Monthly Archives: April 2023

National Lacrosse League Playoffs Begin Friday, May 5; Schedule Features Two Games on TSN and ESPNU

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL) closed out its record-setting 2022-23 regular season in dramatic fashion yesterday, as the Halifax Thunderbirds defeated the Georgia Swarm, 17-11, to claim the final spot in the 2023 NLL Playoffs.

The Buffalo Bandits (14-4) and San Diego Seals (14-4) repeated as the East and West Conference regular season champions, respectively, and will have home floor advantage in next week’s single-elimination NLL Quarterfinals game. The Bandits earned the #1 overall seed by virtue of its win over Albany.

Each conference’s second seeds – the Toronto Rock (13-5, East) and Calgary Roughnecks (13-5, West) – will also host games next weekend.

This season’s playoff field features six teams from last year’s postseason, including the defending champion Colorado Mammoth (9-9). New this year are the Rochester Knighthawks (10-8) and Panther City Lacrosse Club (10-8).

TSN will carry two games: Toronto’s home tilt versus Halifax on Friday, May 5, at 7:30pm ET, and the Panther City-Calgary matchup on Saturday, May 6, at 9:30pm ET. ESPNU will also carry the Saturday playoff doubleheader starting with Buffalo hosting Rochester followed by the game at Calgary.

Here is the complete single-elimination NLL Quarterfinals broadcast schedule:
• Friday, May 5
– Halifax (E3) vs. Toronto (E2) at 7:30pm ET, TSN, TSN+, ESPN+
– Colorado (W4) vs. San Diego (W1) at 10pm ET, ESPN+, TSN+
• Saturday, May 6
– Rochester (E4) vs. Buffalo (E1) at 7pm ET, ESPNU, ESPN+, TSN+
– Panther City (W3) vs. Calgary (W2) at 9:30pm ET, TSN, TSN+, ESPNU, ESPN+

Next week’s winners advance to their respective best-of-three Conference Finals, with Games 1 and 2 scheduled for May 12-15, and any necessary Game 3 played between May 19-22. Conference champions will face off in the best-of-three NLL Finals starting the final weekend of May.

Exact dates and broadcast schedules for TSN and ESPN for the Conference Finals and NLL Finals rounds will be announced after the pairings and dates are set. To view the 2023 NLL Playoffs bracket, visit

National Lacrosse Leagues Takes Home Pair of Cynopsis Sports Media Awards

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the world’s largest and most successful professional lacrosse league, is proud to announce that they were selected as winners in two unique categories at the 2023 Cynopsis Sports Media Awards Tuesday at the Edison Hotel in New York City where industry professionals gathered to recognize and celebrate the ever-evolving industry.

The NLL’s work with “Every Child Matters” won in the category of “Awareness Campaign For Social Good For A League,” while the NLL’s innovative approach to broadcast production was cited as “Most Innovative in Broadcast Production”.

“These two awards exemplify our parallel commitment to honoring the past while also building towards the future,” said Brett Frood, Commissioner of the National Lacrosse League. “’Every Child Matters’ is at the core of our social responsibility platform and continues to grow as we work with our Indigenous athletes and communities to expand our connective efforts. The broadcast production award demonstrates our focus on delivering first class, technologically savvy broadcasts to millions across North America. It is humbling to receive this recognition by our peers in the industry as we continue our momentum into the playoffs.”

“It was an honor to be acknowledged by Cynopsis for the work we are doing on the broadcast front. What is most exciting about live sports production right now is the pace and evolution of technology,” added Joel Feld, Executive Vice President, Broadcast & Content for the NLL. “Being at the forefront of bringing these innovations to our fan base is our highest priority.”

“Every Child Matters” is a league-wide initiative that brings awareness to the forcible placement of Indigenous children in residential and boarding schools by the Canadian and United States governments from the 19th century to as late as 1996 in Canada. In the campaign’s second year, all 15 teams participated in the program.

On the broadcast side, the NLL’s remote production plan blends producers, directors, and broadcasters with cloud-based technologies and IP transmission, which allows the league to produce and deliver all its games for TSN, ESPN, team local partners, and several league operations platforms as efficiently and professionally as any major league. It is quickly becoming the standard in live sports broadcast production.

The two awards are the latest pieces of as the NLL heads toward its conclusion of a regular season which will see landmark attendance growth and increased viewership across the board. The NLL’s “March to May” concludes the weekend of April 29, with the playoffs to follow.

Photo Credit: John Harrison/NLL

Tony Romo Is Pre-Tournament Favorite With Invited Celebrity Classic Golf Set April 21-23

Tony Romo is the 2023 favorite to win the Invited Celebrity Classic presented by Choctaw Casinos & Resorts with Mardy Fish, John Smoltz, Annika Sorenstam, Mark Mulder and Jeremy Roenick also among the contenders as the 2nd annual tournament returns for its national television showcase April 21-23 in Irving, Texas.

The $2 million Invited Celebrity Classic is an official PGA TOUR Champions Charles Schwab Cup event featuring over 78 PGA TOUR Champions (over 50 years of age) and 40 celebrities in a 54-hole competition at Las Colinas Country Club.

The tournament raises money for three regional youth-focused charities, the Momentous Institute, First Tee Dallas and First Tee Forth Worth.

Expert traders from Choctaw Casinos & Resorts have pegged Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and prominent CBS Sports NFL TV analyst, as a 2-1 favorite to win the tournament on his home turf one year after losing to Mardy Fish in a sudden death playoff. Fish, the former #1-ranked American tennis player, is the second choice at 4-1 with National Baseball Hall of Famer and FOX Sports MLB analyst Smoltz next at 5-1.

Choctaw Casinos & Resorts is providing fans at the Invited Celebrity Classic an added entertainment element with the Choctaw Casinos & Resorts Celebrity Pick ‘Em Contest. Fans can participate in this new, free contest at for the opportunity to win prizes by predicting the performance of the celebrities playing in the tournament. The goal of the Choctaw Casinos & Resorts Celebrity Pick ‘Em Contest is for fans to earn points by correctly answering questions like, “Who will record a better first round score, Tony Romo or Mardy Fish?”

Fans playing the Choctaw Casinos & Resorts Celebrity Pick ‘Em will have a chance to win a share of over $25,000 in prizes, including VIP Stay & Play Packages, free play and Choctaw Club tickets for 2024. The Celebrity Pick ‘Em contest includes:

  • Daily Play – Prizes will be earned by the users with the highest scores following each round of the Invited Celebrity Classic.
  • Tournament Recap – Prizes will be earned by users accumulating the highest score following all three rounds of the Invited Celebrity Classic.
  • 18th Hole Bonus Play – Fans at the Choctaw Club at Las Colinas Country Club will earn prizes for predicting play on the 18th green.

Both Romo and Fish are former champions at the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe. Romo won his third ACC title last year and Fish prevailed in 2020 following an historic second round 63. The pair have built a friendly rivalry over the past few years and Choctaw Casinos & Resorts expects another classic battle in Irving this year.

The top active pro athlete on the board is Carolina Panthers’ standout wide receiver Adam Thielen, who is listed at 60-1 ahead of free agent placekicker Robbie Gould at 82-1. Annika, the greatest player in the history of women’s golf, returns for another run at the Invited Celebrity Classic and is listed at 13-1.

Other prominent players and their odds include star of The Bachelor Ben Higgins (56-1), former MLB All-Star pitcher Tim Wakefield (68-1), Pro Football Hall of Famer Tim Brown (200-1), National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher Pudge Rodriguez (250-1), former NBA All-Star Vince Carter (700-1), former MLB All-Star pitcher Roger Clemens (665-1) and actor/comedian Larry the Cable Guy (775-1). Albert Pujols (110-1), the newly-retired MLB All-Star, is among the newcomers to the field in 2023.

The 2023 Invited Celebrity Classic will utilize the Modified Stableford format whereby points are awarded by score per hole. The celebrities are competing for a purse of $500,000.


Celebrity Division Odds to Win


  1. Tony Romo 2 / 1
  2. Mardy Fish 4 / 1
  3. John Smoltz 5 / 1
  4. Mark Mulder 12 / 1
  5. Jeremy Roenick 12 / 1
  6. Annika Sörenstam 13 / 1
  7. Jack Wagner 20 / 1
  8. Derek Lowe 40 / 1
  9. Blair O’Neal 50 / 1
  10. Joe Carter 50 / 1
  11. Ben Higgins 56 / 1
  12. Adam Thielen 60 / 1
  13. Mike Modano 64 / 1
  14. Tim Wakefield 68 / 1
  15. Mike Flaskey 73 / 1
  16. Alfonso Ribeiro 76 / 1
  17. Robbie Gould 82 / 1
  18. AJ Pierzynski 100 / 1
  19. Albert Pujols 110 / 1
  20. Mark DeRosa 125 / 1
  21. Jack Sock 135 / 1
  22. Kevin Millar 135 / 1
  23. Jon Lester 150 / 1
  24. Clay Buchholz 150 / 1
  25. Tim Brown 200 / 1
  26. Pudge Rodriguez 250 / 1
  27. Greg Maddux 335 / 1
  28. Brian McCann 400 / 1
  29. Brian Urlacher 500 / 1
  30. Marcus Allen 587 / 1
  31. Roger Clemens 665 / 1
  32. Vince Carter 700 / 1
  33. Larry The Cable Guy 775 / 1
  34. Reggie Bush 1,000 / 1
  35. Emmitt Smith 1,000 / 1
  36. DeMarcus Ware 1,000 / 1
  37. Wells Adams 1,000 / 1
  38. Taylor Twellman 1,000 / 1
  39. Justin Williams 1,000 / 1
  40. Robbie Amell 1,000 / 1

Helen Maroulis Accepts Beat The Streets, Final X Berth, Will Compete for U.S. World Team Spot

2016 Olympic champion and three-time World champion Helen Maroulis (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids) has officially accepted her 57 kg berth in Final X. She will battle for the 57kg spot on the 2023 U.S. World Team in women’s freestyle wrestling in Final X, presented by Tezos, on Saturday, June 10 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Final X will determine the 2023 U.S. Senior World Teams in all three Olympic disciplines: men’s and women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman. There will be 30 weight classes contested, 10 in each Olympic discipline. The top two U.S. athletes in each weight class will compete in a best-of-three series in Final X to determine who will wrestle at the 2023 Senior World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

Maroulis made history at the 2016 Olympic Games, becoming the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic gold medal in wrestling with her victory at 53 kg over three-time Olympic champion Saori Yoshida. She later became the first U.S. women’s wrestler to win two Olympic medals with her bronze medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Maroulis has won three World gold medals (2015, 2017, 2021) and boasts six Senior World medals. Maroulis also won three Junior World medals. She was a four-time WCWA college national champion, winning three titles for Simon Fraser and one for Missouri Baptist.

It is the second straight year Final X will serve as the Beat the Streets New York Annual Benefit. This year’s event will be the 13th BTSNY Annual Benefit. These unique and electrifying annual events help BTSNY raise more than $1 million each year to support local youth wrestling programs which empower young people in New York City. The BTSNY Annual Benefit after party will follow the conclusion of Final X.

Maroulis, a native of Rockville, Md., has a perfect 8-0 record in previous BTSNY events. She is the subject of a new movie, “Helen | Believe,” which follows her astonishing comeback to the sport after suffering a career-ending injury that forced her into retirement.

There are a variety of options for Final X wrestling-only event tickets, with prices starting at $40 on Ticketmaster.

Benefit tickets and sponsorship packages (wrestling event plus exclusive after-party celebration access) that also provide the best wrestling-event seats are available at For more information on ticket packages, email Katrin Pokalyukhin at [email protected].

The team selection procedures for the U.S. World Teams in each style allows for 2022 Senior World medalists to advance directly to Final X at a specified weight class. Maroulis has met this requirement and accepted her qualification.

The Final X opponent for Maroulis will be determined at the U.S. Open in Las Vegas, Nev., April 26-30. The champion in women’s freestyle at 57 kg at the U.S. Open will qualify to face Maroulis in Final X.

FloWrestling will serve as the host broadcasting partner for Final X, presented by Tezos.

*Please note if Prudential Center’s tenant, New Jersey Devils, hosts a Stanley Cup Final game on June 10 the contingency date for Final X would be Friday, June 9.

Final X, presented by Tezos
At Prudential Center, Newark, N.J., Saturday, June 10

Declared Qualifiers to date
Women’s Freestyle 57 kg – Helen Maroulis (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids)
Men’s Freestyle 79 kg – Jordan Burroughs (Philadelphia, Pa./Sunkist Kids/Pennsylvania RTC)

Residence: Tempe, Ariz.
Club: Sunkist Kids
College: Simon Fraser Univ., Missouri Baptist
High School: Marquette, Mich., Rockville, Md. (Colonel Zadock Magruder)
Born: Sept. 19, 1991
• 2016 Olympic champion (first U.S. woman to win an Olympic wrestling gold medal)
• 2020 Olympic bronze medalist (first U.S. woman to win two Olympic wrestling medals)
• Three-time World champion (2015, 2017, 2021)
• 2012 and 2022 World silver medalist
• 2014 World bronze medalist
• Three-time Junior World medalist (2008, 2010, 2011)
• 2011 Pan American Games champion
• Four-time WCWA women’s college national champion (2009, 2010, 2011, 2013)

Maroulis Beat the Streets New York Annual Benefit History (8-0 record)
2012: Ashley Hudson (USA), WIN 4-0, 2-1
2014: Marcia Andrades (Venezuela), WIN Fall
2015: Yamilka del Valle Alvarez (Cuba), WIN tech fall 10-0
2016: Samantha Stewart (Canada), WIN Fall
2017: Yuzuru Kumano (Japan) WIN 7-4
2018: Odunayo Adekuoroye (Nigeria), WIN 4-1
2022: Alex Hedrick (USA), match one, WIN, tech fall, 10-0
2022: Alex Hedrick (USA), match two, WIN, tech fall, 10-0