Tag Archives: Paul Burmeister

Lax Notebook: Weekend Takeaways From PLL & WPLL

NS Lacrosse Notebook

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

This past weekend, I made the trek to Gillette Stadium to witness the start of the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), as well as the second season of the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL).

Both leagues enjoyed successful starts to their respective seasons, especially the PLL, which needed overtime to decide two of their three contests.

The PLL is a new men’s professional league that was founded by Paul Rabil and his brother Mike Rabil and is touring the country this summer with games being played in major cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles. The league consists of six teams and can be seen on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) or NBC Sports Gold.

The WPLL, which competed for the first time last summer, is also touring the country, but playing a shorter schedule than the PLL. They will, however, share the same field later this month when the two leagues collide at Homewood Field in Baltimore, Maryland.

WPLL consists of five teams and features some of the best women’s lacrosse players in the country, including Kaya TreanorTaylor Cummings, and Kylie Ohlmiller.

Here are some thoughts from what I witnessed this past weekend from both leagues, specifically their social media presence, broadcasts and fan engagement.

The PLL’s Social Media Experience: For starters, I really enjoyed scrolling through the PLL’s social media channels this past weekend. I thought the content they produced was awesome. Even though I wasn’t there for every second of the first or second day, I felt their social media presence made me feel as if I was on the field competing with the players or cheering them on from the sidelines or stands. 

The PLL’s Vlog, which is run by RJ Kaminski, is something I also really liked. Kaminksi’s videos were extremely innovative but also engaging, as well. I loved his interactions with fans in the parking lot to his chats with the players and former New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi.

NBC Sports’ Innovative Broadcasts: Watching Sunday’s game between the Atlas and Redwoods brought back memories of what the network did when they produced the XFL. From micing-up players to watching Paul Burmeister interviewing those that were whistled for a penalty was extremely innovative for a television broadcast, but also more captivating than just showing goals, assists and replays over and over.

The NBC graphics were awesome, too – showing the line-ups, which look very similar to what fans of the National Football League (NFL) and National Hockey League (NHL) are used to seeing made it feel like a big-time production. And the Skycam, which provided another angle on the clears and goal-scoring opportunities was also a nice change from the typical side-to-side view.

Finally, I loved the interviews during the games, as well as the insight from players, too. Hearing what Myles Jones thinks about his upcoming opponent is a great way for NBC to bring its viewers even closer to the action, but also their favorite lacrosse players, too. And of course hearing Bill Belichick discuss his love for the sport and what position Tom Brady would play – goalie, for those that didn’t watch the interview – was something else I really enjoyed from Sunday’s broadcast.

WPLL on ESPN3: Having the WPLL’s games on an ESPN platform is an enormous victory for the league.

The WPLL deserves the same attention as any other professional league because it really does feature the best women’s lacrosse players in the country, and perhaps the world, too.

Fans of the game or perhaps general sports fans will certainly enjoy what they witness when they stream games over the next few weeks. Additionally, fans can watch games on their tablets or phones through the ESPN app.

The WPLL fan engagement: One thing the WPLL really wants to do this summer is to bring its game to its fans, as well as aspiring women’s lacrosse players, which they’re doing through clinics, including one this past Sunday, which was held at Gillette Stadium prior to the Fight edging the Pride, 6-4.

Engaging with new fans of the sport, as well as those that are playing, will certainly help grow the league’s recognition.

These are just a few thoughts from this past weekend, but I am certainly excited to produce more content on the PLL and WPLL over the next few weeks and months.

Ivy League Football Notebook: Can Yale Top Harvard In ‘The Game?’

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The Bulldogs of Yale will look to cap their season with a win over Harvard in ‘The Game.’ (PHOTO CREDIT: Yale Athletics | Jack Warhola mage)

By Bob Whitney (@WhitneyBob) 

Harvard’s shot at a share of the Ivy League title came to a screeching halt last Saturday in a less-than-inspiring 23-6 loss to the Penn Quakers 5-4 (3-3) at Harvard Stadium.

The Crimson 5-4 (4-3) are reduced to the role of spoiler as they head to New Haven on Saturday to face Yale in THE GAME.

The Crimson were never in position to challenge Penn as the Quaker’s Tre Solomon took the first possession of the game all the to the house on a 77-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0 and the Quakers never looked back.

The Harvard offense was contained all day by a veteran Penn defensive unit that limited the Crimson to a pair of field goals (24 and 32-yards) by Jake McIntyre.

Yale, with a 35-31 win last week over the Princeton Tigers, has clinched at least a share of the Ivy League title and can claim sole possession of the 2017 title with a win over Harvard on Saturday at the Yale Bowl, the Bulldogs first since 2006.

If the Bulldogs lose to the Crimson, Columbia and Dartmouth can also lay claim to a share of the title.

Yale sophomore quarterback Kurt Rawlings sparked the Bulldogs win over Princeton as he led the Bulldogs back from a 24-7 second quarter deficit. Rawlings was 26-for-34 for 304 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bulldogs freshman phenom running back Zane Dudek rushed 35 times for 180 yards and three touchdowns in the  come-from-behind win over Princeton. Eleven of his runs were for first downs, and he also caught six passes and finished with 212 all-purpose yards.

The Crimson defense will face a mountain of a challenge in defending Rawlings, who is having an MVP-type season and Dudek, who is the front-runner for National Rookie of the Year honors.

Harvard has failed to play consistent football but they have been a very dangerous team coming off a loss in the previous week.

Yale leads the series 66-59-6. The Bulldogs edged the Crimson 21-14 at Harvard Stadium last year.

The Game, in front of a sellout crowd at the Yale Bowl, has a 12:30 p.m. kickoff and it will broadcast live by CNBS Sports. Paul Burmeister and Ross Tucker have the call.

Bob’s Prediction: The Crimson give Yale all they can handle in THE GAME, but it’s the year of the Bulldogs! PREDICTION: Yale 24, Harvard 17

Around the Ancient Eight: Dartmouth 7-2 (4-2) will look to keep their title hopes alive when they host Princeton 5-4 (2-4), while Columbia 7-2 (4-2) plays host to Brown 2-7 (0-6).

A Yale win will be their first title since 2006, and their first outright title since 1980. Columbia has only one Ivy League title, in 1961, and Dartmouth is looking for its League-leading 19th title and first since 2015.

Yale quarterback Rawlings performance against Princeton earned his second Ivy Offensive Player of the Week award of the season (Sept. 18) and fourth career Ivy League weekly honor.

Yale’s Zane Dudek earned his fifth Ivy Rookie of the Week honor of the season, just the third Ivy to accomplish the feat, joining Harvard’s Eion Hu (six, 1994) and Princeton’s Chuck Dibilio (six, 2011).

With its recent win over Columbia, Yale claimed its 900th all-time victory. The Bulldogs are the third team in Division I history to accomplish the feat, joining Michigan and Notre Dame.

Penn superb senior wide receiver Justin Watson continues to climb the Ivy League record books. Watson is in second-place all-time with 3,585 receiving yards. He also ranks third in receptions (273) and fourth in receiving touchdowns (32).

Follow Bob for all the Yale football game highlights, features and more: @WhitneyBob

(Compiled from various Ivy League media outlets)