Some good friends joined my wife and I at the Las Vegas Desert Dogs game at Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay this past Saturday night. For many of us, this was our first chance to see one of these games live and in person.
We had a really great time! First off, the first 4,000 fans through the gates received a souvenir Wayne Gretzky #99 Desert Dogs jersey! Gretzky is one of the owners of our local National Lacrosse League team, and of course, one of the greatest NHL players of all time. They don’t call him “The Great One” for nothing. He even appeared on the giant scoreboard during the evening to welcome the crowd.
Now, I have been a hockey fan for as long as I can remember. I even had the opportunity to watch Wayne Gretzky play for the Los Angeles Kings back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s when I had season tickets at the Great Western Forum in L.A. But, this was my first time watching indoor lacrosse live and in person. It is a bit different from hockey, but there are similarities.
It is similar in that the players are allowed to body-check each other. There is a lot of physical contact during a Desert Dogs game. The players also get to change up while the game is going on. That was one of the cool things I noticed from up in the stands. The organized chaos of the player changes when the teams changed from offensive mode to defensive mode. It is also similar in that the goalies wear lots of padding. These lacrosse goalies looked like “The Michelin Man!” I don’t blame them, because those guys really whip that ball at the goal very hard.
Watching box lacrosse in person was different than going to a Vegas Golden Knights game in that the announcer and the in-house DJ are constantly working to get the crowd involved in the game, while the action is going on. At hockey games, they only play music and make announcements during a break in the action. Every time the Desert Dogs went on defense, the announcer would encourage us to chant: “Defense! Defense!” The in-house DJ plays music continuously throughout the contest, which certainly adds to the excitement.
During half-time, the Las Vegas Desert Dogs honored local first responders who were in attendance at the game. It made us proud of our community, and our team. Although the home team lost to the visiting Vancouver Warriors on Saturday night, it was a really fun evening. I encourage you to take the family to Michelob Ultra Arena for their next home game, Saturday night, March 25th at 7:30pm when the Desert Dogs host the visiting Rochester Knighthawks. If you would like to purchase tickets and see the Las Vegas Desert Dogs website, CLICK HERE.
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Larry Martino is the long-time Afternoon Drive personality on 96.3 KKLZ. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of Larry Martino and not necessarily those of Beasley Media Group, LLC.