it’s all part of the game! This was the case of a savvy veteran in Junior teaching a young Anthony Kelly the secrets to being successful in indoor in 2007. It’s a lesson I remember today. Just check my chin strap.
Things have kind of gone full circle now that we will be teammates for the Outlaws next summer as well! At least he can take on the title as being the oldest guy on that team! I’ll gladly hand that over.