Canada Lacrosse Championship! And America: A Nation That Supports its Athletics

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Loved to spend this week watching some field lacrosse on TV.  Made my wife watch Canada’s games on TSN2.  Well TSN2 picked up the coverage, really it was ESPN (U and 3) broadcasting the games.  Had a few thoughts after last nights game.

CANADA AS CHAMPIONS

Great for Canadian lacrosse to come out and win.  What great spotlight moments for Kevin Crowley and Dillon Ward.  Crowley scoring at will and setting the tone early and Ward frustrating the American shooters.  Canada was able to capitalize on their opportunities and the Americans didn’t take the game away from them.  In the fourth quarter, the American team, was able to create a ton of pace and pressure to the game.  Really the final frame was all USA.  Leaves you wondering what if they had applied that pressure all game.

DOES THIS SPORT NEED A SHOT CLOCK

I think we can all agree, this game had some moments with nothing happening.  As much as it was excited for vested lacrosse fans, and especially Canadian fans, there are some concerns.  Canada was smart to take advantage of the situation and passive defence.  I would want to coach the same way and I don’t think they did anything wrong.  Canada not needing to get into a shootout with the Americans, and wanting to slow the pace down, did a great job of slowing play with their possessions.  That being said, the game lacked excitement for huge segments.  Extended possessions from Canada, featuring a five minute possession at the end of the third quarter, with no play towards the net, really highlighted a big issue.  There was little to force the play and stop the Canadians from standing in the corner and counting down the seconds.  Despite stall warnings, limiting their playing space, they were still able to keep the ball with no intentions of attacking the net.  The MLL plays with a 60 second shot clock, would a similar rule have helped with the flow of this game?  I think it would.  I think it would have made for a more enjoyable game to watch.  While I was cheering for the Canadians, every time the Americans set up a possession, it was very exciting. They executed fast passing and got off great shots.  Count me as a guy who would like to see the shot clock instituted at the international game.

USA AND THEIR SPORTS ENTHUSIASM

Watching the game with ESPN coverage, I got to see some passionate sports broadcasters.  The guys calling the game, weren’t just cheerleaders for the American team but they were very knowledgeable lacrosse fans.  The spent a lot of time talking about the players NCAA teams in their pasts.  They knew all the players well.  In Canada, we have the junior reporters go and try and learn a new sport.  Locally in Calgary the guy who covers the Roughnecks all year for the radio just picked the sport up.  That is great but there is not a lot of coverage from people who really know the game. ESPN holds a value for their sports, and finds people to cover them who have knowledge and passion.  They have a million different channels that cover all levels of sports.  It doesn’t matter if they aren’t mainstream sports, they treat them with respect and value their viewers.  During the game they advertised about the youth basketball tournament they were covering.  A little bit of every level for everyone.  It isn’t all on the Canadian sports stations though.  The American sports fan is invested in all kinds of levels.  In fact I think the fans are more into the amateur levels in a lot of cases.  The passion for collegiate sports is awesome, something Canada lacks.  We say we love our junior level hockey, but really it doesn’t compare to the passion of NCAA football.  But it isn’t just football, there is room for all the sports there.  When we are in DC next year I am really hoping it will give me the chance to see a John Hopkins Blue Jays lacrosse game, it would be a cool experience.  I find basketball one of the most boring sports ever, it is awful to watch, worse live than on TV.  That being said I would love to be at march madness game, just for the atmosphere.  I would love to see that kind of support for sports in Canada.  Lacrosse is our game, and while we can support the NLL (indoor lacrosse) we lost the only team in Canada to play in the MLL (field lacrosse).  If it isn’t hockey we don’t support it.  I wish someone would give us the formula for supporting our sports.  It is fun to watch the American passion for sports.

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