Hello everyone! So sorry for the lack of entries. I am back and ready to share what''s going on with me. Let''s see, here''s a quick recap of the last several months. For starters, another year, another MLL championship, this time with the Toronto Nationals. This second title was HUGE, as I felt I had an even bigger role on the team. Recently, the USA National Team roster was announced. Unfortunately, yours truly did not make the squad. I have had a ton of support, and thank you so much to all true fans! I definitely do not agree with leaving my name off the squad, but hey, I do believe in karma - Canada is solid, enough said.
Now it''s on the the NLL season. We have already had two weekends of training camp, so the season is already in full swing. Tomorrow evening we scrimmage the Orlando Titans up in Six Nations. Should be a nice test, as we get to see where we stand as a team. John Grant Jr is back after missing a year due to ACL surgery; having him back alone gives our squad a huge advantage. Anything short of an NLL championship is a failure this season.
Well, I am watching a very interesting story on 20/20 right now. Long story short, a dying woman is influenced to sign her will to two guys that aren''t her family members - SKETCHY. Commercial break''s over, gotta go!
I''ll be back this weekend for an update on how the scrimmage went and more!
Free Gold Watch
Just thought I would share a little write up that Free Gold Watch did on their blog. I will be doing an official blog about FGW shortly, but thought I''d share this in the meantime.
Let''s see, so much to talk about. First off, Thanksgiving; definitely my favorite holiday of the year, as I think it has true meaning and not superficial and materialistic like most holidays have become. I got the chance to catch up with family in Buffalo at my sister Michelle''s house. I spent the majority of the time watching my little nephew Joe run around talking up a storm. Of course, the food was amazing, finished two plates, not to mention thanksgiving meals for the following few days from leftovers. I am definitely getting my nephews lacrosse sticks and mini goals for Christmas so they can start the TAKEOVER.
As I have mentioned, I am playing for the Knighthawks. We completed training camp and just had our first scrimmage this past weekend against Minnesota. I''ll be honest, I am NOT a huge fan of practice, I guess that''s the Allen Iverson in me, so training camp was pretty grueling. Box lacrosse is so different from field lacrosse, so although I dreaded training camp, it was very helpful in learning the game and adjusting. We beat Minnesota 14-10, and I scored 2 goals, and had several other opportunities that I just missed, so I am starting to have fun with the transition and look forward to getting the season started and working towards our goal - NLL Champions. We have our second scrimmage this Sunday against Toronto, so hopefully that goes well and we keep building as a team. Back to the topic of practice. We practice every Wednesday up in Six Nations, Ontario, which is two and half hours away. So on top of the fact that I am not a huge fan of practice, tack on 5+ hours of travel!
I''ve been listening to Kanye''s new CD, 808''s & Heartbreak. At first I didn''t know how I felt, but after listening to the whole CD a few times I can''t stop listening. He has definitely proven that he is much more than hip hop/rap on this new CD. A few of my favorites are Say You Will, Paranoid, RoboCop, and Street Lights. Below is the link of a recent interview with Kanye on his trip to New Zealand. It''s over a half hour long, but I recommend taking the time to listen, as he opens up about a lot of topics - his album, Pastelle (his clothing line releasing January ''09), the Paparazzi (which I strongly agree with), James Bond (or anti-Bond), etc. http://www.3news.co.nz/Full-news-conference-with-Kanye-West/tabid/315/articleID/82341/cat/100/Default.aspx#video
I just saw Four Christmases, starring Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon. Overall, it was a good flick, but I thought it was a wannabe The Break Up, which starred Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston (one of my favorite movies). Vince Vaughn is absolutely hilarious, so it is worth seeing any comedy he stars in. Check it out.
Some big college football games this weekend, mainly the SEC championship with Florida taking on Alabama. I am not sold on Alabama at all, they jumped up to the polls when they beat Georgia, which seems like ages ago and since then have quietly remained undefeated. I think Florida is going to beat them easily, especially at a neutral site. The other "big" game is the Big 12 championship, which is going to be like a scrimmage for Oklahoma, as they take on Missouri. I''m calling it now, Florida and Oklahoma in the national championship game, with Oklahoma taking the title this year. We''ll see how it pans out...
That''s it for now. Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the holidays. Be easy...
Trapped in Paradise
Aloha! I have been patiently waiting for this tournament for a while now, even before the LaxVegas, so here I am, in Hawaii! Getting off the plane yesterday evening at sunset was absolutely breathtaking, with the sky looking like the full spectrum of colors and mountain peaks in the horizon. I have been fortunate enough to travel all over the country and world throughout my short life thus far, but never Hawaii. After taking the cab to the hotel in Waikiki, I can already say it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Although this is vacation, I am here to play lacrosse as well. I am playing with Wimmer Solutions, who has put together a ridiculous roster, names such as Casey Powell, Ryan Powell, Colin Doyle, Brodie Merrill, Kyle Harrison, Kevin Huntley, Eric Martin, Steven Brooks, Justin Smith, and Brett Queener just to name a few, yeah pretty serious. It is going to be a blast getting on the field with these guys and hopefully winning the title, most likely playing Crease Monkeys, who has put together a squad of MLL guys as well.
Traveling from the east coast was tough, with the 6 hour time difference, so last night I laid low and got some great rest. Our hotel is right on the beach and our room is poolside, not a bad set up. Since Kyle and I rested up we are planning up getting up soon (it''s 6:30am as I write this) and renting mo-peds, or "hogs" as they call them for the weekend as our means for transportation. I am definitely excited to travel around and see much more than the shops and restaurants of Waikiki, although walking down the main strip last night finding dinner couldn''t have been more pleasant, with people roaming, street entertainment, and feeling the warm breeze from the ocean. Our first game today is at 3pm, so plenty of time to wander around. There is actually a bunch of stores here in Hawaii to hit up, so definitely need to keep that on the "to-do" list.
Well, that''s about it for now, just watching the Fresh Prince of Bel Air on TV in Hawaii, what could be better!?
I will definitely be checking back in ASAP with trip happenings.
Be easy and happy Friday...
Swagger on a Hundred Thousand Trillion
What's up everyone!? A lot to write about. Couldn't get much sleep last night, even up here in Rochester we are feeling the effects of Hurricane Ike. We had 58mph winds and apparently 40,000 people are without power, luckily my power is going strong. Anyways...
So we won the MLL Steinfeld Cup!!! It was an amazing end to the summer, finally winning a big time title. Playing in the MLL is definitely tough, with everyone working and doing their own thing it is challenging coming together as a team and performing at our fullest potential. After 7 games this summer we were 4-3 and our season could have went either way. We made a few big changes - switching Colin Doyle to attack and moving Casey Powell up to midfield, and having Brett Queener split the game with Mike Levin in goal. I was pumped to have CP running middie with me, as I have mentioned before he was one of my biggest idols growing up and having an opportunity to play on the same line as him was pretty ridiculous! I think he gained a new level of respect for me as a player, which really helped my confidence. These two changes really turned our season around, as we won the remaining 7 games. Championship weekend in Boston was everything I hoped for, great weather, a solid crowd (around 10,000), and hoisting the cup. Our first game against Philly was one of the best games I have ever played in. We were up by 3 in the second half, but like a champ, Philly fought back and tied it up. Going in to overtime it was a weird feeling; I knew Alex Smith was going to win the faceoff (which he did) but of course I was nervous too, who knows what could happen. After winning the faceoff we got on the field and Kyle Sweeney chose to guard me leaving CP with a short stick defender, which was the first time all game. Needless to say, I got the ball to him, and seconds later he put the ball in the net for the overtime win and the celebration started. Following the game we had less than 24 hours to recover and play for the title, and with a quick turnaround it was imperative to stay off the feet and rest up. The evening before the Philly game a bunch of us had dinner in "Little Italy" so we had to do the same before the championship against Denver. On Sunday, there was a good feel in the locker room, guys seemed rested and ready to play. The first half was pretty even, but we knew we weren't playing good lacrosse at all. We were up 6-5, so you would think we would be happy with a lead, but that was definitely not the case. The mood in the locker room was "pissed off" and it showed in the 3rd quarter as we blew open the lead en route to a 16-6 win! I was so relieved to finally have a title under my belt and earning playoff MVP was a nice little bonus (although you could pick a name out of a hat with our team for any MVP award). So summer flew by and winning the 'ship with such a great group of guys was truly amazing, but now I'm already looking forward to putting the Rattlers jersey on next summer and creating a DYNASTY!
Next up, NLL? Yep, I am strongly considering playing indoor this year. I have always found the game exciting and I am intrigued with the challenge of playing a new style of the game. The biggest issue that has kept me from playing is the committment (giving up every weekend for 6 months), BUT, I am living in Rochester and it might make sense to get on board with the Knighthawks and give it a go. No matter what I do, I want to put my heart and soul into it. So whoever I play for I am playing to win an NLL championship and be the best player I can possibly be. I'll keep you posted on this...
I'm currently watching cribs (old episodes), and Mariah Carey is showing off her NYC pad. I think she is very talented, but she seems pretty gaudy. The thing that is annoying me the most is she has to switch outfits to show different parts of her house, seriously? On top of that, she keeps referring to her outfits as "ensembles," which I cannot stand for some reason. I'm actually waiting on STX (with Mission Media) to get up here to do a cribs with me, and one things for sure, I will have one OUTFIT on for the entire tour!
This week I am heading out to San Fran for an STX event on Wednesday. The crew is then heading to Las Vegas Thursday for another event followed by the Las Vegas Lacrosse Tournament, or "Lax Vegas" as they call it. I'll have my camera and will be recording a bunch of footage throughout the weekend. Should be a good time, I am looking forward to seeing a bunch of friends and hopefully leaving Sin City a rich man.
Some songs I've been listening to non-stop that are off the chains...
*Go Hard - DJ Khaled (w/ Kanye & T-Pain)
*Out Here Grinding - DJ Khaled
*Peace Sign/Index Down - Gym Class Heroes
*Cookie Jar - Gym Class Heroes (w/ The Dream)
*Wish You Would - Ludacris (w/ TI)
*Whatever You Like - TI
I saw Righteous Kill last night, which stars Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. Definitely go check it out, they still are killing the acting game. Something I find pretty cool is De Niro is such a quiet/calm/mello person off camera. After seeing him in movies like Goodfellas, Casino, etc, you would think that he would be a loose cannon off camera, but in reality he is the complete opposite of those characters, further showing how great of an actor he is (one of my favorites).
Well, that's all I got for right now. I'll check back in from Vegas babbbbbbbbby!
I Put On...
What''s new everybody!? It''s been a minute, a lot to catch up on. For starters, I just finished up an outstanding Sharp Shooter Academy Summer Tour! It was great traveling around the country and working with kids of all ages for a few days at a time; no matter where I was and who I was working with, one thing was evident, everyone had a passion for the sport and improving their shooting! Next up, getting the fall/winter tour planned, which I am working on.
Last time I wrote I was playing in the MLL All-Star game, well, the outcome wasn''t so good for our Eastern Conference squad, as the West destroyed us. Nevertheless, it was a great experience and I am honored I was voted an All-Star. For those of you who watched on ESPN2, you must have seen the fastest shot and freestyle competitions. I ended up shooting a 99 in the fastest shot, which is the fastest I have EVER shot and I got boo''d! Oh well, I''ll keep putting the ball in the net with my "slow" shot. In the freestyle competition I chose to pay tribute to some of sports icons - Michael Jordan and John Elway. With the help of Brett Hughes (LA Riptide), we heard a roar from the crowd when we revealed our Denver Broncos attire, but ultimately it was Chazz Woodson''s acrobatics that won the competition - this cat is crazy athletic.
It''s now time for the MLL Playoffs! Since the All-Star game we have won 4 games in a row, and eying up the Steinfeld Cup. Our team is playing unselfish lacrosse, which is what we failed to do in our 3 loses this year. This core of guys have been together for a few years now, and the team chemistry that is so tough to establish in this league is starting to show. Our semifinal game is Saturday at noon against the Barrage, who are the 2X defending champions. We beat them in our two meetings this year, but those wins are meaningless in the playoffs. There is a reason they have won the Cup 2 years in a row - they know how to win when it matters. We will have our hands full, but we are definitely confident that if we play our game/style we will come out on top. The game on Saturday is live on ESPN2 (noon), so make sure you check it out! Besides high school and ACC championships, I have never really won a significant championship (lost in 3 NCAA final fours, lost in the World Games, and came up short in the MLL playoffs), so I am really pumped for this weekend and the potential to finally win a ring. This past week the MLL has been announcing the end of season award winners. We had 4 on the All-MLL Team - Jr, Brodie Merrill, Alex Smith, and myself. Also, Jr was named the Offensive POY and Brodie was named Defensive POY, and I am pretty sure Jr will be named league MVP - not too bad!
On to the Olympics. I mean, it''s really been about Michael Phelps. 8 competitions and 8 gold medals, seriously!? He''s turned into the most popular athlete/figure in the world right now, pretty ridiculous for a 23 year old. I was having a conversation with my dad about this, how much longer can he go on swimming at this level? We were talking about the training that goes into swimming. It seems much different from practicing/training for lacrosse or basketball, etc, where it can be fun; swimming just seems brutal and like torture (laps all day in the pool). But unlike team sports, where a team can will its way to a win, in swimming (like track) it''s all about the stop watch. When Phelps is no longer swimming the times good enough to win, he''ll walk away, at least I hope so. I just watched the Argentina Vs. Greece basketball game. Argentina won by 2 and advances to the semifinals to take on Team USA! We have won every game handily, but Argentina will be a tough one. They have a few guys who can shoot the lights out, oh yeah, and a guy named Ginobili who led them to a gold medal in the ''04 Olympics. Now I know there''s more to it, but I have to believe Lacrosse deserves to be an Olympic sport over Table Tennis! There are a few Olympic sports I just don''t get how made the cut, but maybe someday lacrosse will get the nod.
The other day Kyle Harrison and I were driving home from Ocean City and we stopped off at the outlets before the bay bridge. When I was shopping in the Polo outlet I had a lady come up to me and started listing off what she was looking for and for my assistance. Ok, so I was wearing a Nike Sharp Shooter Lacrosse T-Shirt, mesh shorts, and had sunglasses on and was clearly shopping. What about me said "I work at Polo, can I help you?" Come on people, would you think.
Oh, a few of my favorite songs right now. "Out Here Grinding," by DJ Khaled, "Put On Remix," by Young Jeezy and Jay-Z (also the normal version with Kanye West), "Jockin Jay-Z," by Jay-Z, and my newest favorite is, "Go Hard," by DJ Khaled with Kanye West and T-Pain - ENJOY!I
Well that''s about it for now, we leave for Boston early Friday morning, so I have a few days to get some shooting/workouts in. I''ll be back this weekend from Boston and fill you all in on the trip.
Visit the "ask it" section. Be easy...
What's up everyone!? It's been a while, I apologize for the delay. This has been a busy/great summer thus far. For starters, Kyle and I wrapped up our Summer '08 Run N' Gun Lacrosse Camps, ending with our best camp to date - Holland, MI. Our goal now is to examine all of our markets and pick what time of year makes most sense to hold camps there, as well as starting camps in a few new promising markets. Needless to say we are very excited working with kids across the country and helping spread this great sport.
With the conclusion of RG camps, my Sharp Shooter Academy's begin next week in Indianapolis/Dallas, then DC/CT, finishing up with Cinci/Chicago. Teaching my favorite part of the game is a blast, especially in a small group setting (30 students). If you are interested in the Academy coming to your area, let me know, I'm all ears.
Moving on, this has been a bitter sweet season thus far with the Rattlers. We are 5-3, which sits just behind the Barrage (although we have beaten them twice this year), so we are in great shape. Prior to this past weekend we lost 3 out of 4 games, which was very frustrating for our team. It was evident in those loses that when things go sour during a game, our team turns into a monster and self-destructs. We weren't playing TEAM ball and making all of those hustle plays. Now before this past game, we had a long talk/a bunch of emails and we put a new emphasis on every game being a playoff game (win or go home). The result, we played our best game to date and beat up on the Washington Bayhawks 19-6. We had 9 different goal scorers, which is uncommon in this league and to hold any opponent to 6 goals is pretty ridiculous. Now we have another loss to avenge, NJ this weekend. I know that if we play the way we played against DC, it will be a fun rest of the season!
I'm actually heading out to the All Star game today out in Denver. I was fortunate enough to make the team and I am pretty excited to get out there and perform alongside guys I have never played with. I am also in the fastest shot competition, which I don't think I have any chance winning (and that's not being negative, but realistic). I have a fast shot, don't get me wrong, but my strength is getting a fast shot off as quick as I can, not just winding up for a few seconds and shooting. On top of the fastest shot, I am also doing the freestyle competition, which at first I was hesitant, but after talking it over with some friends, I am pretty excited about it. I have a few shots from behind the goal that will be NBA-like (that's all I'm giving you) and some celebrations that are NFL-like. There should be a HUGE crowd for the game, so it is going to be a great atmosphere. Make sure you tune in, tomorrow (Thursday the 17th) live on ESPN2 at 10pm EST.
Well I am about to head to the field and practice for this freestyle competition. I'll get at you all in a few days recapping this trip. Hope everyone's summer is going well. Hit up the "ask it" section and feel free to ask anything you feel appropriate.
For the first time since 2003, we won our season opener! It wasn't pretty, but we still put together a solid performance/win over Long Island 16-10. As I mentioned, this was the FIRST time our team was together and it showed early as we struggled putting the ball in the net. But, we fought through it and adapted to each others game quickly and played a dominant 2nd half. The only guy we were missing was Brodie Merrill, who was tied up playing in the NLL Championship (they lost a close one to Buffalo), so next weekend we will have our complete roster on the field against Boston. We could see in the second half that we have the potential to have a very successful season, and with a win tonight, we took one step in the right direction. Our game next week is Friday night in Boston at 7:30, and will be televised nationally live on ESPN2, so definitely check it out!
Well that's it for the evening, I'm heading back home tomorrow bright and early with my Dad and ferociously soft Bulldog, Rambo.
As always, feel free to shoot me an "ask it," about anything you have on your mind.
Until next time...
What’s going on everyone!? I apologize for the delay; I’ve been pretty busy the past few weeks as the summer quickly approaches. Well I am sitting here on this miserable bus ride down to Long Island for our season opener tomorrow night and wanted to catch up on what has been going on. Pre-season, or lack there of was more like an open tryout for our team. The majority of our guys were tied up finishing their NLL seasons, so it served as a great opportunity for a number of players to show off their skills and what they have to offer. So our walk through tomorrow at 3:30 (game at 7) will be our FIRST time together as a team, yeah hmmm, not too sure if that’s a good thing, but we will find a way to win! I am very excited to get this season started. Last year I felt more comfortable playing after learning the MLL style and feel that I am ready to build off of that this year. Our team is pretty confident, as we know we have the right elements to be a championship team, and we will accept nothing less. On paper, our line up is scary, but it’s always how a team comes together in the MLL, so that is our obstacle.
As for the summer, I am pleased to announce the Sharp Shooter Academy Summer Tour ’08 schedule, which kicks off this July in Indianapolis and ends in August in Chicago. Check out the Academy section for the complete tour schedule and information. I have received nothing but positive feedback on the program and I cannot wait to continue passing on my knowledge of shooting to our games future stars. It’s crazy, I never would have thought I would have an Academy in Cincinnati, or Dallas, etc, but lacrosse is booming in these areas, which shows the rapid growth of the sport. I should also add that the first 15 (out of 30) to sign up for each Academy receive a FREE STX G22 head, not a bad deal! Believe it or not, I am already thinking ahead for the Fall Tour ’08, so if you have any suggestions for where to bring the Academy, please feel free to shoot me an email me.
Changing pace here, how about the NBA Playoffs! Some pretty intense series this year; I know I’m pulling for New Orleans, as Chris Paul has emerged as one of the best/dominant players in the league. I’m thinking Lakers Vs. Hornets in the West and Pistons Vs Celtics (although I’m pulling for Lebron and the Cavs) in the East, then a classic Lakers Vs. Celtics match-up in the finals.
Earlier this week I drove to and from Maryland/DC, and on these drives I usually like to listen to music on the radio. This past trip I’m pretty sure every station I tuned into had Lollipop by Lil Wayne as their top song of the day. It’s definitely a catchy song, but check out the Lollipop Remix featuring Kanye, definitely the jumpoff.
Well we are just pulling into the hotel in Long Island; I am very tired and can’t wait to get some sleep (sleeping on this uncomfortable bus was damn near impossible). I will write again tomorrow night after the game. Until then, be easy and have a good one.
Uh Uh You Can't Tell Me Nothin'
What's up everybody!? Checking in from sunny Hermosa Beach, CA where I am staying with my buddy's Kyle Harrison and Brett Hughes. I have been meaning to get out here for a while but we have all been so busy traveling with work, and this is the last week that works before training camp starts for the MLL. My sleeping cycle is a bit out of wack; I was in Grand Rapids, MI for an STX event and had to be up at 3am for the flight out here (3 flight connection), so pair a lack of sleep with a 3 hour time difference - not pretty!
A few weeks ago I was reading a review for Kanye West's Glow in the Dark Tour, in which it said the show was "out of this planet." I checked out the tour dates and couldn't believe it was in LA 4/21 (the day after getting here). So I got right on ebay and found 4 tickets (myself, Kyle, Brett, and Xander Ritz). Last night was definitely the most impressive performance I have ever seen in person. The concert kicked off with Lupe Fiasco, and that in itself is hard to believe; the opening act for the concert is one of the hottest names in hip hop. Next up was N.E.R.D. who is headed by Pharrell. Not many people knew any of the words to their songs, but they rocked the crowd for sure. Rihanna followed, as she performed all of her hit songs. These 3 acts are good enough to be concerts alone. but everyone in the sold out crowd was there to see Kanye. The stage was designed like a planet in outer space and Kanye's outfit was something like gladiator meets high fashion, definitely unique. He absolutely killed it, performing 15 or so songs that had everyone in the audience singing/rapping every word. He was up on stage solo, no dancers, none of his boys, no one. He went through song after song, taking no breaks, keeping the entire audience on their feet and electrified. It was so intense and engaging that I found myself absolutely exhausted when the concert was over (lasted from 7:30-12:00). I can honestly say Kanye is the best performer I have ever seen and it would take way too much to top his performance. If you have a chance to see this tour, don't let it slip by, you will regret it for sure. I'm definitely keeping my eyes open for tickets and an opportunity to see Kanye live again, it was that good!
Well, just watched Chris Paul put up another huge game (32 points and 17 assists) against the Mavericks. He is playing at another level right now, dominating Jason Kidd, and oh yeah, he's only 22. I don't know who I want to win it all this year; I know I would like to see the Celtics from the Eastern Conference, but then again I can't forget about Lebron and the Cavs. The West has too many good teams that I enjoy watching; the Lakers, Suns, and of course Chris Paul and the Hornets. Whoever ends up playing in the finals it is guaranteed to be a big match-up.
I will get a chance to play a little lacrosse for the rest of the week out here in LA. Kyle and I are going up to UCSB to practice with their team on Thursday so I am excited to get suit up and run around. Another college, Chapman, supposedly has a bunch of really good players that choose to stay out here and play in college rather than go to college on the east coast. Initially this didn't make too much sense to me, but after thinking about it I can understand why a kid wouldn't want to leave home in California (what they are used to), which just takes one day in this weather and a view of the ocean to figure out.
I'll post again soon, I hope all is well and you are all tearing it up this season! As always, feel free to "ask it."
Back in the States
What’s going on everyone? I was hoping to write a new entry while I was in Rome, but accessing the internet wasn’t an easy process, plus we were busy exploring the beautiful city of Rome. I finally have a few hours (8+ hours to be exact) on this flight back to the states to gather my thoughts on this trip. The majority of the trip was a vacation, spent seeing the historical sites, which was absolutely breathtaking. I was most impressed and blown away how these beautiful architectural structures are still standing. Kyle Harrison and I were fortunate enough to have a personal “tour guide,” Fabio Antonelli, to show us the sites and give us his cultural knowledge on what we were seeing, as he was born and raised in Rome. Fabio is 22 years old and juggling so much right now. He has introduced lacrosse to Italy, and is more or less the one running the show. On top of that he is a student and also works, needless to say he has a lot on his plate. He organized a small lacrosse tournament for our trip, in which players from Germany, Austria, Finland, and of course all over Italy played. We put on two clinics during the tournament. It was fun working with players from all over the world and it was nice seeing how willing to learn they were. I went in to the clinics thinking it would be difficult communicating, but was pleasantly surprised to find that as long as we talked slower they understood most of what we were saying. We took some great video footage of the trip, so once it is edited I will get it up in the videos section.
I spent most of the trip trying to soak in as much of the Italian language as possible. I’m pretty sure I said “ciao” 1,000 times, what can I say I’m friendly. On the topic of learning and memorizing, our apartment did not have a TV (not like it would have had American channels anyways) so Fabio gave us the only English DVD’s he had to hold us over (as well as DVD’s we brought for the plane); let’s just say we have completely memorized Old School, Dave Chappelle’s For What It’s Worth, Bourne Ultimatum, The Break Up and Rush Hour 3.
One of the things I was most looking forward to out of the trip was eating authentic Italian food, which has always been one of my favorite cuisines. The food surpassed my expectations, especially the Arrabiata sauce and Spaghetti Alla Carbonara and of course the pizza. The only issue we had was THAT WAS ALL THERE WAS TO EAT. In the US we are fortunate enough to have several cuisines to choose from for each meal, so eating spaghetti/pizza constantly did get repetitive, but it was worth it.
Perhaps the funniest part of the trip was hearing Fabio talk. He speaks English well, but just like when we took Spanish growing up, it is easy to mess up tenses. Fabio’s biggest issue was contradicting himself often. When he picked us up from the airport on the first day he hit us with one that still has us dying. When I asked him where exactly our apartment was in relation to where all the action is he responded, “It is in the center, but not in the center at all.” In reality our apartment was 2 metro stops from the Centro (downtown), which is very close, but this is the only way he knew how to say that. When the video is up be sure to check out a few more he had that are hilarious.
All in all the trip was amazing! We are in the works of organizing a return trip this fall to hold our Run N’ Gun Lacrosse Camp, which will attract players from all over Europe. On the topic of RG, our website is up and running with our Summer Tour ’08 schedule. Check it out at www.runngunlacrosse.com.
We are flying into NYC and doing a little shopping today and heading back down to Baltimore tomorrow. It will be a busy few days as I fly to Dallas this weekend for an autograph signing at Dick’s Sporting Goods, but when that is over I will be back in Rochester, travel-free for a few weeks, definitely looking forward to it!
I have gotten some great questions in the “ask it” section, keep them coming. Hope all is well with you all. Thanks for checking in.
Be easy, ciao!
When in Rome
Well it's been a busy few weeks everyone. I have been away each weekend for the last month with the Sharp Shooter Academy and I can honestly say I am thrilled with how the initial Academies have gone. It is so rewarding when I receive emails from parents and players who have attended and express their gratitude, so for all of you that came this winter, thank you! I am in the process of planning the Summer Tour of Academies, so if you have an idea for a venue, please feel free to shoot me an email and we can discuss.
Tomorrow is a big day, as soon as the DC Academy ends at 1pm I am hustling to Penn Station in Baltimore to catch a train up to NYC and meeting up with Kyle Harrison to get over to JFK and leave for ROME at 10pm! I am so excited to take this trip; I've been to Europe many times with my family when I was younger, but never got over to Italy. The weather looks perfect and from what I hear we are just beating the tourist rush, which might make seeing the sites and exploring the city more enjoyable. There is nothing worse than walking in huge crowds of camcorders and maps. We have a clinic scheduled for next Saturday, which leaves the rest of the time purely vacation, not a bad gig.
I know March is a huge college basketball month, but I've found myself more checking in on the NBA and how the Western Division is panning out. The Suns are my team, but I don't know if I like how Shaq fits with the squad. When I heard the trade rumors I thought it was foolish; why not play the rest of the season out and make a run like they do every year and draft a big man out of college/Europe? Doesn't seem that beneficial to trade for a 36 year old who does not have the legs anymore for their Run N' Gun style like Shawn Marion did, who cannot be happy with the Miami Heat! Anyways, just my thoughts, I hope they pull it together and start D-ing up, so they can compete with the Lakers/Spurs/Warriors/etc.
Back to the Rome trip; a few days ago I was talking with my parents about how weak the US Dollar is, it's depressing. How can we call ourselves a powerful nation when our dollar is becoming weaker and weaker? I was planning on doing some good shopping on this trip, but after checking the conversion rate, let's just say I won't be eating while I'm there (just kidding, sorta).
That's all I got for now, I have gotten some great questions from you guys, keep em coming and I will post my answers. I'll be posting again in the next few days from Rome. Be easy - Ciao...
What's up people?! Sorry for the delay, it has been insane lately with everything that has been going on. Here's a quick recap:
It was a blast playing in Orlando with Team USA. Putting on the red white and blue again felt amazing and it was a great opportunity playing with some new faces. We ended up beating Duke 13-12, but I give the Dukies credit (which is very tough doing as a Terp), they played a great game, even without their top gun Matt Danowski. They like to push the ball in transition, which I feel the college game needs more of. Aside from the actual game, which was on Sunday, we didn't have too much of an opportunity to be the little kids we were hoping to be at Disney World. Because it was the first time this version of Team USA had played together, we had a bunch of practices to prepare, anyone who plays sports knows it is always tough to adjust to others playing styles. I flew back up to Rochester that Monday with my parents who came down for the game. Jet Blue is perhaps my favorite airline; it has the most legroom in coach and Direct TV, which is a HUGE selling point for me.
The next weekend I got a chance to see Maryland scrimmage Loyola and Delaware. A few of their starters were injured so it was tough to get a complete read on them, but from what I saw, things look bright this season! I think they have a good mix of youth (should have up to 5 freshman starters) and experience returning. They will have a big test in their first regular season game against rival Georgetown, who they lost to for the first time in Coach Cottle's career last season. I hope to catch a few of their games this season, which will be tough juggling my busy schedule.
Perhaps the biggest news in the last few weeks is I am a first-time home owner! It is exciting having the opportunity to decorate and furnish a home from scratch. The house is located on beautiful East Ave in downtown Rochester. I am a big fan of high ceilings, and in the living room this place has a 20 foot ceiling that sold me the first time I walked in. When everything is moved in Inside Lacrosse will come up for a cribs which will give you a more in depth look at the place.
Besides that I have been working hard on this upcoming summer. With Run N' Gun Lacrosse Camps on our second year, we are VERY pumped to get everything rolling. I am also working on getting the Sharp Shooter Academy Summer Tour organized with 5 or 6 stops, I have 4 set and am looking for 1 or 2 additional locations, so if you are interested please feel free to contact me. Lastly, invites will be going out in the next few days for the Standout Lacrosse Camp, which is an invite-only recruiting camp here in Rochester catering to the talent of Upstate New York.
Anyone catch Rob and Big last week when they set a ton of Guiness World Records? It was pretty impressive, but my Dad and I gave the banana record a run. We were both successful, they key to this record is not fumbling around when peeling each banana, where it is easy to lose time. The episode prior they took Meaty to a dog talent agency and he was able to score a photo shoot. I am pretty sure my bulldog Rambo has the potential to make millions in the industry, and that might be what we are going to do.
Lastly, feel free to visit the ask it section of the website and ask all of your questions. I'm out for now, I will post again in the next few days, about to go play basketball tonight.
Happy New Year
What's going on everybody?!? HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Sorry for the delay, it's been crazy busy getting things organized the last few weeks and with the holidays and camps. Of course the holidays were a blast, although I have spent the majority of my time lately teaching my dad how to use the iMac i got him for Christmas (maybe it wasn't a good present haha). Prior to Christmas Kyle Harrison and I had one of our Run N Gun camps in Grand Rapids, MI. Let me tell you, it was one of the greatest camps I have ever been apart of. Just seeing how hard the kids were working and watching them progress and develop in the two days we spent with them was special. Then came Christmas and New Years, which was spent in Baltimore with a big group of buddies. The next day (new years day) we flew out to Arizona for another one of our camps, this time it was outdoors in the gorgeous weather. We will be back in Michigan and Arizona this summer for camp again and cannot wait, as the kids in each venue are a thrill to work with.
As i mentioned, the majority of my time lately has been spent getting my Sharp Shooter Academy off the ground. I am excited to announce the Winter Tour 08 locations and dates, which can be viewed at sharpshooterlacrosse.com/academy.asp. Teaching my favorite aspect of the game, the art of shooting, is definitely something I love doing and cannot wait until February 17th to kick off the first ever Academy in Buffalo, NY. I am always looking for new areas to bring the Academy, so if you have have any thoughts or ideas please feel free to email me.
On to the near future. This weekend I'll be heading to beautiful Philadelphia for the US Lacrosse Convention. This event is generally 3 days of continuous lax talk, with players/coaches/fans from all over the country in attendance. This year Kyle and I are putting on a shooting demo, which is a pretty cool opportunity. Although it is always a nice event, I will be anxious to get on the flight Sunday back home just in time for the big football games. I'm a huge Merriman fan (fellow Terp) but this year is all about the Patriots and I have to root for them. I just watched a youtube clip of Randy Moss off-season workout regime and while watching my jaw dropped. He has always been picked on by the media for his behavior on and off the field, but after seeing this piece on youtube I have utmost respect for him. As for the Chargers, I do not know why ANYONE on their team is trash-talking, the last team to do that to the Pats were the Steelers and we know what happened to them. For the NFC game, Packers for sure, especially if it is a snow storm like last week; plus Favre is on top of his game!
This Monday, Martin Luther King Day, is the 2nd annual Run N Gun Lacrosse Camp. This one day program is at Total Sports Experience in Rochester. I have a great day planned, so if you are not signed up you still have a few days to do so (www.runngunlacrosse.com)...Last call!
That is about it for now, I will post again from the convention in Philly and fill you all in if there is any conversation non-lacrosse related. Also, just want to urge you all to visit the ask it page and feel free to ask anything you want, seriously, doesn't have to be a lacrosse-based question.
Buckeye Country/Pretty Boy
What's up everyone!? It's been a busy week. Yesterday (Saturday the 8th) I was up at 5AM, which I have not done in a long time, and got on a flight to Columbus, OH for the grand opening of Midwest Lacrosse, which was one of the nicest lacrosse stores I have ever been in. Joe Healy, the owner of the store, has a great business and was smart to bring in representatives of each manufacturer for the event. I was accompanied by Kyle Dixon from Warrior, Matt Ward from Debeer, and Stephen Berger from Maverik, all great guys so it was nice to catch up with them. We passed by Ohio State University on the way to the store from the airport, needless to say I was impressed. I have been to numerous college campuses over the years but I have never seen a campus as big and spread out as OSU. I felt like a little kid seeing the Horse Shoe from the highway, just imagining the atmosphere when it is filled to capacity on a Saturday afternoon for a game. Upon arriving in Columbus I learned quick how important Ohio State football is to the people. I had to be careful bringing up the subject, since every time the Buckeyes were mentioned at the store it sparked a big conversation on their National Championship hopes. That aside, it was great meeting kids from Columbus and signing autographs for the day. At 5:45PM i hopped on a plane back to Rochester just in time for the Mayweather/Hatton fight.
I have been a boxing fan since I was young, as my Dad and Uncle (his twin brother) would always watch the big fights on TV. Last night was no exception. This fight had been hyped up for months, as both fighters, Floyd Mayweather and Ricky Hatton, were undefeated. Someone had to lose and the winner would hold the title of best pound for pound boxer in the world. Coming into the fight I was indifferent on who I wanted to win. Both have different styles and personalities; Hatton a blue collar/hard-nosed fighter, and Mayweather as a flashy boxer. I respected Hatton's soft-spoken, tough guy mentality, but I also appreciated Mayweather's swagger. The fight was close, going back and forth until round 10 when Hatton exposed himself for a big left hook from Mayweather that sent him head first into the corner ropes before eventually stumbling onto his back to end the fight. There is no doubt in my mind that Pretty Boy Floyd AKA Money Mayweather is the best pound for pound boxer in the world, as he proved he could adapt to Hatton's style of fight and win by TKO. After the intensity of watching the fight died down I could barely keep my eyes open since it was nearing 1AM and I had been up for way too long.
Onto the NFL quickly. It's been an entertaining day of games with some close last minute/OT wins. More importantly, the Bills put a whooping on the winless and pathetic Dolphins, keeping their playoff hopes alive. Currently, I am watching my other favorite team, the Patriots, do work on the Steelers in a big AFC showdown...DYNASTY!
Just want to give an update with Sharp Shooter Lacrosse. I am very close to finalizing the Sharp Shooter Academy winter tour, which will be this February through March. I will be announcing the venues and dates within the next few weeks. I am very excited to kick this off and teach my favorite aspect of the game, the art of shooting.
That's about it for now, until next time, happy holidays and be easy...
Cali and Turkey
I was not thrilled when i got off the plane from LA and realized how cold it was back here in Rochester, oh yeah, not to mention my bag didn't make it either. First time dealing with a lost bag, and when i went to the Delta counter and had them search for my bag, it was no where to be found, definitely not something i wanted to hear. Luckily, the next day it showed up safe and sound!
The trip to LA was a great time. As for Lacrosse, I put on a few Shooting Demo's for the OC Starz, which is always a blast. I got to run a few practices with my buddy Xander Ritz, who was my teammate and roommate at Maryland. I could see first hand that Lacrosse in California is flourishing, as there were several talented youngsters running around sticking G's that impressed me.
As for the sneakers i was hoping to pick up from Supreme, didn't happen. They released them on Thursday and were long gone by Friday when i arrived in LA. I read on the sneaker forum i visit for news and info that there was a line of over 200 people the morning of the release, so i knew i didn't have a shot. It's annoying that everyone is jumping in the sneaker game, and the majority of the people don't even like the sneakers or know what they really are, they just buy them because other enthusiasts like them. These same people are also usually the ones who buy exclusive sneakers with no intention of wearing them but instead putting them on ebay or a sneaker forum to sell for a much higher price than retail. For example, the Nike X Supreme collaboration i am talking about retailed at around $150 and people that bought them to resell have them up for $400, pretty absurd!
The rest of the Cali trip was fun and relaxing. Just having a chance to take a TO from the already winter-like weather in upstate and spend some time in pure sunshine was well worth the trip. I knew the skater lifestyle was mainstream, but it was hilarious seeing the huge range in skaters while having lunch in Hermosa Beach. I'm talking about 3 year olds skating with their grandparents, pretty funny, but cute at the same time.
On to my favorite holiday...Thanksgiving! I have waited 364 days for this upcoming Thursday, well not really, but i can't wait. We are heading to Buffalo to feast at my sister Michelle's house, who has taken over the reigns of cooking up a Thanksgiving storm. This morning when i took my dog Rambo for a walk we came across 5 wild turkeys entering the woods in my backyard. I wanted more than anything to let the little guy go form his leash but i wasn't too sure if he would find his way back home, let's face it, English Bulldogs aren't the brightest breed. Nevertheless, he got a kick out of seeing something non-human walking around.
That's about it for now. I am putting on a clinic for the Pittsford Youth Lacrosse Program on Friday, a "drop and shop" for parents looking to take advantage of the biggest shopping day of the year.
Until next time, i hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving....Be Easy
What's up everyone!? I've been back home in Rochester for the past few days after spending the weekend down in Maryland. I got a chance to branch out and meet coaches running high school club teams from all over the country (Charlotte, Florida, California, etc) at a recruiting tournament. It truly is exciting seeing the talent coming from all over the country, rather than the typical hotbeds; of lacrosse. There were a number of kids from these programs committed to big time division 1 programs already; and a few strongly interested in MARYLAND.
The much anticipated match up between the Colts and Patriots sure lived up to the hype. Although i am a Bills fan (and i was definitely pumped with their win over the Bengals) i love watching the Patriots this year. Brady to Moss is simply unstoppable! And to think commentators during the pre-season were saying Randy Moss had lost a step, please, all Brady has to do is throw the ball up for him and it's a touchdown. Although i didn't really care who won this game, since i like players from both teams, it was impressive seeing the Patriots come from behind and pull out the win, showing what a championship team is made out of. On to Adrien Peterson, who is my pick for best running back in the NFL, without a doubt. When you look at Reggie Bush, who was hyped as a player who would blow up, he really hasn't panned out to be the kind of running back that excels in the NFL, yet. The big difference between these two guys is simple, Reggie dodges contact, Adrien invites it. When i was watching the Vikings/Chargers game the play that stood out the most to me was a run where Adrien picked up 16 yards but instead of running out of bounds at the end of the run where his momentum was heading, he cut back into the field to pick up a few more yards, while taking the contact. I hope he remains healthy, as he has the opportunity to have an outstanding career.
While i'm on the subject of the NFL, last night i was checking out Allen Iverson highlights on youtube, who is one of my favorite athletes and came across this: http://youtube.com/watch?v=hCAkVvNFk-0 I can't even imagine AI playing in the NFL and how ridiculous he would be shaking people!
Friday i am heading out to LA for some STX events with my boy Kyle Harrison. It will be nice getting out of this chilly (there were a few snow flakes this morning when i woke up) and into the sun and promoting the sport and STX. Also have a few spots to hit up while i'm out there. Supreme is releasing 4 Nike SB Trainers on Thursday, so i am hoping they will still have my 10.5's in stock on Friday. Also, Undefeated is dropping a series of fitteds (New Era's), and if you don't know what Supreme or Undefeated are, Supreme is a skate shop and Undefeated is a sneaker boutique, which is where Turtle was unable to get his pair of limited Nike's on Entourage.
alright, I'm out. I'll put up a post from LA, until then...Be Easy