Note from Vince: This is the first of what will be a series of posts from friend of the site John Rankin, who covers the Philadelphia Wings! He’s got a ton of experience doing it (including on the radio) so he’s top-notch. You can also feel free to follow him on his site here!
Pictured: Johnny Mouradian
The new look Philadelphia Wings traveled to Buffalo last Saturday night to take on their NLL Eastern divisional rivals in the Bandits. If last nights success is to become a trend Philadelphia set a very nice tone for the season to come.
The Wings lead by Brodie Merrel, Kevin Manney, and Jordan Hall set the tempo early and never let up leaving the Bandits trailing the entirety of the contest. The season opening win for Philadelphia only confirmed the good moves made in the off season by the wings front office. Wings wasted no time changing the face of their team last year when they traded the beloved Dawson brothers for Paul Rabil and a clutch of other potential NLL stars.
Obviously Mr.Wonderful Paul Rabil could not be the on field difference maker that phrases like “the greatest Lacrosse player in the world” had us thinking last year and failed to make the 2014 roster. That being said the rest of the Wings have had a good year of work outs an NLL playing experience under their belts. That experience along with new head coach Blane Harrison the Philadelphia Wings are easily poised to be a dominant contending team in the NLL Eastern Divison.
Harrison replaces Wings former head coach Johnny Mouradian. The coaching change is nothing but a positive for the Wings organization as a whole. Mouradian will stay on and continue his General Management duties while Harrison looks to be the much need change in voice at the helm behind the bench. Blane Harrison has been with the Wings since 2011 first as a defensive coordinator and last season as offensive coordinator, Blane also had a cup of tea at Michigan State as an asstiant coach, and brings much needed experience on a player level to a Philadelphia Wings team who struggled to find their on field dominance under Mouradian.
It’s not to say Johnny didn’t know talent he most certainly a brilliant talent finder in the NLL, but his on field and in lockeroom rants were well, in a way laughable. It was as if the singer from the Dead Milkmen and Luigi from Mario Brothers met at Tattooed Moms on South Street and were forced to singalong to expletives laden emo punk songs streaming from the jukebox in a manner so comical not even a nun could help but chuckle sip a Pabst and think, awe how cute. If there was anything that could do less to inspire the Wings on field it was Mouradian streaking the F word constantly.
Last night proved that the Wings are taking every step that they can to be a winning organization, and that 17-13 win against a tough opponent is a credit to the Philadelphia Wings as a whole. 2014 looks to be the year of red and black with the way the Wings played last night.