NLL Makes Debut on CBS and Other Lacrosse Media Notes

There’s no truth to the rumor that this is being published simply to try and curry favor with Bill Belichick…

Interest in the sport of lacrosse in Boston is growing. UMass right now is a final four contender in the NCAA, BU will be joining D1 next season and the Boston Cannons are MLL champions, (another championship for Boston!) draw 10,000 fans a game and will have nine games on national TV.

Marisa Ingemi is a rising star in the coverage of lacrosse. She knows the sport, and the people who cover it.

NLL Makes Debut on CBS and Other Lacrosse Notes

By Marisa Ingemi

This past week the National Lacrosse League made its debut on the CBS Sports Network. In the game, the east leading Philadelphia Wings fell to the slumping Buffalo Bandits, 17-7. CBSSN will also be carrying NCAA and MLL games this season, and that leads to my biggest observation of the broadcast.

Casey Powell and Mikey Powell in the booth are both field lacrosse guys. Casey was the NLL MVP in 2009 but is only playing MLL this season while Mikey has only played field, and the field presence was huge in this broadcast.

In the game they compared NCAA rules to NLL, and talked about the colleges and MLL teams of the players, something I’ve never seen on any NLL broadcast, online or on TV. In fact, when on NBC Sports Network last season, most of the talk was about the Minto and Mann Cups in Canada.

If this is the new approach for the NLL or CBS it makes perfect sense, seeing the American market is more of a field-savvy area. Let’s see what the game this week holds. Now onto the links from around the sport.

Goalies and the school of hard knocks- IL Indoor

Marty O’Neill continues his great season of reporting on IL Indoor

Nolan Godfrey Blog: Welcome to the Machine- In Lax We Trust

The Ohio Machine’s Nolan Godfrey blogs for In Lax We Trust

Swarm Eye Berth- Lacrosse Magazine

Neil Stevens looks at the Minnesota Swarm’s amazing season

CJ Costabile on ESPNU podcast- ESPN

The Duke face off man talks with Quint Kessenich

John Grant Speaks on Amazing Season- NLL Radio

Andy McNamara talks to the Mammoth star on NLL Radio

Joe Spallina Makes Radio Appearance- Lacrosse Radio Network

The Lizards coach talks to Phil Shore on The Lacrosse Radio Network

Meet the CBS MLL Host- Major League Lacrosse

Evan Washburn will be hosting Inside the MLL on CBS this summer

Weekly Lacrosse Honors- Lax Power

Weekly lax honors on Lax Power

Cannons GM Ready for Season- SBN Boston

I spoke with the Cannons GM Kevin Barney for SBN Boston

North American Lacrosse League Needs Quiet- In Lax We Trust

After a tough yeah, I write that NALL needs little more attention

Games This Week

NLL: Colorado Mammoth vs Toronto Rock- Saturday, CBS Sports

Calgary Roughnecks vs Rochester Knighthawks- Saturday, NLL.com

Washington Stealth vs Minnesota Swarm- Saturday, NLL.com

Buffalo Bandits vs Edmonton Rush- Saturday, NLL.com

NCAA: Duke vs Virginia- Friday, ESPNU

Syracuse vs Rutgers- Saturday, ESPNU

Navy vs Army- Saturday, CBS Sports

Hofstra vs North Carolina- Saturday, ESPNU

Ohio State vs Michigan- Saturday, Big Ten Network

Maryland vs Johns Hopkins- Saturday, ESPNU

Stevenson vs Salisbury- Saturday, Lacrosse Radio Network

  • http://twitter.com/efin98 Edward Findlay

    In contrast to the claim of growing popularity Boston’s other lacross team, the Boston Blazers, suspended operations for the year while it seeks a new home…

    • Marisa

      Blazers and Cannons are completely different stories as far as management in their front office and the league that runs them.

  • latetodinner

    The real problem with Lacrosse, and this is coming from someone who played it growing up and has a daughter who plays it now is that it translates horribly to TV.  The ball is nearly impossible to follow, the moves at a herky jerky pace (similar to soccer), the wide view which would be best so you can see people moving without the ball makes the players impersonal…like they are stick figures rather than personalities.  It is a game that screams for in person viewing and as such it will never grow to be more than the niche sport that it is.  Add in the fact that it is expensive to play as a kid between the pads, helmet, and stick and it can’t get beyond its regional/prep school rep.  Before someone jumps on me I know youth lacrosse is growing as an alternative to baseball in some areas but it is incremental growth not exponential.  Like I said, I have a daughter who plays, I played, I like the game but I don’t see it becoming much more than it is today or attracting big sponsorship dollars.  Definitely not sure it deserves more than a mention or two here…certainly not regular coverage.

    • http://bostonsportsmedia.com/ Bruce Allen

      Well, I think you told me I needed to do more than just Patriots articles so I wouldn’t be branded a Patriots site. If these continue, they would be posted as this one is, where there is just a short snippet, and then you click through to open the entire article if you want to read it.

      • bsmfan

         And, your article was on the media covering LAX around here, not why they should or should not cover it. It kinda follows with the theme of the site where you talk about the media coverage in the area.

      • latetodinner

        I meant more Tour De France, Aussie Rules Football and Dragon Boat racing coverage…not Lacrosse…come on Bruce its bad enough we are forced one Canadian sport already…I draw the line at two!  All joking aside…I was not upset to see lacrosse mentioned…I think once or twice a year is great. If it becomes a regular thing I will suggest to you that Boston is about 4 professional sports only.  The major sportstalkers and newspapers can’t generate any traction for college football, college hoops, the bean pot, MLS, World Cup Soccer, Golf or NASCAR….there is no way fans here want info on Lax.  Having said that…mentioning it once every few months…linking to Marisa’s work…I am all for it. Just don’t make it a regular thing.

        • Marisa

          Hi latetodinner…. This is something I hope to address if I continue with these posts. There is for some reason a perspective of lacrosse outsiders about it being a “niche” sport.

          I discovered the sport reading a Boston sports blog trying to find more Bruins blogs to read (I cover most Bruins games outside of my lax coverage). I found a blog talking about the Blazers and watched a game and enjoyed it.

          The Blazers no longer exist but the Cannons are a rising star in the Boston sports scene. They draw as well as any team in lacrosse and are a likeable team with local players and maybe the best player in the game in Paul Rabil. This is a team that is easy to get attached to.

          MLL games are now on ESPN and CBS and getting good ratings, and there is no reason to think that this sport is not on the rise.

          As someone who now has a few years of experience covering sports in the media, lacrosse is one of the most accessible and interesting sports to cover. I have some interesting stories about my experiences covering the leagues and players that I think would be interesting to anyone.

          Thank you for your thoughts on the sport and for an active discussion on it… if you have any questions about the sport at a pro level you can contact me at inlaxwetrust@@gmail:disqus.com  thanks, Marisa

        • latetodinner

          Marisa:
          I think your passion for Lacrosse is great, like i said I played in High School and my oldest daughter plays (a goalie no less)  But please…it is a niche sport.  That is not a bad thing.  Professional bike racing, artistic gymnastics, downhill skiing, track and field and professional bowling are all also niche sports in the USA.  Is Lax growing…sure.  For the last 30 years soccer has been growing in the USA also.  But I maintain that Lax has two problems to over come before it can grow beyond regional niche acceptance.  1) It needs a unified major league that has national sponsors and can pay players enough that all they have to do is play Lax for a living.  2) It has to shake the perception that it is a Northeast and Baltimore prep school sport (I am not saying it is I am only saying that is the perception).  To do both of those things its needs TV coverage…which through some shrewd marketing and profit sharing deals it has been able to achieve.  However as I said in my first post the real problem is the game presents horribly on TV.  It has the worst aspects of hockey and soccer when it is viewed on tv.  There is the problem of following the ball…even in high def, there is the problem of the game speeding up, then slowing down, then speeding up…there can be horrible flow to the action.  Then there are the helmets which make the players impersonal (something the NFL has been battling for years).  Lastly, a good Lax game has as much action away from the ball as it does on the ball…TV coverage so far has concentrated on following the ball so you miss half the game.  The experience of a live Lax game is so different from a Televised one that it is almost two different games.  

          I wish you all the best of luck covering and promoting the sport.  I would love to see it succeed but I don’t think it warrants much coverage from Bruce other than the occasional link.  To be honest I don’t really see it as part of the Boston Sports Landscape…in the same way I never saw the Boston Lobsters of the World Team Tennis league or any WNBA team as part of the scene.

        • Marisa

          There are two unified major leagues for both styles of play- NLL and MLL. Both have legit sponsors (Warrior, Reebok, Sports Authority, ESPN, Coke etc) and I honestly have no issue with the game on TV and work with TV producers for lacrosse every day and have never heard of it being a problem.

  • Brookline23

    It’s the fastest growing sport in the country by a country mile. No other sport can boast the growth that lacrosse is undergoing right now, especially in the Midwest, West, and South,areas that are well
    Outside it’s traditional hotbeds. The sport is great and it’s only going to bigger and better.

    • latetodinner

      you sound like the soccer people.

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