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Originally posted on LaxSpot on 06/08/2008

What’s up ladies and gentlemen?!  Well it has been a while since I have posted so I have a lot to tell you about.  The last time I wrote I believe I was coming off my first game back and I had a subpar afternoon at the X.  I also told you that I expected to rebound pretty strong.  We had a bye week and then headed out to Denver to take on the high powered Outlaws, and high powered they were.  Jeff Snider (their face off man, and the most recent MVP of the world games) definitely makes the short list of face off men who I truly respect, I rank him in the top three or four, I have ever played against.  To tell you the truth I went into halftime 4 and 8 (NOT GOOD) but I went in at half time and refocused.  We went back and forth a few times and then I finally found what I had been looking for since the first game…RYTHYM.  I was able to rattle off 13 wins in a row, it felt great.  Unfortunately it made no difference in the game, we lost 19 to 11 and even though I came out on top of the face off battle, my first half performance inevitably led to my being sat down for this past weekend’s game against Boston.

As many of you may know New Jersey Drafted this kid Brennan from Syracuse, and I am sure you were all thinking, I must be Pi$$ed.  Weeellllll  I was, and this past weekend they played him to “see how he did against a common opponent”…here is the kicker, Jenkins who is the starting X man for Boston and the “common opponent” would not be playing in our second game.  Instead good friend of mine, Ben Defelice would be taking the draws.  Even though I know that Ben is a fantastic face off man, I also know that he does not regularly take face offs.  In short I was real nervous, but I should have had more faith in my friend, because he dominated at the X, It was unreal.

Although I was pleased to see that my spot should be secure, it is bitter sweet.  What is disappointing is that I know I could have helped us with that game since face offs played a major part in our loss this past weekend.  Our offense was forced to push the issue, so to speak because we almost never had the ball in the second half, so when we got it on offense we were really forcing stuff.  I also have to say that although it seems like my spot is secure I actually feel bad for this Brennan kid, to be honest he is a real nice dude, and I think he could be pretty good in this league, he just needs to be eased into the game.  I think face offs in this league are one of the hardest transitions to make.  EVERY face off man in this league is great, not good, GREAT, and realizing that is the first step in becoming one of them.  Since it is likely that I will hang up the cleats if I get through this season in one piece, I think this kid could really learn from my experience.  One of the things that I do really well is teach facing off, and it would be really smart if this kid would open his eyes and ears and let me pass along my knowledge of the game.  Don’t get me wrong I have not decided if I will play next year or not but I am seriously considering hanging them up.  My goal was to get back on a team and have a successful year, and if I succeed in doing so I would be fine with handing over the reins to this youngster.

Anyway I expect to be back in the lineup this week, and it should be a real good match up too.  We play Rochester and some of you already know this but I actually coached Alex Smith in high school.  His father found me and contracted me out to work with Alex.  Alex is a carbon copy of me and my style, only he has a few more tricks up his sleeve and youth on his side.  This will be like Mr. Miagi and the Karate Kid squaring off for the first time…I like to believe my wisdom will overcome his youth!  As always I will let you all know how it goes…wish me luck!

Wax on Wax off!

JB

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 05/15/2008

Whats up guys, I thought I should jump online and fill you all in on what is going on with me and the pride.  As I said in the last blog I made the team, what I did not tell you all is that I am in fact starting this weekend against Boston.  Now ordinarily I would be relieved except that I have to have a pretty good showing on Saturday night, I mean all indications are that they are very happy with how I came to camp. . .in shape, with a much improved defensive game and all fired up.  Thing is the draft is the following week and we have 9 picks. . actually  pretty much the whole team is probably a little on edge since we are clearly going to have a big draft.

I did not mention it a before but in week two of training camp I pulled my groin, I did not mention it because I did not want to seem like I had an excuse if I was released.  since I was not and I am starting, I can tell you all that I was able to rehab it every day for the last two weeks and I think I will be close to 100% on Saturday night.  I am a little nervous however about the lack of face-off time I have had since training camp started.  Since they changed the face-off AGAIN, going back to saying “set” before the whistle, I am a bit nervous that my timing will be off, it has been 7 years since I have taken a face-off that was done this way.  I have been practicing at home but as I said I have taken very few live draws in training camp. . . .I did experience some success while doing it so I think I will be fine.

I think this weekend is going to be pretty sweet.  I am hoping to catch up with Jay Horowitz
( a former Towson Teammate) and two of my best friends in the world (Josh Scout and Chuck Fry) are coming to the game and staying the night to hang out in Boston.  I just hope I put on a good show and the team comes out with a win!

I am flying into Boston saturday morning on the same flight as Ben Defelice, a good friend and one of Saturday nights opponents.  When I arrive I have 4 hours to waste until our walk through so i plan on either going to the hotel or simply grabbing a bite in the city.

Wish me luck guys, so far so good but it is a long season and as you may remember it was not just my goal to make the team but to “make it stick”!

Since I like to listen to music before games I was hoping that some of you would give me some ideas for good pump up music. . .What is YOUR favorite song to listen to right before you step on the field???  maybe it will make its way into my ipod for saturday night!

talk to you after this weekends game!

JB

aka  “sirclampsalot”

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 05/08/2008

What’s up ladies and gentleman?

I know it has been a while since I have written so I figured you were all getting worried about the ol’ dog…well good news, I am NOT cut!  In fact I cannot see how this could be going any better.  It is truly amazing what being in great shape has done for my game, and not just facing off.  Doing the power hour class and the training regiment that SOFletes sent me, I have actually turned into quite a decent defensive middie. . .I know, I know, you are all thinking I have taken some peodi (spelling???) or something, but it is true.  Since am in better shape, and my footwork is highly improved, I am actually playing good defense, which inevitably will be the part of my game that gets me on the field.  As I see it no matter how great at face-offs you are, in this league you will lose face-offs. . .it is a fact of life, every face-off man is good. . .the best ones however can win 50-55% of the draws and play defense for just long enough to keep the other team from scoring when they are on the field.  Therefore I knew that I had to get my butt into good shape and learn how to play defense!  And I did.

OK let’s talk about the team, and training camp.  I truly like the guys on the team, many of them I played with or against at some point in my lacrosse career, so the transition has been easy.  We are trying to change the way we play as a team this year, by getting up and down the field more and pushing transition.  Although many of you have probably heard that Hughes, Harrison and Hubbard all went to L.A. and Doneger Mollet and Haugen all retired, we are still optimistic.  we have a solid core and a ridiculous draft coming our way. . .5 of the first 12 picks and 9 overall, in a very deep draft (including the number 2 and 3 draft picks, I am hoping for Rabil and Peyser. . .note, Peyser is the best two way middie in the nation, and should be on the tawaaraton finalist list)…anyway defensively we have a real solid core in McClay, Peyser, Davis and Glatzel, our attack will likely be Urick, Unterstein, and Ford and Middie is wide open, but as I see it Rewkowski, Bolin, Yevoli, and  Peyser will be holding down the middie front, with guys like Chemotte filling in the gaps.

The team has taken on a new train of thought and winning mentality.  I cannot wait for our first game in Boston, I will be squaring off against an old rival in Dave Jenkins and an old teammate and friend in Ben DeFelice. . .should be fun.

Anyway, I’m keeping this one short (mostly because I am at work!), this is the last week of training camp and then we head to Boston. . .wish me luck!

JB

aka “DONTSLEEPONMYDEFENSE”

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