We're Back! First weekend in Bandit Land.
It felt really good to walk into the Key Bank Center in Buffalo, NY knowing that I would be able to throw the pads on and run with the Buffalo Bandits again. It seems like we’ve waited along time to get the NLL season underway but in the same breath it feels just like yesterday. I’m sure that doesn’t quite make sense to you, but as soon as I walked in the locker room to be greeted by Teddy Cordingly & Mclovin, sat in my stall and started chatting it up with the boys - it felt like we haven’t missed a beat.
Due to the CBA negotiations the first two weeks of the season were cancelled and rescheduled, this would mean camp would only be two weekends. All together that’s six sessions to make an impression and show the new head coaches that you deserve to be a Buffalo Bandit. As you may or may not know, the Buffalo Bandits made a coaching change this off season electing to move two GOATs to co-head coach. The legendary John Tavaras and fabled Rich Kilgour, whom both have their jersey’s hanging from the rafters in the Key Bank Center, will be coaching the Buffalo Bandits. Talk about motivation, try learning from the worlds best each opportunity you get to strap on the pads.
Just like other professional sports, although you have a contract it doesn’t mean you’ve made the team. Each and every player needs to earn their spot, maintain their spot and prove themselves each and every shift. That’s the beauty of professional sports, its unlike any other job in the world. Most occupations can allow for a mistake here or there and still have job security, not professional sports. That’s what I love about it, the competition. Out of all the Box Lacrosse players in the world, we are competing for 260 jobs.
As mentioned, we have six sessions to make an impression, state our case and prove we belong as Bandits. This weekend we had two practices and a scrimmage against the Philadelphia wings. The emphasis for this year’s Buffalo Bandits team is to run and gun, play tough nose defense and be consistent. So as you can imagine, the practices there was a good deal of competition, each player trying to catch the Coaches’ eye. The first session was open to the public and followed by a fan fest. On the field it was joked that there were more fans at our open practice then there was at all the Georgia Swarms’ regular season games! That shows you the strength in Bandit Land and why our fans are the best in the world!
The fan fest was an awesome opportunity to meet the faces of Bandit Land and thank them for their support. My man Frank Wesaw asked if I would mind signing his bicep and flexing with him in a picture, if you know anything about me - you know I always take an opportunity to flex!
Sunday would be another day to prove your worth, this time against another team: The Philadelphia Wings! It was amazing to be able to strap on the pads and play another team, everyone on the floor was hungry and competing so it made for some great lacrosse. Some of the top Bandits did not play but were active in coaching and supporting the men who did. With that being said, some Philadelphia Wing top players were out as well. The Buffalo Bandits played our game and ended up winning 16-8 in an empty Key Bank Center, this was a closed scrimmage.
This week we will be practicing in Six Nations, Ontario Tuesday night then back at it next weekend with a scrimmage against the old squad, the New England Black Wolves!
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