This year's National Lacrosse League (NLL) is heating up, as the regular season wraps up only a few months away in late April. The NLL is a men's professional indoor lacrosse league that was founded in 1986. With almost ten teams active, the NLL represents the best that North America has to offer in the sport. Every season, the teams play for the Champion's Cup. The playoffs then begin, as top divisional teams compete for the change to face off for the Champion's Cup. So far this year, a handful of teams have made their presence known. Ticket Galaxy break down this year's top contenders midway through the season.
The Georgia Swarm is a NLL team based in Georgia. They play their home games at Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth, Georgia and share the venue with the Atlanta Gladiators, a ECHL ice hockey team based in Duluth, as well. During Swarm games, a series of entertainment is available for fans, including concerts such as the Scott McCrery show coming up on February 17th. The Swarm's record is 3-3 this season, putting them as 4th in the Eastern Division.
New England Black Wolves
The New England Black Wolves are 4-2 in the Eastern Division so far this season. The New England Black Wolves play their home games at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. They are currently leading the Eastern Division, making them a major contender for the Champion's Cup. This includes winning streaks this season that are hard to beat so early on. They are currently the team to watch for in the NLL Eastern Division.
The Calgary Roughnecks were founded in 2002 and are located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Though they are currently 2-5 in the Western Division, their fight and history make them potential underdogs in the upcoming playoffs. It's too early in the season to tell which team will end on top of the division, but the Roughnecks are a team to watch that has began the season quieter than normal. In the past, the Roughnecks won two Champion's Cups in 2004 and 2009. The team plays their home games at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
In the Western Division, the Saskatchewan Rush are the team to look out for. With a stunning record of 7-1, Saskatchewan Rush are from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The team was founded recently in 2015 and already has a successful record on the team's side. They play home games at Co-Op Field at SasktTel Centre. In 2016, the team won the Champion's Cup. Therefore, for such a new and young franchise, Saskatchewan Rush has made a big impact on the NLL.
Written by Jenna
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Defending Super Bowl LI Winner the New England Patriots
The Jacksonville Jaguars are taking on the New England Patriots for the AFC Championship Game. After surging back to beat the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl LI, the Patriots once again proved their superstar status. Quarterback and arguable G.O.A.T. Tom Brady leads a developed team well-rehearsed in the art of winning and winning often. The Patriots' success is almost mocked in the NFL due to its consistency and enormity throughout the past decades. Aside from Brady, notable franchise players such as Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola help hold up a strong offensive line. The Patriots have won four Super Bowls since the new millennium including Super Bowl XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX, and LI. The passionate New England fan base and talented roster make for a deadly Super Bowl contender team year after year.
The Jaguars, on the other hand, bring a different story to the AFC Championship game. The Jaguars, 10-4 for the season, are headed into this game with a little different of a mentality than the well-established Patriots. The team has won neither a conference championship or Super Bowl throughout its history. In fact, it's almost become a running joke about their lack of titles to match up with any skill on the field. This season showed a voracious, exciting Jaguars squad. After beating the Steelers in thrilling fashion to get to the AFC Championship, this might be a different ending for the Jags. The Jaguars' defense is what is truly carrying this team. Their defense is second in yards allowed, points allowed, sacks, and passing yards allowed. Therefore, the Jags are hungry to show that the Patriots' legacy is not enough to swipe away their chances at a Super Bowl spot.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The Minnesota Vikings are set to play the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC Championship Game. Both teams are comeback stories in a one way or another. The Eagles have not participated in a conference championship game since winning the NFC Championship in 2004. With many NFC East titles under their belt, the team has still not managed to find themselves back in Super Bowl territory. As far as Super Bowl wins, the Eagles have not wrangled a Super Bowl win since 1960. In addition, the Eagles are fighting against the loss of their starting quarterback Carson Wentz, now replaced with Nick Foles. Foles has carried the team during their time of need, and fans can only hope he can maintain control during these important games. The Eagles are also fortunate to play the NFC Championship game at home, so home advantage is on their side. Lastly, the Eagles have held an excellent defensive season that make them a prime candidate for this battle.
However, the Vikings have also held a tight, successful defensive line during this season. Quarterback Case Keenum has led the offense to a surprising and thrilling season of success. The Vikings are playing in the NFC Championship for the first time since 2009 and are entering the vital games with an 11-1 record during the last twelve games of the season. The team has not won a championship since before the AFL-NFL merger in 1969, similar to the Eagles. Their last conference championship was also years prior in 1976. Therefore, the team is hungry for a major success mark this season. The Vikings pulled off a tremendous win over the Saints to make it to the NFC Championship game. Winning 29-24 in a last-minute finish, the Vikings proved that they are not a team to sleep on.
Written by Jenna
Last evening (July 12th, 2017) marked the highly anticipated ESPY Awards- a high class event that was designed to recognize top-performing athletes, and affiliates of various sporting organizations. This year marked the 25th annual ceremony, and it was hosted in Los Angeles, California.
Narrated by former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, this event was full of honorable, tear-jerking stories, accompanied by good humor to lighten the mood. Manning poked fun at several different athletes (although Kevin Durant wasn’t a fan) before rolling out the actual awards.
Aside from recognizing top performing players, the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award show also accredits noble individuals who have made a difference within the sports community. This year there were several heart-warming awards given to extremely deserving individuals including:
For a complete list of winners click here!
Written by Tara
The NBA began a new tradition yesterday by launching their first annual award show in New York City. This lavish event boasted some of the biggest names in mens basketball, and rewarded them for their major accomplishments on, and off the court.
Typically the NBA holds a small ceremony upon the conclusion of the regular season during the NBA Playoffs to grant these annual awards. However, this year the NBA chose to honor their valued players by setting up an actual award show which was hosted by rapper, Drake.
In front of a large, supportive crowd the following awards were granted to deserving members of the NBA:
The NBA granted fans the opportunity to weigh in on who they believed should win each award. Their website hosted a contest beginning in April which allowed fans to cast their votes. Seeing as this will be an annual event, be sure to check back next year, to nominate your favorite NBA player as a winner!
Written by Tara
Tim Tebow is making headlines as a minor league baseball player as he continues to hit well for the New York Met’s A affiliate, the Columbia Fireflies. As of last week he was 40 for 178 with 18 RBIs.
As we all know Tim Tebow did not start off with Major League Baseball dreams. In 2011, the Heisman Trophy winner led the Denver Broncos to their first AFC West title since 2005. However, even after a successful season he was traded to the NY Jets (and then released), signed with the New England Patriots (and cut) and he stepped away for a few seasons to only try again with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015. Never getting back to his “Tebow Time” ways of 2011, Tebow switched gears and surprised many when he signed with the New York Mets on a minor league contract in 2016.
Tim Tebow is not the only athlete to switch professional leagues, and no we aren’t talking about that time Michael Jordan tried playing for the Chicago White Sox. We are talking about athletes who successfully transferred to a new league or crazily enough, played in two professional leagues at the same time!
Brian Jordan, from 1989 to 1991, Jordan played in the NFL and earned a spot on the roster for the Pro-Bowl as an Atlanta Falcon. After that? In 1992 he moved over to the MLB where he played 15 seasons. In 1999 he was voted into the MLB All-Star game as an Atlanta Brave.
Bo Jackson, like Tebow, he won the Heisman Trophy. Jackson was originally drafted to the NFL only to play professional baseball (first) instead. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers who initially drafted Jackson would go on to trade him to the Los Angeles Raiders in 1987. In 1987, Jackson had 396 at bats with 22 home runs, 53 RBIs and an on base percentage of .296 with the Kansas City Royals and he played in 7 games for the Los Angeles Raiders, rushing for 554 yards with 6 touch downs. He would continue to play for the Raiders for three more seasons before leaving the NFL and stayed in the MLB until 1994.
Deion Sanders, he once played a professional baseball game (where he hit a home run) and a professional football game (where he scored a touchdown) all in the same weekend! He would later attempt to play in both leagues on the same day, after playing with the Falcons in Miami Sanders went to Pittsburgh for Game 5 of the NLCS however, after he arrived he sat on the bench. He is also the only person to have rings from both the World Series and the Super Bowl.
Gene Conley, was a pitcher in the MLB for 11 seasons and concurrently played in the NBA for six. He is the only person to have a World Series ring and a NBA Championship ring.
While the number of athletes who have successfully played in multiple professional leagues may be few it does not mean that Tim Tebow cannot succeed as an outfielder after an attempt at a career as a quarterback. Only time will tell if Tebow will get to put on the orange and blue jersey in Queens but if and when he does, he could become part of an elite group of athletes in sports history.
Written by Kristen
He doesn’t seem to think so! Tom Brady announced that he would be on the cover of Madden NFL 18 titled the “G.O.A.T. Edition” while also poking fun at the “Madden Curse” and other superstitions such as breaking a mirror and walking under a ladder in a tongue and check video posted on Friday morning.
To understand the “Madden Curse” one must go back to 1998 when the first player on the cover was San Francisco 49ers running back, Garrison Hearst for Madden NFL 1999, he broke his ankle that year. Prior to this all covers featured John Madden, even this year saw two covers one with John and one with Garrison.
From there the curse snowballs, for the 2000 edition, the curse struck twice. Originally meant to include Barry Sanders on the cover, he abruptly retired which allowed for a new athlete to take the cover, Dorsey Levens. Levens and the Green Bay Packers played in two previous Super Bowls but Levens was bothered by a knee injury which led the Packers to finish 8-8 on the year.
Need further proof? In 2003, just days after Madden NFL 2004 featuring Michael Vick hit the shelves, Vick fractured his right fibula and only played in 5 games that season. The Falcons finished 5-11.
Madden NFL 2006 featured Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, Donovan McNabb. Coming off of a season where they lost the Super Bowl by just 3 points, McNabb would suffer a hernia in the first game of the 05-06 season. Though he went on to play for eight games he ended up needing surgery and missing the rest of the season having the Eagles finish in last place.
Brett Favre had an amazing 2007 season with the Green Bay Packers and retired after it, because of this he was selected to be on the cover of Madden NFL 2008. Then things took a turn. Favre decided he wanted to play and was traded to the New York Jets. Though things started off well for his new team, after a bicep injury he failed to put up ’07 numbers and the Jets did not make the playoffs.
In 2012 Cleveland Browns running back, Peyton Hillis was yet another victim of the “Madden Curse”. In 2011 Hills rushed for more than 1,100 yards, cut to his year on the cover of Madden and he didn’t even reach 600 yards. His production after being put on the cover was literally cut in half.
Brady will be the second New England Patriot to grace the cover in two years. Last year’s cover boy was Rob Gronkowski. The Patriots won the Super Bowl but Gronk missed it due to being put on the injured reserve for the entire postseason.
The New England quarterback turns 40 on August 3rd, will his age have a hand in any troubles he might have this season or will it be the “Madden Curse”?
Madden NFL 18 the “G.O.A.T. Edition” drops on August 25th you can reserve your copy now.
Written by Kristen
Whenever a game goes beyond the standard 9 innings, any innings that follow are looked at just as they’re titled, extra. These innings are being thrown in for free, and if your New York Yankees announcer, Michael Kay, you may even exclaim “bonus cantos” which he translates to mean “free Baseball” whenever this happens.
Earlier in the week, the Yankees played a game that had just that, free Baseball! Their game in Chicago ended in the wee-hours of the morning on Monday. The New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs played two games in one night, but it only counts as one loss Cubs fans, don’t worry.
What started Sunday night was your average baseball game, what ended Monday morning was a record breaking game that saw 44 strikeouts combine. This was the first game in MLB history where each team stuck out at least 21 times. Were the pitchers on fire? Or by the end of it, were the hitters just tired? Either way the game ended after 18 innings, which included both a 7th inning stretch and a 14th inning stretch.
Though a marathon, this game was actually not the most innings played in a game in MLB history, it isn’t even close!
Back in 1920, the Boston Braves and the Brooklyn Robins (pre-Dodgers) played 26 innings and the game ENDED IN A TIE because day became night and this was 1920 and the fields didn’t have lights. On top of that, both starters pitched all 26 innings, again in the 20’s there was no “bullpen”.
There are 2 games tied for 2nd. The first played in 1974, the St. Louis Cardinals at New York Mets with 25 innings and the second, in 1984 when The Milwaukee Brewers took on the Chicago White Sox. The latter is unique because, aside from the 25 innings it took to name a winner, this game was also played over the course of two todays. The game was halted in the 18th inning and resumed the next day where play continued for another six innings.
Tied for 3rd are two games that each took 24 innings to complete and that each involve the Philadelphia Athletics. The first from 1906, it was the A’s against the then Boston Americans (now Red Sox). The second game took place in 1945 with the Philadelphia Athletics taking on the Detroit Tigers. This game ended in a tie, each team scored a run in the 4th and 7th innings respectively and then, that was it.
The 4th longest game took place in 1964, the Giants and Mets played 23 innings at Shea Stadium. What makes this game special is it was the 2nd game in a double header! The two teams had already played your run of the mill, 9 innings BEFORE this 23 inning monster.
Coming in at 5th place for most innings played with 22, The Dodgers vs the Astros in 1989.
So while 18 innings may seem like a long game (and it is) there have been plenty other teams who have played for just as long, and longer.
Written by Kristen
Take me out to a ball game, but don’t buy me peanuts and cracker jacks…I’ll take the 16” brisket or the Apple Pie Nachos please!
Baseball stadium food has come a long way, gone are the days where one could just grab a hot dog from a cart, these days stadiums are fully equipped with food courts offering everything from pizza to sushi and each year stadiums introduce their new spin on food and fans around the country gobble it up! Below are just a few of the interesting items you’ll find at ballparks in the 2017 season.
SunTrust Park: Atlanta, Georgia
The “Tomahawk Chop Sandwich” can be enjoyed while taking in an Atlanta Braves game. This colossal sandwich features a fried pork chop, collard green slaw and white BBQ sauce. Did we mention one sandwich serves FOUR PEOPLE?
Globe Life Park: Arlington, Texas
Everything is bigger in Texas, and the Texas Rangers are not disappointing fans this year with their “M.V.T (Most Valuable Tamale)” this two-foot-long, tamale-filled hot dog includes jalapenos, cheese and sour cream.
Guaranteed Rate Field: Chicago, Illinois
Taking in a White Sox game? Chicago is trying to give Texas a run for their money! One could go quite big and grab the “Giant Smoky Pit Baked Grilled Mac & Cheese” which is a 16” Brisket Mac & Cheese Grilled Cheese.
PetCo Park: San Diego, California
If you’re feeling adventurous, The Padres have you covered with their “PB&J Wings”, yes that’s right we said peanut butter and jelly WINGS.
Coors Fields: Denver, Colorado
For those who have a sweet tooth, head out to a Rockies game and get yourself some “Apple Pie Nachos” apple pie filling over cinnamon sugar chips, topped with whipped cream and caramel. One word to describe this? YUM!
Chase Field: Phoenix, Arizona
Sweet and savory your thing? The Diamondbacks are serving up a “Chicken Funnel Cake Sandwich”, fried chicken between two funnel cakes topped with strawberry-granny apple jam.
Tropicana Field: Tampa Bay, Florida
Let’s talk about drinks for a second, if you have a hankering for a Bloody Mary, head down to a Tampa Bay Rays game and enjoy a “Brunch Bloody Mary”, served in a mason jar with a bacon, egg, chicken & waffles, and donuts kabob.
No matter who ends up winning the game you attend, you (and your taste buds) will leave the game happy with any of these treats!
Written by Kristen
It’s almost time to dust off the cleats and start swinging bats. Get your catcher’s gloves ready because baseball season is about to open up. While our favorite players are preparing with Spring Training, it’s time to start thinking how you can help your team win the Commissioner’s Trophy at the World Series. There are plenty of reasons to be superstitious during baseball season. With the curse of Bambino, the Billy Goat and Shoeless Joe, why not air on the side of caution? Honestly, what you do could affect how your team plays. So here are the top 5 superstitions for baseball fans to help their team get to the big game.
5. Wearing the Same Clothes - All sorts of superstitions begin with consistency. Wearing the same clothes to watch a baseball game could mean life or death for a fan’s favorite team. It is also recommended to not wash these lucky garments, so that the luck doesn’t go down the drain. Generally this rule only applies to visible clothing. Anything underneath can be washed. Try a few different pieces of baseball memorabilia while watching the game. One of them just might have a little luck on it. But don’t switch it up too much. That could cost a team the game.
4. Always Pay Attention to the Game – Life can send a few distractions, but a true fan knows when it’s okay to look away and when they need to keep their head in the game. Looking away for too long may cause the mind to wander and could end up losing the game. This superstition says it is important for fans to always pay attention.
3. Rally Cap – For late games, a rally cap is said to really turn the game around. Turning a cap inside out and backwards could improve how well a fan’s team is playing. Another cap related trick? To break out of a tie game, simply wear a hat backwards.
2. Never Miss the First Pitch – If fans want to be disappointed, missing the first pitch is the sure proof way to losing the game. Though the superstitions does give expectations to people coming home from work or school. With the first pitch the entire game is woven out. Not being in attendance for the beginning could lead to the game ending bad for everyone.
1. Changing Seats – If fans are at home or in the stadium, changing the position of where they are sitting could affect the turn out of the game’s final score. There is said to be plenty of ways to bring back a team by changing where a fan is sitting. If the team is winning, don’t move! Stay put and don’t think about winning. If that team is still winning by the seventh inning stretch, hold two pens and hold them until the end of the eighth inning. If the team hasn’t scored for seven innings, it’s time to sit on the ground. For help at home, a down on their luck player comes up to bat, fans can sit on the top of their couches to give the player a little something extra before they take the first swing.
A large question comes up in reference to superstitions and baseball. Is this just the players or is the entire game made up of superstitions? Some of our favorite players even engage in some good luck charms. Joe DiMaggio was known to always step on second base when returning from center field. Richie Ashburn would prepare for a big game by sleeping with his bat. More recently, Noah Syndergaard reportedly uses a certain foam roller to help improve his game. It also wouldn’t be baseball if the pitchers were shaving on game days.
If fans want to help their team, they should keep doing what they think helps them win. Keeping everything the same might be the best way to help your team, however more fun can be added to a routine with a few more superstitious behaviors. Regardless if any of this is true, attending a baseball game and showing a team support is appreciated by everyone involved.
Written by Kaza
The New England Patriots were down 21-3 at the half and they ended up setting two Super Bowl records.
The first quarter ended scoreless and with Tom Brady getting sacked, twice. The second quarter ended with the Pats down 21-3. In the third, things didn’t look any better after a missed a field goal kick cost them the extra point. It wasn't until the fourth where things got interesting. The fourth started with the Pats facing a 28-9 deficit. A successful field goal and touchdown brought the score up to 28-20.
With more than three minutes left in play, the Patriots were making their way down the field in an attempt to tie the game. The Falcons had the ball just out of their fingertips a few times but they could not successfully stop the drive. At the end of the fourth it was all tied up 28-28 and for the first time in Super Bowl history there would be overtime played.
As if the past 30 minutes weren’t exciting enough, the Patriots almost clinched the win when Tom Brady passed to Martellus Bennett in the end zone only to have a flag on the play. They would have to do it again, but could they get it done? The answer was yes. Though not in a flashy, catch the pass from Brady way. James White willed the upper half of his body across the end zone just as his knees dropped and with that, touchdown, 34-28 Patriots win. Also for the first time in Super Bowl history, a team came back from more than a 10 point deficit to win the game. Roger Goodell was on hand to present the trophy to Robert Kraft, through boos, and Tom Brady was named MVP.
If you weren’t watching for the game, chances are you paid more attention during the commercial breaks. There were a few familiar faces; Justin Bieber talked about the history of a touchdown dance for T-Mobile and in a double whammy, T-Mobile hit big again with Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart. In this tongue and cheek ad, Stewart tries to finish Snoop’s sentences only to fail miserably in pun heaven. The best pop music commercial moment? Has to be Christopher Walken giving a dramatic reading of one of the biggest pop songs of the 2000s, “Bye Bye Bye” for the fitting product, Bai, only to have the man himself, Justin Timberlake sitting next to him. Hashtag, BaiBaiBai.
The game, the commercials, what else makes a great Super Bowl? Oh that’s right, the halftime performance and for Lady Gaga, this was a performance more than 20 years in the making. The superstar has said she had been planning her Super Bowl halftime performance since she was 4 years old and leading up to the night there were many questions surrounding her performance. Will she make a political statement? Will she be joined on stage by anyone? Will she actually sing on top of the NRG stadium?
Never one to disappoint, Lady Gaga did just as she said she would. She opened her 13 minute solo performance with a medley of “America the Beautiful”, “This Land is Your Land” and recited “One nation, under God, indivisible for liberty, and justice for all” from the top of NRG stadium along with 300 drones (powered by Intel). Then, she was gone. Gaga propelled down from the roof top, Mission Impossible style and landed on a waiting pillar where she teased “Edge of Glory” then broke out into “Poker Face”. She then played her 2011 hit, “Born this Way” ending the song with, "I was born to be brave". Next up was “Telephone” and no Beyoncé did not show up. Lady Gaga filled the stage on her own. To prove she is not a one trick pony, Gaga played the keytar for “Just Dance” before maneuvering through the crowd to sing her new song “Million Reasons” at the piano. It was during this moment where she also gave a shout out to her mom and dad, Gaga’s new album Joanne is named after her late aunt. Gaga then closed with “Bad Romance”. When she was done she didn’t just have a mic-drop moment, she threw the microphone down and caught a football before jumping off of the stage into an unknown abyss.
Her political statements were subtle, not overt digs at one side or another but focused on bringing everyone together. Prior to her performance Gaga talked about the possibility of making a statement to which she said, “The only statements that’ll be making during the halftime show are the ones that I have been consistently making throughout my career”. Staying true to her word, herself and her fans Lady Gaga put on a performance that will no doubt fall on the side of “best” when halftime performances are ranked in years to come.
Written by Kristen
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