Hey all, hope all is well. It has been a crazy month of May to say the least! I'll be honest with you, with some much going on in my own life it has been tough to keep up with all the sports around me.
Lets start with the NLL. What a year! Simple as that. To win the Champions Cup and to see my boy Whip end an unbelievable career the only way he could, was simply a dream come true. It was a true honor to see the Rock hoist that trophy again. After being so close last year and knowing in my heart that if the game had been at home we would have won it, it was sheer delight to hoist it in front of 15,000 screaming Rock fans in the ACC. It was great to be the captain of such a deserving bunch of guys. We had set out, right from training camp to right our wrong from the year before, and to be able to actually see it through was amazing. One of my proudest moments of all time, no questions asked!
One side note from the NLL championship was the amount of media we recieved during the build up to the final game. It was crazy. Obviously, Toronto is Leafs Nation, but with them and the Raptors out we gobbled up the leftovers and then some. I was busy, literaly everyday with either television, radio or print. It was awsome! Cudos to all those who jumped on board, it helped put the game on the map and was a big reason why so much attention was focused on the game, and deservingly so, Toronto doesn't have a huge line of teams in the winning circle! (I guess that is my shot at the Leafs).
Could you imagine being the best in your sport at your position and walking away from the game on your own terms. That sounds good enough, but what Whipper did in that final game is beyond amazing. I really haven't even had much time to allow it to sink in. In his last ever lacrosse game, he played as good as I have ever seen him. Single handedly saving us time and time again, to help us hand on for an 8-7 win over the Stealth! Of course he was given the games MVP award. When it was all over, I was happy to see a friend with such a sense of accomplishment. For me, that was rewarding enough! What a day, what a game. I will never forget that championship, for as long as I'll live!
Last point on the NLL. Our owner in Toronto, Jaime Dawick (i think I spealt it right) deserves a ton of credit. In sports, owners sometimes want too much credit and sometimes they get too much credit. This is not the case here. Lets call a spade a spade, shall we. This guy takes a, once very proud franchise pulls them out of a three year tailspin and in two years is crowned an NLL champ. That is pretty impresive, is it not? Of course he doesn't call all the shots. He's got good guys around him for that, but he trusts them to do their job and he vows to do his. Good on him. He promised the fans of Toronto a winnner and in two years he's had his boys to two championships and the winner of the most recent. My hat goes off to him for being a man of his word. Good on ya Boss!
The only thing that could have made the NLL championship any sweeter would have been if I could have stuck around to enjoy it! The next day I was off to Prague for the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships. Aside from a long, hungover flight, the chamionship was GREAT! Canada came away with gold, and the whole experience was second to none. It was tough being away from my family for nearly two weeks, but it was cool to have a lax famlily while we were there. The boys were great, and we had a focused bunch there for one reason only...the GOLD. The city is truly an amazing place and the culture is second to none. I amazed with the acheitect and the history it had. The buildings and the sights were awsome! All in all, a great experience.
Speaking of awsome, you aught to see sports fans in Europe! Lacrosse is a new sport in the Czech Republic to say the least, but you wouldn't have known it if you had seen the home side represent themselves in this Tournament! The fans stood the whole game and seem to have a drum beat and or chant for everything that happened. It was unbelievable! Such a different feeling than being at an event in North America! That being said, they home side faired really well earning a fourth spot finish. To some that would be brutal, but I can remember their team eight years ago when the first ever WILC was held in Ontario. To say they were new, was an understatement! They really struggled,but they have come along way and will be even tougher in four more years. Cudos to them for putting in the time. They were truly great ambassadors for their Country.
To that point, the whole world seems to be closing the gap to Canada. Some still have lots of work to do, but the US and the Iroquois are well on their way. If the USA finds some goaltending, look out four years from now!
Either way, to captain an NLL champion and and a World Champion in just under two weeks is a pretty special feeling. I feel very lucky to have accomplished what WE did! I am going to enjoy three days off before being reminded what summer lacrosse is all about Thursday night in Peterborough! I'm sure they have me reminded nice and early!
To a great month!