The math this weekend is pretty darn simple. If we win, we get to gather as a team at least two more times. If we lose, our season is over. Of course, teams remain mostly intact from year to year, but they are never the same. We are fighting to extend the life of this team, the 2022-2023 Panther City Lacrosse Club.
I did want to mention in the blog how great it was to meet and interact with so many of our fans after our season finale two weeks ago. The folks we met were so passionate about the team and so knowledgeable, it really was invigorating. I wish we could have gotten the victory that night, but I was so thankful for the overwhelming support and for everyone who wished us well in the playoffs.
We were obviously off last weekend as the rest of the league finished up the regular season schedule, and we learned that we will be playing the Calgary Roughnecks on Saturday evening. There should be a wild crowd in Calgary (with many PCLC beauties mixed in) and I can’t wait.
Is it Saturday yet?
On a personal level, I am jacked up to play my first playoff game. Making the dance is a difficult thing to do in this league, and it is not something I (or anyone else in our room) takes lightly. We will be leaning on our guys with championship experience (Tyler Burton, Matt Hossack, and Connor Sellars) which I think will help us.
We left for Calgary on Thursday which is a day earlier than normal. In the NLL, there are frequently distractions and other obstacles to overcome. This week, our goal is to minimize those distractions and focus on lacrosse. Calgary is an awesome city, so there are no complaints from this blogger about traveling ahead of time.
Another exciting development is that the game will be broadcast live on TSN and ESPNU. Obviously, streaming has changed the way we all consume television, but playing on national television both here and in Canada is a great opportunity to grow the game. In Canada, with the exception of Hockey Night in Canada (formerly on CBC but now on Sportsnet) there is no higher level than playing on TSN. It is always a pinch-me moment when it occurs.
When the games are on linear networks, it is also way easier for them to be played on televisions at bars and restaurants. I think this is a huge opportunity for the league and a tremendous way to grow the sport and the business of the NLL. So all around, the media set up for this game is a huge win for our team and the league.
Speaking of, for those in DFW who wish to watch the game, there is going to be a watch party at Aloft Fort Worth Downtown hotel, beginning at 8PM. It will be a great way to meet other fans and catch the game.
This week I had the opportunity to watch training camp for the Dallas Wings, our WNBA team. It was amazing to see those athletes compete, and I always learn something new that can be applied to lacrosse from high level basketball.
I also reflected on the different stages of our two seasons. Training camp is an exciting time, especially for the rookies. It provides a clean slate and is a time filled with hopes and dreams for the season. Most importantly, it is a time to set the stage and set the standard for the year to come.
Heading into playoffs similar to training camp in the sense that we must set a new standard. This is our first time in the dance, and the standard we have set for the regular season will not get it done. Period. The standard is not about winning or losing, but rather effort, discipline, and selflessness.
In America, Sunday nights (because of NFL football) are the most prominent night in sports television. In Canada, because of Hockey Night in Canada, the night is Saturday.
To be playing on Saturday, in an NHL barn with our season on the line, is why you play the game.
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