How great it is to see the picture above, and even better to see the final score after the game of the Brother Rice and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s game many weeks back! Nevertheless, the coverage in the state of Michigan has been lacking for sometime. Have no fear as a leader has risen in order to bring everyone in the state of Michigan and beyond their fill of lacrosse. Moreover, anyone who has exited high school, regardless of where they attend college, Tim Sullivan, with his new website, GreatLaxState.com, has begun to bring life to these college players as he keeps track of their stats every week. How amazing is that! In fact, he even keeps track of the college teams, whether it’s Division I or MCLA, and even some high school teams. While the East Coast teams do have the powerhouse teams, lacrosse has begun, and has been building up in the state of Michigan for quite some time. I had some time to speak with Tim, who also writes over at MGoBlog, about the sport we both enjoy, and how it has not only changed his life, but has changed within the state. Here is what he had to say:
When you first started a lacrosse only blog, what was the main goal in your mind in doing so?
My main motivation was that there simply isn’t enough coverage out there, specifically as it relates to the state of Michigan. Sure, there’s a little newspaper coverage of high schools, and you cover Michigan’s club team on umgoblog, for example, but it’s pretty limited. I was especially surprised to see that almost nobody was talking about Detroit Mercy, the only Division-1 men’s team in the state. In general, I think having a dedicated outlet for anything and everything lacrosse in the state can only continue helping grow the game in Michigan.
Since you haven’t played lacrosse, do you believe you’re at any disadvantage in coverage, or with your admiration for the game, do you think it helps compel you to understand every aspect that much more?
It’s definitely a disadvantage at times, because I’m ignorant of a lot of the nuances of the game, and it requires a little more effort to just make sure I’m following everything that’s going on, without having the chance to notice some of the “little things.” However, I’m soaking up as much as I can, watching every game that’s available (thanks, ESPN3), reading all the books I can, etc. It’s a learning experience, for sure. On the other hand, I think it can be advantage at times to come from an outsider’s perspective. As someone who covers football and basketball on a day-to-day basis, I’m definitely interested in trying to apply advanced stats to the game (thanks go out to the Orange:44 blog for further inspiration), something that I think can really help interest in the game going forward.
I know you cover many teams in the state of Michigan, and even follow many of the players once they go from high school to college, so how do you keep track of the players, and even more so, how do you keep track of all the Michigan teams (high school, and college)?
It’s tough, because as I mentioned above, there’s only very limited coverage out there, and I obviously can’t go to every high school game in the state of Michigan, for example. I trust the internet and Google to fill me in as much as possible, but there are always gaps out there (and I’m always looking for game reports or news tips from those who are interested in providing them). As for covering the guys who have moved on to D-1, I spent a long day poring over every team’s roster online, and kept track of which schools I needed to pay attention to. By this point in the season, it’s become a pretty routine process to head to the appropriate team and pull the necessary stats. As for colleges within Michigan, UDM and Michigan are really good about getting game articles and stats up online, and other schools (namely Michigan State) have a bit of official coverage as well.
When you first started covering lacrosse what was your level of understanding, and compared to then, what is your understand now and how has it helped you to remain consistent with your website you have now in greatlaxstate.com?
I’m pretty sure the first game I covered was aso the first full lacrosse game I had ever seen, so naturally I didn’t know a whole lot about it. My early coverage was basically “here is a list of who scored goals” – not very useful. Of course, I had some awareness of the game at that time, but I’ve come a long way from the days where I was thinking “this hockey/basketball/soccer hybrid is interesting.” As I continue learning, I’m certain my coverage will continue to develop new interesting angles.
Michigan has had many good lacrosse athletes, past and present, including Dave Morrow, creator of Warrior Lacrosse, and even Mike Sennett, who passed away a couple years ago, so with such a great history, and maybe less than the East Coast, what do you think Michigan has to offer lacrosse wise that maybe the people in other states may not have known?
I think a lot of people (especially those in hotbed areas) don’t realize that there is a lot of good lacrosse being played in the midwest, specifically in Michigan. Warrior is based here, Brother Rice is one of the most storied non-hotbed programs in the country, and the game is growing as fast here as anywhere else in the nation. I think there’s a hesitance from people in hotbed areas to accept that, but with more coverage, hopefully that will change in the future. Once the off-season rolls around, I’d really like to try to get some interviews going with notable Michigan natives (such as Morrow).
How has the live blogging for CollegeLax been going, and how do you feel it helps your sites exposure and well as the growth and entertainment factor of lacrosse for the University of Michigan lacrosse team?
Liveblogging for collegelax has been really fun (even though it prevents me from being able to see every moment of the game, and even though I had to do it out in the rain for one half on Saturday). It definitely helps the site get a bit of exposure, but at the same time, I’m more concerned about the game itself getting exposure, and that’s happening to a much greater degree with the liveblogs.
While a few people have asked me how Tim and I can speak and work together, knowing we write for blogs that seemingly compete, I just answer, “we have a common goal when it comes to lacrosse, we want to ensure the sport grows, gets the exposure it needs, and that we can do all we can to help the state of Michigan as a whole.” At the end of the day, yes it’s one of those comments, it’s not about what team or blog I write for, it’s about the sport and what we, him and I, are doing to make it grow. We both have a lot to offer as far as our skills, and that’s why we do what we do. I just hope everyone appreciates that hard work he does, and be sure to check out the website and comment on everything he does to ensure Tim knows what you think!
As always, if you ever want to chat, feel free to shoot me a message to my email [email protected] or on Twitter @TheRealHag.
[…] Thanks to Josh Hagerman of Lacrosse Playground (and also of umgoblog), who interviewed me for a feature on their site. […]