Five Reasons to Be an NLL Fan
5. Supporting One League Helps All Lacrosse Leagues
It is in no way a secret that laxers have always been the center of MonBRO affection, but it can be forgotten that these guys are serious athletes. Supporting the NLL is a huge step to making lacrosse a sport that can be appreciated by big business, not just a game for high schoolers and college students. It’s one of the fastest growing sports in America, and getting more buzz all the time. The media is starting to get on board with pro lacrosse, and that should cause a trickle-down effect, giving more attention (read: money) to the high school and college programs that these players are coming from. (Also, have you seen Paul Rabil’s Maverik and Max Seibald’s Nike BOOM commercials? Those guys are rocking some serious cannons.)
4. Tickets are Cheap
The last indoor pro sport that sold tickets for this little was arena football, which, I think it can be unanimously agreed, sucked (sucks? does it still exist?). The cheapest seats for the NLL are about $15 to $20 — about the price of an IMAX 3-D movie these days — and you can be up to the second row for about $38.
3. Support Your City
I am a New York fan (hate all you want Brommunity, it ain’t gonna change) through and through. But since there is no New York team for the NLL or the MLL, I’ve had to make some tough choices. I was in Wings territory this weekend, and they made sure to let me know. The fanfare for each Wings player was insane (yes, I joined in on the Siebald screaming), but for each player on the Blazers, once their name was called, the crowd yelled “SUCKS!” I actually like a couple of players on the Blazers (Casey Powell and Kevin Buchanan, for starters), but I kept my mouth shut. This goes to show you that no matter what the sport, fans will come out in droves to hate on rival cities.
2. The NLL is More Physical, Faster
Indoor lacrosse (also known as box lacrosse) is a faster, more physical game of lacrosse. Usually played on a turfed-over hockey rink, it’s more physical because of space limitations. Players are moving up and down the field faster, and since they have less room (and the speed of passes and shots isn’t any different), they can put a hurting on each other. Goalies are wearing pretty much hockey pads because they’re getting hit so hard (and the goals are two feet smaller in length and width). Plus, for some added pressure, there’s a shot clock, so there’s no passing around for like 15 minutes in front of the goalie. For those of you hockey fans who love a good player fight, NLL laxers on occasion drop the gloves (it’s legal), sometimes in bench-clearing brawls, like the preseason fight between the Buffalo Bandits and the Toronto Rock.
1. It’s Kind of a Party
Fans got just as rowdy for calls at a lacrosse game as they would for any other sport. There were dancers, music was playing the whole time, and there was a “Mad Dog” mascot that came out on the field to ceremoniously beat the crap out of a man wearing an Aaron Rogers jersey in anticipation of Sunday’s game (didn't help). There was even a dude in a leather trenchcoat who looked like Morpheus from “The Matrix” leading everyone in “W-I-N-G-S! GO WINGS!” chants with accompanying arm movements. There was swag all over the place, from hoagies to T-shirts, and everyone was having a great time. I hear that when it’s not snowing and about 27 degrees (as it was when I went), there’s even a pretty sweet tailgating scene. Fans wore jerseys with their favorite players, past and present, and when alumni came out on the field, everyone went nuts. So basically, an indoor sport where I can party and go with the flow? I will definitely be back.