Winners and Losers is back! The biggest summer of professional lacrosse ever is in full swing with both Major League Lacrosse and the Premier Lacrosse League are off to great starts to their seasons as lacrosse fans were treated to exciting and historic games this past weekend. The PLL’s first game broadcast on NBC’s main channel was a great showcase of lacrosse and the MLL also had a historic game with the all time points record being broken. Let’s take a look at who had a winning weekend and who had a weekend to forget.
Winners and Losers
John Grant Jr.
At 44 years old John Grant Jr. has returned to the MLL and is showing that his body might have slowed down a bit, but his hands are as smooth and magical as ever. Junior reclaimed the MLL scoring title with his three-point effort against the Atlanta Blaze in which every goal he was a part of was highlight reel worthy. Whether is was a behind the back goal with little angle, slinging a cross crease pass, or an insane one handed feed, he is still able to help lead his team to victory after a few seasons away. Junior now has 598 points and looks like he will be adding on to that record all season. Definitely earned the top spot in the Winners category in this week’s Winners and Losers.
— Major League Lacrosse (@MLL_Lacrosse) June 10, 2019
The Chaos Offense
It was only fitting that the Chaos lived up to their name by going on a chaotic run of goals in the first half of their game against the Atlas on the main NBC channel. Anyone tuning in was treated to a flurry of crafty goal scoring and rockets from the 2 point line that any sports fan, whether they know lacrosse or not, could appreciate. The Chaos seem to have found their groove as their blend of Canadian box players and Americans came together in transition and settled offense to produce some SportsCenter Top 10 worthy plays. Connor Fields made his presence known with a pair of slick and deceptive goals.
Connor Fields and his ability to find the back of the net is just 🤯🤯🤯 pic.twitter.com/NKlr8HRfcx
— Chaos Lacrosse Club (@PLLChaos) June 11, 2019
Lacrosse Games on Streams and TV
In the first two weeks of professional field lacrosse this summer, there have been a total of 12 games with 10 out of those 12 being free to watch on Lax Sports Network, Stadium, and on NBC. Every game has been exciting and the level of play in both leagues seems to be at its highest ever. Players are pouring everything they have into these games diving for ground balls, pulling off insane passes and shots and scoring two-pointers more than ever before. It is a great time to be a lacrosse fan. Other sports fans will groan that once the Stanley Cup and NBA Finals are over in the next week there will be no sports to watch except baseball, but they don’t know how wrong they are. They can tune into NBC and ESPN networks where there will be amazing lacrosse games on every weekend this summer.
The Boston Cannons have started the 2019 MLL season on fire with two straight wins as they look to redeem themselves after a lackluster 2018. Kyle Jackson was a big part of the offensive explosion the Cannons had against Dallas as he finished the game with four goals. The crafty lefty managed to pull off one of the best plays of the weekend.
Kyle Jackson with the spinning BTB. 🌀
— US Lacrosse Magazine (@USLacrosseMag) June 11, 2019
Ben McIntosh was the victim of a perfectly executed can-opener check that sent his stick flying in the Archers’ game against the Redwoods, but definitely did not want that to be the highlight to define the game. McIntosh got the last laugh as he would score the game tying and game winning goals on similar underneath dodges to give the Archers the victory.
The NHL has #hockeyguys like Zdeno Chara playing with an injured jaw, but pro lacrosse definitely have their own version of players toughing it out through injuries. Connor Buczek is certified #lacrossetough after his shoulder popped out and then a few minutes later he goes right back in after fixing it and rips a two-point goal like nothing even happened.
Let’s take a moment to remember all of the sticks broken and battered this past weekend. It seemed like more shafts were being snapped than normal across both leagues. I don’t think it has anything to do with the manufacturers, but is from the sheer intensity that these players are putting into every play. In both leagues, these guys are on national broadcasts and streams with microphones and cameras everywhere capturing their every move. They will be all over social media the next day. They have been playing at a playoff pace for two weeks with all of the passion and energy they are putting into these games. This is resulting in harder lacrosse plays being made and in turn sticks are just going to broken because of it.
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Social Media Lacrosse Haters
Lacrosse on the main NBC channel brought more eyes on lacrosse than the sport has had since the college national championship used to air on ESPN’s main channel. With more people watching it was expected that people would be talking about it on social media. I saw several Tweets or comments on Instagram posts with the usual responses of “Lacrosse isn’t a sport,” “Brad passes to Chad lol,” or just making fun of lacrosse. People are afraid of the unknown and for many sports fans lacrosse is something they’re not familiar with. They go off of what they know from pop culture about lacrosse without really giving it a chance. With time I bet some of these same people will be tuning into lacrosse in a few years or maybe even months time as it is on TV more and they decide to give it a chance or even fall in love with it. For now lacrosse fans just need to weather the storm and focus on all of the positive press the sport has been getting. Definitely deserves a losers spot in this week’s Winners and Losers.
Who were your Winners and Losers from Week 2 of the MLL and PLL?