Saturday, January 15, 2011

Props to the Rush and CityTV

Kudos go out to CityTV and the Edmonton Rush.
Saturday night's game in Boston broke new ground by airing an away game on the Canadian network.
When I first turned the channel to 241 on BellTV, my first thought was damn, the production isn't very good.
But then I shook my head and thought about what this telecast actually means for the Rush, city of Edmonton, lacrosse and the league in general - this is great news.
Like most things in its infancy, there are lots of things to improve on, but the main thing here is the Edmonton Rush and NLL are on TV - and if you're like me and have BellTV, you could watch it in Ontario, or anywhere in Canada.
It's a huge step forward for the league and it sure beats watching on the internet.
Sure, CityTV didn't break the bank telecasting this game, but exposing the team, league and the sport to people that wouldn't usually watch it is a huge step in the right direction.
And according to Rush owner Bruce Urban, this step may be a launching point for something much bigger.
During his halftime interview with CityTV's Jason Gregor, he spoke about the IMG deal the NLL recently inked.
"IMG is a big deal," Urban said during the halftime show. "They represent some big names."
Among those names he referred to were Danica Patrick and Justin Timberlake.
"This is a great thing for our league," he said.
Urban spoke about how IMG is helping the NLL get a national TV deal set, so a game of the week will be aired nationally in the United State. He also said there are talks to broadcast these games of the week in Canada as well.
Besides the interview with Urban, Gregor spoke with Rush captain Brodie Merrill in a taped interview.
Despite some awkwardness, it was a great way to introduce fans to one of the team's and league's personalities. By showing that these guys playing in the NLL are just like you and I, it sells the league and its players to fans that haven't been exposed to the sport.
It truly shows that lacrosse and the NLL is blue-collar, which should be used as a selling point to the average Joe that loves sports.
Props to CityTV for recognizing the NLL is going in a positive direction and jumping on board.

- Darryl Smart

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