30 May 2015

NLL's Swarm to Relocate to Gwinnett County, Georgia for 2016

"Seatbelts everyone!" This isn't another Arnold field trip with the Frizz, but a lengthy post that documents the history of a franchise that just recently made a big announcement.

The big news yesterday just ahead of Game One of the Champions Cup Final between Toronto and Edmonton later tonight was somewhat surprising. John and Andy Arlotta announced the moving of his team from the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota after eleven years. The expiring arena lease was the primary reason for this in addition to poor performances in recent seasons. They have held the same primary logo in that span but at some point dropped the other alternates along the way (coinciding with the loss of franchise goalie Nick Patterson, who randomly left the team just after 2012 began, then briefly joined then Washington). We will go over the look of the franchise in their relatively mediocre history. Elsewhere, Commissioner George Daniel notes that expansion is not to far away (finally) in light of recent relocation and folding.

Minnesota were the biproduct You can see the original logo plus the first era of uniforms, these lasted for quite a while. The had enough elements to adopt things from their co-tenants of the Xcel Energy Center, the NHL's Minnesota Wild. It also included the flying alternate logo.

These jerseys stuck for quite a while and the weren't that bad. They were challenging for the division. In fact, they also had their number one goalie stick around after picking him up through Vancouver's dispersal draft following the 2005 season (the Swarm's second). Nick Patterson was a rising star and known for wearing his famous number 93. He still has every significant goalie record for the franchise but mysteriously he was let go in 2012 after week one. 2009 was their sixth season and fifth anniversary. But one season prior was a night to remember.

Hawai'ian night in 2008 was in the middle of a season in which there was a four way tie for first place. All of those teams thus were in the playoffs but tie-breakers had to determine seeding. Buffalo was the winner of all the tie-breaks and eventually hoisted the Champions Cup at home against the Portland Lumberjax. more about the Bandits later. Minnesota finished second partly because they failed to beat Buffalo in two games, beaten by 2 goals at home and four on the road. The New York Titans and Philadelphia Wings were three and four in the standings in Philly's only playoff berth since 2002 before moving to Connecticut in 2015 despite their joint record of six league titles. New York beat the Swarm 11-8.

2008 Was also the first season for the dual striping down the arms as an alternate which turned primary home jersey in 2010. Their pink 'black out cancer' (now known as "Hive Cares") jersey also came in 2010, the first of it's kind for the Hive Cares program. Fast forwarding to 2012, two new jerseys came about. The difference was that a honeycomb pattern was incorporated in the new shoulder yoke, while moving the arm stripes to the side panels for a cleaner look that most benefited the viability of the TV numbers. Week two of the season was the first sign of potential for the Swarm, now in the Western Division, with a big home opener after losing in Colorado a week prior. January 28, 2012 is a day those 8,232 fans in attendance will never forget. They finally found a way to beat the Buffalo Bandits at home 19-11 after 6 tries through seven seasons despite mild success in Buffalo. They then won late in the following season 21-7, the highest goals for tally versus Buffalo. They did it again in 2014 (the final Hive Cares game, it appears) by winning 11-10 in overtime  before returning to the East in 2015 and losing at home late in the season in addition to previously losing two more at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo. They have yet to beat the Bandits in the playoffs with a two loss record.

This is when things appear to be turning south (which we found out to be literal). While their home success was improving against Buffalo, they were the opposite in Buffalo. On top of that you'd have to look at the way in which the franchise was appropriating their roster. Even after having read various sources much closer than I am to the team while in Minnesota, I did know that they've had an unusually high number of first round picks in recent years before said info was unraveled. 

Just to get back to the graphic design part for a second (we'll get back to that again later also), their Hive Cares day 2012 was a grey version of their new road whites. The 2013 jersey was purely green and Swarm blue with predominantly white numbers and the honeycomb pattern was introduced to the stripes down the panels with shamrocks on the waistband of the shorts (presumably for St. Patrick's day). 2014 saw the Swarm dish out its tenth anniversary patch as they were re-placed in the East. "Dish out" was an unintentional pun on the team's former goalie Matt Disher (who ironically played for the Bandits too). To match the patch, they shoulder yoke from 2012's jersey was reincorporated into part of the chest of the jersey for 2014.

The 2015 season was one of tumultuous turmoil at least according to the reason for the ultimate result of relocation. Despite beating the best seed in the East and three time defending champ Rochester Knighthawks in the last game of the season and at home, the day after can be dubbed D-Day of Doomsday or whatever you see fit. After several allusions to its creation, The Hive of Truth was an exposee as the writer's most recent attempt to sabotage and exploit the short-comings of the franchise for the better of the organization. It is much longer than this documentation, but I found it well worth the read dispute the occasional expletive thrown in (the last part all the way at the bottom addresses those involved or affected). Despite this, the number one fan and season ticket holder (according to the Hive of Truth) kept his site titled Swarm It Up running - which I have followed since I discovered it either in 2011 or 2012 about this time of the year.

The Swarm released their new logo yesterday indicating that the only change was the replacement of Minnesota with Georgia as the location. As for the uniforms, we'll have to wait and see whether the uniforms will be the same, tweaked, or completely different. With this announcement, I found a site urging the NLL to replace the team that Minnesota lost which isn't much older than this post. The move to gGeorgia  could theoretically be justified with recent actions by the outdoor league with Major League Lacrosse's attempt to grant expansion in Kennesaw, Georgia in addition to at least one all-star game having recently been played there. But it seems to be a hotbed in general with the announcement that longtime soccer team Atlanta Silverbacks will be moving to MLS level, the highest in US Soccer in a new stadium (which we know building new venues for long term use in Atlanta never works out well).

As for my personal opinion as the outsider that didn't have most of this knowledge previously, this can be branded as the team that started out as the team who came from the ashes of the Columbus Landsharks, who [the Swarm] had a fight in them but couldn't really get a playoff win until it's final two seasons as a team that benefited from a lousy playoff system. Columbus in itself was in bad shape. After their first season in 2001, they had an off shoot team known as the Montreal Express for just the 2002 season in which half of Columbus' resources were brought to the Quebecois market preceding that season. The Landsharks final season was in 2003 and they moved to Arizona for another four seasons in the desert as the Sting. But even though Montreal had long suspended operations financially (not folded), Minnesota as an expansion franchise was able to absorb some if not all of the non-player assets left by the inactive Express via a sale from the league.

While I share and express sympathy with a fan base that has lasted significantly longer than other markets that have been relocated or folded (some twice), I think that Patterson's dismissal in 2012 or even moving back to the Eastern Division the off-season before last was a foreshadowing of yesterday's announcement. Though I am disappointed, I am glad that the team is not folding completely, as I have many a-times before expressed my biggest criticism of Commissioner George that he has not once expanded the league. That may change as there have been rumors he will announce during halftime of game two of the cup finals that the league is in talks with prospective owners for new franchises.

I hope I have enlightened you rather than bored you, but this is pretty much an exaggerated "what are the newly relocated Georgia Swarm going to do" as something to look forward to.


29 May 2015

2015 NLL Pick 'Em: Champions Cup Game 1

Division Final 2 Results:
Pick (winner)
Rochester (Toronto)
Edmonton (Calgary)
Toronto (Toronto)
Edmonton (Edmonton)

Regular Season: 48-34 (.585)
Postseason: 4-4 (.500)
Overall Record to date: 52-38 (.578)


*Home team second.

28 May 2015

M-E-T-S Mets, Mets, Mets!

As you all might know I am a New York Mets fan.  Established in 1962 after the departure of both the New York Giants to San Francisco as well as the Brooklyn Dodgers whom moved to Los Angeles back in the 1950’s.  One thing that the Met’s have done with their color scheme they adopted both the Giant orange and the Dodger blue.  Plus they took the New York Giants “NY” cap logo and the blue hat that the Dodgers used and combined the both with the button on the top of the hat being orange just like on the Giants hat.  In a way symbolizing the recantation of both franchises, and the return of national league baseball to New York.  During the course of the Mets existence they really haven’t gone through any major changes as have other franchises in sports.

 I’m very thankful that the Mets decided to wear the blue hat as their main hat with two other hats for their alternate unis.  One look that I hated and this was during the Piazza years is that at home in which they decided to go away from the classic pinstripe look with the white jersey and the blue pinstripe and went to just a plain white jersey which they recently returned to for their 50th anniversary a couple of years ago.  I hated when they wore at home the two toned hat with the brim being dark blue and the hat itself being almost black with the dark blue button.  To me when they began wearing the solid blue hats that they started out with it just looked so much better and in my eyes brightened up the whole uniform.  One other jersey I didn’t happen to enjoy was when the Mets had the black jerseys with the black hat.

 To me upon the inception of the franchise in 1962 black was never a part of their color scheme and it was almost like they just decided to just throw the black in for whatever reason.  All and all though I don’t have many negative things to say on the uniforms because I honestly love them.  They have been a very classic look from there white pinstripe jerseys with the wordmark “Mets” logo across the chest of the jersey the blue hat with an orange button.  There grey away jerseys that say “New York” it’s just awesome.  Out of all my favorite teams that I follow these jerseys are honestly my favorite.  Mainly because of its consistency over the years and never truly changed.          

26 May 2015

2015 AFL Pick 'Em: (Indigenous) Round 9

Here is how the recap process works. Arrows will indicate the winning team and incorrect guesses will be marked with an "X". Jerseys guessed incorrectly will be left as is, winning jumpers will be placed alongside the losing jumper in parentheses.





Jerseys: 117-27 (.813)
Wins     53-19 (.736)






Umpire uniforms
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