Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo MESPORTS SOUTH
Remember when they used to tell you as a kid, “Never Say Never!” Usually, at this point in time, all I live, breathe, and write is football from the SEC to the NFL. Hell, sometimes I am barely able to unpack a bag before it’s time to be back at it again. However, for the first time, my focus will not be on football.
We have all had to take a step back and adjust as we find the best play to make as we face-off against this widespread pandemic. While there is still a long road ahead to even be able to get sports back to some normalcy outside of the “bubble” model all isn’t completely lost.
In fact, the answer might just be in a place called Herriman, Utah. This afternoon you could say the 7 wonders of the professional lacrosse world that go by the names of Archers, Atlas, Chaos, Chrome, Redwoods, Waterdogs, and Whipsnakes are looking to continue to take not just lacrosse but the pro sports realm by storm.
Heading into its second season The Premier Lacrosse League has become a real mover and shaker not just in sports but in business and the momentum seems to keep building more and more even in the global pandemic.
Professional lacrosse has been around for some time but hasn’t been able to quite find its niche into the mainstream world of sports until the PLL decided it was time for a change in its 2019 debut season.
It’s no easy task to make an impact on the professional sports being the rookie in town. After all, in order to build something that will stand the test you have to be able to do more win over fans and fill upstands. You have to be one hell of a business to keep things from folding at any given time.
The PLL may be rookie in the world of sports in age but the moves they have made are far from that. In just a short time and even more so in a pandemic they have shown why many of the nation’s top sports business brands want to invest in what the Rabil brothers, legendary pro laxer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Paul and his brilliant business investor brother Mike is building.
The X-factor in their longevity is and will be their innovative approach in how they build the PLL not just as a sport but also as a business from top to bottom. They have continued to be a force that even in limitations has not stopped them from finding ways to creative ways to build their brand, bring professional lacrosse to a global audience and provide a platform that creates sustainability for athletes and coaches to be able to continue to pursue their livelihood as professionals.
So if the MLB’s debut was not as thrilling as expected ( I am still not sure about the cardboard cutouts and fake crowd sounds just yet but that’s another column)then don’t lose hope instead take a chance on professional lacrosse and get thrilling live sports to fix over the next two weeks.
The PLL returns with a new approach to the season. Today all seven teams will embark on a 20-game quarantine style tourney over the course of two weeks known as the Championship series to be broadcasted on NBCSports. The tournament will take place at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah from July 25-August 9. While fans will not be able to fill the stands there are plenty of ways that die-hards and newbies can get a taste of the PLL including being able to wager on their favorite teams exclusive new PLL partner DraftKings.
Championship Series Opening Weekend:
Saturday, July 25
Redwoods vs Whipsnakes
Time: 4 PM
Chrome vs Chaos
Time: 7:30 PM
Sunday, July 26
Atlas vs Waterdogs
Time: 4 PM
I never thought Lacrosse would take precedence over football in my work or life but never say never right. Honestly, I am glad to see other professional sports like the PLL emerge make their mark and case in the mainstream. We all need a little glimmer of hope with live sports back in our lives. Aside, from just a fan or media perspective it will be good to see professional athletes and coaches be able to return to their livelihood and somewhat get back a sense of normalcy they have yearned for during this time as we all have.
Today, those outside the lacrosse world will get to witness a special moment for those rookies who will get to make their professional lacrosse debuted. So many roads filled with trials and triumphed have led to this moment that is far beyond sports.
Even, I have to admit that my boys have grown more fond of playing lacrosse over football these days and they are ready to see their teams collide the Atlas, Archers,&Whipsnakes are their favorites. What team will you be rooting for? Make sure to check back for all the latest in the PLL Championship Series.
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Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo is a veteran SEC sports journalist and NFL beat writer. She is our Sr. Editor and columnist for MESPORTS digital. A Brown University graduate who loves good cigars, good games, and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @Misskyus2011