You can throw rotten vegetables at the NCAA for lots of reason (not the least of which being that the organization is a exploitative labor cartel), but the institution did a hell of a job putting together some all-access videos for Championship Weekend this year. The NCAA tagged along with Denver and Syracuse in Philadelphia, following the Pioneers before their semifinal date with Syracuse and the Orange leading up to their match with Duke in the national championship. It's solid stuff, and you should make your eyeballs watch 'em.
BEHIND THE SCENES WITH SYRACUSE
Some brief thoughts:
- "That's the ultimate goal every year -- to get to this game and win it." Those aren't expectations; those are standards. It's likely why many Syracuse fans have had trouble reconciling the fact that the Orange haven't won a national championship since 2009.
- "I expect them to win, like I do every time they take the field out there." Which is why this is so amazing.
- "It's going to be hard right now but we're going to enjoy this." Perspective: That's what makes the great coaches great.
BEHIND THE SCENES WITH DENVER
Some brief thoughts:
- I don't know what over a dozen Division I lacrosse games does to one's body, but the fact that these guys get on the training table before every game and suck up the aches and pains is amazing.
- "What we're trying to accomplish is what every other school and every other coach and every other team is trying to do out here." Denver isn't just that Western school anymore; the Pioneers are part of the fabric of Division I lacrosse, and simply playing at that level isn't enough for Bill Tierney's program. They want and desire the successes of the established few, programs that have year-in and year-out Championship Weekend aspirations.
- "The young men playing, they only get four times around. It's really important you give them your best shot every year." This is what has made Tierney such a successful coach. There is no quit or acquiescence; he understands that this is about his players, and that if he demands excellence from them he needs to come correct as well.
- Matt Brown orchestrating things is a sweet opus.