Well, here we are for week 2. Now we can officially call this a series.
Last week took the team to sunny San Diego. For readers from Ontario, and even those from North Texas, you may want to skip this next part. While Ontario was in a cold snap (I was informed this was Canadian lingo, so apologies), we enjoyed 65-degree weather and sunshine. For reference, Fort Worth had a high of 58 degrees with a low of 33 on Saturday, while our friends and family in Toronto experienced (with wind chill) a high of 20 degrees, with lows of negative 21 (all temperatures in Fahrenheit, sorry to readers in Canada).
Unfortunately, it wasn’t our night on Saturday. We were proud of our effort and the way we battled back, but in a tightly packed conference and competitive league, there is no room for moral victories.
We were led offensively by Mathieu Gauthier (who will henceforth be referred to in this blog as Goat) who had four goals. Goat may be our youngest player, but the kid is a stud, and I think our whole group was pumped for him to find the net four times. I hope to feature him on the blog soon, maybe over his favorite meal, a Subway sandwich.
This week is an exciting one both for the team and here in the office. For the first time since December 17, we play at home this week. For those wondering, the extended road trip was not a coincidence. We share our home rink, Dickies Arena, with The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, which occupies Dickies most of the month of January.
My teammates and I in market were lucky to attend the rodeo earlier this month, which was great, but it will be nice to see our PCLC fans and get back to doing what we love this Saturday. The transition from the rodeo back to lacrosse and other events presents some challenges, both for the staff at Dickies and our staff here at PCLC.
The first, longest, and most important step is literally trucking all the dirt from the rodeo all the way across town where it is stored for the year. It isn’t just from the floor area either. One of the coolest aspects of Dickies is that the underbelly of the arena, by the locker rooms, training rooms, and loading docks, are all built to handle livestock during the rodeo. The entire area needs to be covered in dirt, and consequentially, cleaned of it.
But beyond the dirt and the physical changes handled by the staff at Dickies, our marketing staff at Panther City has to get over to the facility and import all of our branding and content, both digital and otherwise. Working in the office has shown me just how much goes into a game day. From giveaways to halftime performers, to all the videos that you see on the jumbotron, everything needs to be pre-planned and arranged ahead of time. So, while I am excited for a more relaxed game weekend, my colleagues in the office have done an incredible job getting ready for our busiest stretch of the year.
Adding to the schedule this week was a great event for Panther City fans at Cowtown Brewing Company. Cowtown is a great spot that has been great to PCLC, and it was awesome for us in market players to meet and chat with some of our fans. Huge shoutout to Cowtown and the folks who made it out.
We also celebrated the birthday of our own Phil Caputo (also known as Capz), not to be confused with captain Matt Hossack (also known as Hoss). Fun fact, not only do they share a birthday, but Hoss and Capz are born the same year as well, so they are within hours of the same age. Aside from the free trivia, they’re both great players and awesome leaders.
Technically this is our third home game of the year, but for me it feels like the first proper one.
The first game was our season opener and my first game in the league. To put it simply, my head was spinning all weekend. I remember preparing to run out of the tunnel and having to go first due to my low jersey number (#2 Tony Malcom was in the starting lineup and went last). All I was thinking about was trying to run to the right spot on the floor and trying not to trip on anything. I was successful in both, and that was a great weekend capped off by a win.
The second home game was the second half of a back-to-back with Colorado. Playing two games in two days, two time zones apart was a humbling experience and a welcome to the league moment. It was technically a home game, but our whole team was focused on getting some sleep when we arrived in Fort Worth. We couldn’t enjoy the game day process in Panther City.
This is also the first weekend for those of us living in market to play at home. As I said last week, the coolest part of the NLL is traveling to new cities to play. But… it will be nice not to travel for a bit. As a rookie, you hope the pace on the floor slows down as you get more accustomed to the league, but the same is true for the whole weekend. As you start to get a hang of the schedule, it becomes possible to spend more energy enjoying the time with teammates and getting ready to compete at a high level.
As a team, this week begins a crucial stretch for us as we try to defend home floor in the second half of the season. We are excited to take on that challenge in front of our fans, in our great building, and we hope to see you there.
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