Belisle and Duch Provide Positive Media Content for NLL
[Photo: Larry Palumbo] Mitch Belisle playing for the Georgia Swarm.
Last Saturday, I was in the “City of Brotherly Love” to attend LaxCon at the Philadelphia Convention Center.
As I strolled through the maze of booths I noticed ex NLL player Mitch Belisle working at his Trilogy Lacrosse stand. I don’t know Belisle personally but during his NLL career I remember Mitch as a hard-working American learning the trade of the indoor game with pretty good results.
What I recall vividly was a story of a year ago that Belisle had written about his decision to retire. Mitch's expose left me laughing and streaming memories from my own past dealing with players in some of the same circumstances Mitch described in detail.
Excellence in all avenues of lacrosse must be celebrated and so I mentioned this past media story because of its perfection in storytelling all the while capturing Belisle's time as an American fieldy’s conversion inside the NLL with his Canadian brothers.
Mitch was very thoughtful in his highbrow enlightenment of life on and off the floor. Throughout his nine-year career inside the 32 year history of the league, Belisle paints a clear picture of his path and experience.
I have been meaning to write about that story since I read it and I'm glad I finally remembered to give it the props it deserved. Great job, Mitch!
Another piece that touched me recently was an interview with Rhys Duch after his first game as a Roughneck.
Duch was cornered in the dressing room by a reporter after a dramatic loss in his first game with his new team. In a twist of fate, Rhys was up against his ex-Vancouver team that had released him outright a few weeks prior.
You can turn on a sports channel on any given night and watch stock replies to sporting questions as players go through the motions to get to the end of an interview. They actually sound like robots.
In this interview, Rhys thoughtfully answers tough questions without the um's and ah's as you can see him working through an emotional time. Duch had evolved into a Calgary player during the last 60 minutes of his life. I know it was tough for him visiting the scenario of not understanding what jersey to pass to playing for a new squad.
A million years ago I was traded from Syracuse to Buffalo and my first exhibition game was in Syracuse for Buffalo. I'll tell you, that it is a bit of a mind twist to go through that experience with the deprogramming of the old uniforms and integrating of the new ones into your brain.
Like Belisle’s article, I'd love for you to re-watch this interview knowing what Duch had just gone through. Rhys honestly conveys this humbling experience in raw fashion after leaving Vancouver under many raised eyebrows. Duch is the most decorated player in the team's history. Ultimately, he's found his footing in red and black and his return to health this season will mean a return to the points parade for this highly-skilled player.
These are the kind of social media pieces to weave into the fabric of what the NLL is trying to sell in its social media to build awareness of what a great product we have and the players who bring it.