Bristol, CT 06010 February 3, 2018
I am a long-time viewer of ESPN’s college lacrosse coverage, and truly appreciate the attention you provide to this sport. If I close my eyes, I can still hear and see the opening montage to the 1988 Championship Game. It went something like, “There have been many magical moments in the Carrier Dome…” cut to Pearl Washington hitting the half court buzzer beater game winner against BC, Don McPherson showing his Heisman finalist skills with the Orange football team, and then the play that changed lacrosse – Gary Gait scoring on the Air Gait against Penn in the semis. An unforgettable moment for all lacrosse fans.
I have had the chance to look over your recently released 2018 ESPNU NCAA Lacrosse broadcast schedule, and it includes several games that I am really looking forward to watching. However, in the end the schedule is disappointing. I take nothing away from the great teams and match-ups that are included, but the absence of any games featuring the University at Albany Men’s Lacrosse team is simply a demonstration in missed opportunity.
Among the reasons why UAlbany should be included in your broadcast schedule include:
• The Great Danes play a fast paced, high scoring, spectator friendly style that is entertaining to both established and new fans,
• Senior attackman Connor Fields could set the NCAA career goal scoring record this season, and is among the favorites to win the 2018 Tewaaraton award.
• UAlbany’s May 13, 2017 win over UNC played in Albany set the attendance record for an NCAA tourney first round game.
• Freshman Tehoka Nanticoke, the #1 recruit in this class, has been described as a transformative player, and has the potential to make a jaw dropping play every time he touches the ball. You remember that thing he did that got some attention in the fall, right?
My disappointment that UAlbany is not on your announced 2018 broadcast schedule is not for myself. As an established consumer of lacrosse content, I consider myself fortunate to watch the many streams of games available wherever they may be found. My TV is ready for the season with a Firestick to watch games on ESPN 3, and an HDMI cable waiting to connect my laptop for conference live streams, perhaps some games on YouTube, and even a few Ivy League and other games that I’ll pay for.
Instead, my disappointment is for the casual viewers and potential fans – the people unlikely to accidentally come across an online stream of a lacrosse game. On the other hand, they might be channel surfing and reach ESPNU where they catch TD Ierlan win a face off, pass to Connor Fields, who passes behind his back to Tehoka Nanticoke for a backhand goal. The kind of play that just might grab the attention of the channel surfers and get them looking for more lacrosse. With the freedom and pace UAlbany plays at, there are opportunities for such plays every game. Using Tehoka’s one hand, between the legs goal in a fall ball scrimmage as an example, these are the kind of plays that make new fans. In the end, the absence of UAlbany from your regular season broadcast schedule is a missed opportunity to grow the game of lacrosse.
On behalf of lacrosse fans everywhere, and the casual viewers who will become fans, I respectfully request that you make an effort to correct this missed opportunity by adding the Great Danes to your regular season coverage. From a business perspective, this addition would certainly whet viewers appetites for any possible UAlbany post-season play which ESPN will broadcast, including the America East tournament.
Sign Dave Arnold’s Petition to ESPN Today!!
The most compelling February game will not be broadcast on ESPNU???
What’s the most compelling February game?
— Quint Kessenich (@QKessenich) January 17, 2018