Gary Gait playing for Colorado back in the day. (Photo: e-lacrosse.com)
Credit where credit is due, the NLL has gotten better at this, but the fact of the matter is that the league's web presence is not great.
Trying to find historical pictures or video going back through the 25 years of the league's history is like searching for a needle in a haystack.
I can show you a handful of picture's of Gary Gait, the greatest player in lacrosse history. Wearing NLL gear, I can show you shots of him in Rochester Knighthawks gear (the last team he played for) or the Colorado Mammoth (his second last team).
But Gait wearing a Baltimore Thunder uniform? Or a Detroit Turbos uniform? Or even Philadelphia Wings gear, where he spent more time than any other city he played in? Next to impossible.
Pictures of Gait playing for his college team, Syracuse, before he got to pro lacrosse, are easily located though.
So why the gap? Why haven't they spent any time building an archive and establishing a better league history online?
But that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Photos in general can be tough to come by. Game-day pictures are slow to arrive on the NLL website, if they get posted at all. The team sites aren't much better. You might track some shots down on Facebook, but they're also hit and miss.
The Getty Images library, which is commonly used for sourcing media photos, has virtually no NLL material in its massive database. The most recent shot I can find there is from the 2009 All-Star game.
Likewise video highlights. Again, the league has made strides in getting highlights out in a timely fashion, but it's tough for media to present a highlight package on the evening news when there isn't one to present.
And that brings us to the game stats.
Supposedly, they appear on the website in real time, just like with most major pro leagues (and many amateur leagues). The problem is that the stats don't always show up on time, and they're often incorrect for hours or days until the NLL scoring officials have a chance to clean them up. This makes it very difficult to effectively provide coverage for a game. I frequently get better and more current info from various Twitter feeds.
Problematic is putting this mildly.
Make the media struggle to better cover your sport, and they'll find something else to do. Which is exactly what is happening. Aside from a small, dedicated cadre of lacrosse reporters, there simply isn't much coverage and little motivation to do better.
Now, I imagine the primary reason for all this is lack of funds and personnel. But that is an issue that has to be solved to make this professional league look more professional.
Act credible, and you'll be credible.