MLL Disappoints Again, Fast Forward…Hope Springs Eternal

Forgive me for thinking that if a network broadcasted the first semifinal of a professional sports playoff at noon that, more than likely, they would broadcast the second semifinal beginning an hour later.

It also seems to me that playoffs generate more viewers than the regular season.

It also ocurred to me that the MLL is a young league trying to develop its brand and that exposure on a national level is always a great idea.

denver_boston_MLL_semi_1

So after a two week lay off, permitting casual fans to forget about the league entirely, this week a press release was issued stating the following:

The #1 seed Denver Outlaws will face the #4 seed Boston Cannons in Saturday’s first semifinal at 12:00 PM ET. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2HD with Joe Beninati and Quint Kessenich calling the action. Saturday’s second semifinal will begin at 3:00 PM ET and will feature the #2 seed Toronto Nationals versus the #3 seed Long Island Lizards.

The winners from Saturday’s two semifinal matches will advance to the New Balance Championship Game at 1:00 PM ET on Sunday, August 23. The Championship Game will also be broadcast live on ESPN2HD.
 

Now for starters the title of the press release was TV Coverage for MLL Semifinals and Championship which would a person room to make the assumption that all three games would be televised. Why would you televise all three games? Oh I don’t know, because it’s the playoffs, its the last three games of the season, its the best four teams, you’re trying to grow the league. One more thing, every sport televises every playoff game.

However when you read the above press release closely you notice the phrase “broadcast live” to be absent following the starting time for the second semi final game.

Why the MLL did not have their second game on television is beyond me.

Right now, the league is a joke.

I feel bad for the players, coaches, and staff that put in their time and receive little compensation.

I feel bad for the fans in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New Jersey, and Rochester who lost their teams because of contraction.

I feel bad for all the players that lost their roster spots because of contraction.

I feel bad for the people that watch the games on television whenever they are on because of the subpar broadcasting and producing.

Quite honestly this is the furthest professional league can be from the professional level.

One practice a week.

Teams losing their baggage in the airport. (Denver 2006)

Being traded to a team because your full time job is closer to that city.

MTV Rock N’ Jock 2 point shot.

Drawing less fans than a professional women’s soccer team. (New Jersey Pride 2008)

Being paid $10,000 to play a professional sport.

Flying coach to road games.

One team has never won a road game in their entire existence. (Chicago)

Uniforms with completely unrelated color schemes. (Toronto Nationals/Clemson Tigers)

It’s an hour after the conclusion of the second game and the MLL website still hasn’t been updated with that information.

Not televising games live.

Not televising playoff games.

And worst of all, Brett Queener thinking its okay to wear a tank top to the all star game banquet.

Okay not worst of all, but up there. Quite honestly if you agree with Quint that Brett Queener’s energy and antics are good for the growth of the game stop visiting this blog.

The league sucks yada yada yada how do we fix it?

Get in a time machine, fast forward twenty years, and pray the league has not gone under.

Lacrosse is exploding around the country, what else is new. But the explosion is taking place at the youth level. A seventh grader in St. Louis isn’t going to be able to attend a Machine game or he might not know about the MLL. Perhaps next year he’ll hear about the league or the year after and he might get excited about visiting Chicago to watch them play (no point in watching the Machine play on the road).is

He is years away from attending an MLL game. Maybe years away from even watching it on television.

But what happens when the boy becomes a fan and the fan becomes a father of two boys?

(Answer: exponential growth of lacrosse fans.)

What happens if that father gives his newborn a Chicago Machine bottle instead of a Cardinals bottle?

(Answer: lifelong fan of the Chicago Machine is created.)

Our generation will develop the MLL into a legitmate professional sports league because our children will be forced to grow up with lacrosse. Parents will play catch with a ball and a stick instead of a ball and glove.

My father and I have never played catch. He’s never cradled a ball. He still calls the pocket, the webbing. My father worked in Major League Baseball so even though I grew up just outside of DC in Virginia, I played baseball until sophomore year of high school when I switched to lacrosse.

My best friend in the world was raised in Dallas. His father was born in Long Island and played Division 1 lacrosse. So naturally, my friend played lacrosse. Would he have picked up the sport in Dallas without it being a part of his father’s past? In Texas, are you kidding me?

As the sport becomes indoctrinated into another generation, it will shine. The need for lacrosse entertainment will grow. The television deals will follow. The stands will fill.

Lacrosse is football in the spring. Only our generation knows that right now.

Do you want to stand around in long grass wearing pants doing nothing for three hours or do you want to play the fastest game on two feet? Thought so. Baseball is doomed. But it won’t happen tomorrow.

We have to be patient with what we have for now and support it in anyway we can, even if the league constantly bites the hand that feeds.

When our opportunity comes with our children, we have to be ready.

_____________

Notes

  • Changes that MLL needs to make right now, coming tomorrow
  • Toronto beat Long Island in the second semi, sets up a title game rematch
  • I’m exicted to watch Toronto’s two man game applied to field lacrosse
  • John Grant Jr was held scoreless and only took two shots and LI still lost
  • If  Grant Jr performs, Denver will be in for a long day, their poles just aren’t good enough
  • Kyle Harrison scored another high to high jump shot to ruin my favorite team’s title chances, Doc Schneider don’t drop your hands Harrison can’t shoot high to low
  • Bill Daye cost Boston the game by refusing to give Paul Rabil touches in the final quarter, if you are going to lose you need to lose with your best player getting his reps, that best player just so happen to be the league’s MVP
  • I found myself less interested in the MLL this year because Stephen Peyser and Joe Cinosky didn’t have video blogs on laxunited.com

I’d really like Jake Steinfeld, who a met in Nantucket several summers ago, great guy we talked about the league he gave me some t-shirts, big chest chicken legs though, to write the fans of the MLL a letter explaining why the second game wasn’t televised.

Blame it on ESPN even if that isn’t true. Tell us ATA Tennis in Colorado was more important.

Show us some accountability.

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8 responses to “MLL Disappoints Again, Fast Forward…Hope Springs Eternal

  1. I was upset about the second game not being televised – especially when I read the recap. It sounded like a great game and God knows I wanted to watch the Lizards. Not airing both games (how about on ESPNU?) made no sense whatsoever. Nor did the two week layoff between the regular season and Championship weekend.
    Having said that, the Denver/Boston game was pretty darn good. It was entertaining enough and close enough to “real” lacrosse that even MLL haters should have enjoyed it.
    If the league could find a way to make every game that exciting AND get a few on TV or broadcast live and for free online, they would see growth. I honestly believe that having a legit pro league is the key to really unlocking this sport. It is not that I do not like college lax – I love it – but knowing there is something further up to aspire to makes the sport more “real” in the eyes of people that are unfamiliar with the game. With Denver & Toronto playing tomorrow, the league has a great chance to really make its mark. The talent and names on those rosters is unbelievable. But, MLL will probably screw the pooch – again.
    Drop the two point arc, pay the guys more, let other equip companies in (the key to increase exposure & pay), and treat it like a real pro league. Reebok let Warrior into the NHL, can’t Warrior repay the favor?

  2. Perhaps espn didn’t allow the second game to be televised? I’d like to give lax the benefit of the doubt.

    Glad someone else noticed the Bill Daye coaching gaffe.

    (ps, the passion comes out..best entry this year)

  3. this is spot on. best entry i’ve read since i’ve started looking at this blog.

  4. Killerswellsbrah

    they played the second game on tv down in florida…

  5. MLL’s second game was televised.

    From the MLL website last week:
    3:00 PM ET SEMI-FINAL 2:
    #2 TORONTO NATIONALS
    VS.
    #3 LONG ISLAND LIZARDS
    Live in Canada on TSN2, and in the United States on Universal Sports, Comcast Sports Net New England, CSS (Comcast Sports Southeast/Charter Sports Southeast), Brighthouse, Cox Sports New Orleans, and Time Warner Cable in Buffalo and Rochester, NY. Check your local listings for availability in your area.

    I live in upstate NY and saw it on time warner.

    If you’re going to bash the league, at least do a little more reserach.

    • I’m not from upstate or New Orleans or Canada or New England, and it wasn’t broadcast nationally on ESPN2 therefore I couldn’t watch it.

      Do you think because it was on a few regional channels in America that’s good enough?

  6. No, it’s not good enough for us lax fans, but what can we do? The reality must be that ATA tennis IS more important, at least when it comes to ratings. ESPN is sticking with lacrosse, both pro and college, as an investment. Hopefully it will get big enough some day for ESPN and other networks to make it more of a priority.

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