GURT'S BLOG: NO GOODBYESBlogs | 5/21/2014 11:25:22 AM | John Gurtler
It is tough to say goodbye. That’s why I didn’t on Saturday after the Bandits marathon playoff night in Rochester where they played Game Two, Two B, and Not to Be.
It all ends so abruptly and leaves you with an empty feeling.
But I think the Bandits, as a team, showed their true colors by putting back-to-back playoff wins together after that awful eight-game losing streak.
They met adversity during the season with Shawn Williams’s son Tucker’s battle with cancer. They grew even closer and united with spirit and emotion.
After the first loss of the season to Philadelphia, the team received a cold slap of reality across their face. Every team in the NLL this year could have on any given night as the rosters were loaded with talent.
The Bandits realized that and their 8-2 run was reflective of “buying into the system” and good old fashioned hard work – plus they all enjoy playing the game.
But what went wrong for the eight games after that? It remains a mystery. I am glad the team was able to shake that and leave the season with a good effort, despite the loss.
This is a good nucleus of players and the Bandits will continue to improve. Director of Lacrosse Operations Scott Loffler and GM Steve Dietrich will continue to improve the Bandits as they did so aggressively this past off-season.
Many of the Bandits now move right into their summer indoor season schedule with their respective teams in across Canada. In addition, the 2014 World Lacrosse Championships are set for this July in Denver.
A total of 38 nations will play 142 outdoor games over 10 days beginning July 10. Randy Mearns will be the head coach of Team Canada, and he’s been in full-swing preparing for this event.
Most importantly, the support of you, the fans, has been nothing short than amazing. I hope the production team from AT&T in Los Angeles spends a segment or two on the loyal and passionate fans of Banditland. It’s a good reflection of how grateful we are.
And that is why I am not going to say goodbye.