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WK
1
Fri, Dec 2
6:00 pm ET
Wings
Thunderbirds
Sat, Dec 3
5:00 pm ET
Warriors
Rock
Sat, Dec 3
7:30 pm ET
FireWolves
Bandits
Sat, Dec 3
7:30 pm ET
Seals
Riptide
Sat, Dec 3
8:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Swarm
Sat, Dec 3
8:30 pm ET
Mammoth
Rush
WK
2
Fri, Dec 9
8:30 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Panther City
Fri, Dec 9
10:00 pm ET
Rush
Seals
Sat, Dec 10
7:00 pm ET
Rock
Knighthawks
Sat, Dec 10
9:30 pm ET
Warriors
Roughnecks
WK
3
Fri, Dec 16
10:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Warriors
Fri, Dec 16
10:30 pm ET
Panther City
Desert Dogs
Sat, Dec 17
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
Rock
Sat, Dec 17
7:00 pm ET
Wings
Swarm
Sat, Dec 17
7:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
FireWolves
Sat, Dec 17
7:30 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Riptide
Sat, Dec 17
8:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Panther City
WK
5
Fri, Dec 30
7:30 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Bandits
Fri, Dec 30
9:00 pm ET
Seals
Roughnecks
Sat, Dec 31
9:00 pm ET
Panther City
Rush
WK
6
Fri, Jan 6
10:30 pm ET
Wings
Desert Dogs
Sat, Jan 7
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
Swarm
Sat, Jan 7
7:00 pm ET
Panther City
Knighthawks
Sat, Jan 7
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
FireWolves
Sat, Jan 7
7:30 pm ET
Rock
Riptide
Sat, Jan 7
10:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Mammoth
Sat, Jan 7
10:00 pm ET
Warriors
Seals
WK
7
Fri, Jan 13
6:30 pm ET
FireWolves
Thunderbirds
Fri, Jan 13
9:00 pm ET
Rush
Mammoth
Sat, Jan 14
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Rock
Sat, Jan 14
7:00 pm ET
Panther City
Wings
Sat, Jan 14
7:30 pm ET
Swarm
Bandits
Sat, Jan 14
9:00 pm ET
Seals
Roughnecks
Sat, Jan 14
10:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Warriors
Sun, Jan 15
3:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Riptide
WK
8
Fri, Jan 20
7:30 pm ET
Bandits
Knighthawks
Fri, Jan 20
10:30 pm ET
Warriors
Desert Dogs
Sat, Jan 21
7:00 pm ET
Rock
Wings
Sat, Jan 21
7:00 pm ET
Riptide
FireWolves
WK
9
Fri, Jan 27
6:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Thunderbirds
Fri, Jan 27
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
Wings
Sat, Jan 28
7:30 pm ET
Bandits
Riptide
Sat, Jan 28
8:30 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Rush
Sat, Jan 28
9:00 pm ET
Rock
Roughnecks
Sat, Jan 28
9:00 pm ET
Seals
Mammoth
Sat, Jan 28
10:00 pm ET
Panther City
Warriors
WK
10
Fri, Feb 3
9:00 pm ET
Swarm
Mammoth
Sat, Feb 4
6:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Thunderbirds
Sat, Feb 4
7:00 pm ET
Riptide
Rock
Sat, Feb 4
7:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Wings
Sat, Feb 4
7:30 pm ET
Knighthawks
Bandits
Sat, Feb 4
10:00 pm ET
Panther City
Seals
Sat, Feb 4
10:00 pm ET
Rush
Warriors
Sat, Feb 4
10:30 pm ET
Mammoth
Desert Dogs
WK
11
Fri, Feb 10
7:30 pm ET
Rock
Swarm
Fri, Feb 10
9:00 pm ET
Rush
Roughnecks
Sat, Feb 11
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Knighthawks
Sat, Feb 11
7:30 pm ET
FireWolves
Riptide
Sat, Feb 11
8:00 pm ET
Warriors
Panther City
Sat, Feb 11
9:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Roughnecks
WK
12
Fri, Feb 17
10:00 pm ET
Rush
Seals
Fri, Feb 17
10:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Warriors
Sat, Feb 18
7:00 pm ET
Swarm
Rock
Sat, Feb 18
7:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
FireWolves
Sat, Feb 18
7:30 pm ET
Wings
Bandits
Sat, Feb 18
8:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Panther City
Sun, Feb 19
1:00 pm ET
Riptide
Thunderbirds
WK
13
Fri, Feb 24
9:00 pm ET
Panther City
Mammoth
Fri, Feb 24
10:30 pm ET
Roughnecks
Desert Dogs
Sat, Feb 25
7:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Swarm
Sat, Feb 25
7:00 pm ET
Riptide
Knighthawks
Sat, Feb 25
8:00 pm ET
Warriors
Rush
WK
14
Fri, Mar 3
6:30 pm ET
Bandits
Thunderbirds
Sat, Mar 4
11:30 am ET
Riptide
Wings
Sat, Mar 4
4:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Seals
Sat, Mar 4
7:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Rock
Sat, Mar 4
7:00 pm ET
Swarm
FireWolves
Sat, Mar 4
8:00 pm ET
Rush
Panther City
Mon, Mar 6
7:00 pm ET
Rock
Wings
WK
15
Fri, Mar 10
7:30 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Bandits
Fri, Mar 10
9:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Mammoth
Sat, Mar 11
7:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Rock
Sat, Mar 11
7:30 pm ET
Wings
Riptide
Sat, Mar 11
8:30 pm ET
Seals
Rush
Sat, Mar 11
10:30 pm ET
Warriors
Desert Dogs
Sun, Mar 12
4:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Swarm
WK
16
Fri, Mar 17
9:00 pm ET
Rush
Roughnecks
Fri, Mar 17
10:00 pm ET
Seals
Warriors
Sat, Mar 18
11:00 am ET
Swarm
Wings
Sat, Mar 18
6:00 pm ET
Rock
Thunderbirds
Sat, Mar 18
7:30 pm ET
Mammoth
Bandits
Sat, Mar 18
7:30 pm ET
FireWolves
Riptide
Sat, Mar 18
8:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Panther City
Sun, Mar 19
3:00 pm ET
Wings
Knighthawks
WK
17
Fri, Mar 24
8:30 pm ET
Seals
Panther City
Sat, Mar 25
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Wings
Sat, Mar 25
7:00 pm ET
Rock
FireWolves
Sat, Mar 25
7:30 pm ET
Swarm
Riptide
Sat, Mar 25
9:30 pm ET
Roughnecks
Rush
Sat, Mar 25
10:00 pm ET
Bandits
Seals
Sat, Mar 25
10:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Warriors
Sat, Mar 25
10:30 pm ET
Knighthawks
Desert Dogs
WK
18
Fri, Mar 31
7:00 pm ET
Riptide
Swarm
Fri, Mar 31
9:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Mammoth
Fri, Mar 31
10:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Seals
Sat, Apr 1
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
Rock
Sat, Apr 1
8:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Panther City
Sat, Apr 1
9:30 pm ET
Warriors
Rush
Sun, Apr 2
1:00 pm ET
Swarm
Thunderbirds
Sun, Apr 2
6:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Wings
WK
19
Sat, Apr 8
7:00 pm ET
Rush
Swarm
Sat, Apr 8
7:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Knighthawks
Sat, Apr 8
9:00 pm ET
Panther City
Roughnecks
Sat, Apr 8
9:00 pm ET
Warriors
Mammoth
Sat, Apr 8
10:30 pm ET
Seals
Desert Dogs
WK
20
Fri, Apr 14
9:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Roughnecks
Fri, Apr 14
9:00 pm ET
Seals
Mammoth
Sat, Apr 15
7:00 pm ET
Wings
Rock
Sat, Apr 15
7:00 pm ET
Swarm
FireWolves
Sat, Apr 15
7:30 pm ET
Riptide
Bandits
Sat, Apr 15
9:30 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Rush
Sat, Apr 15
10:00 pm ET
Panther City
Warriors
WK
21
Fri, Apr 21
8:30 pm ET
Roughnecks
Panther City
Sat, Apr 22
6:00 pm ET
Riptide
Thunderbirds
Sat, Apr 22
7:00 pm ET
Swarm
Knighthawks
Sat, Apr 22
8:00 pm ET
Rock
Bandits
Sat, Apr 22
9:30 pm ET
Mammoth
Rush
Sat, Apr 22
10:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Seals
Sun, Apr 23
3:00 pm ET
Wings
FireWolves
WK
22
Sat, Apr 29
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Swarm
Sat, Apr 29
7:00 pm ET
Wings
Knighthawks
Sat, Apr 29
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
FireWolves
Sat, Apr 29
10:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Seals
Sat, Apr 29
10:00 pm ET
Riptide
Warriors
Sat, Apr 29
10:30 pm ET
Rush
Desert Dogs
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Stories/Op-Ed

As Mammoth Prepare To Honor John Grant Jr., #24 Wishes He Could Have Done More

It is often said that in sport, and I’m paraphrasing: The greatest competitors are the ones that have given blood, sweat, and tears for their clubs, pushed their teams to victory, challenge the boundaries of what we believe is humanly possible, but still carry a sense of dissatisfaction years after they retire. John Grant Jr. is one of those competitors.

 

“I spent my whole career losing to Toronto and Calgary with a couple of seasons in between where we lost one to Albany [Attack], one to Philadelphia [Wings], and one to Minnesota [Swarm]; It’s going to haunt me forever,” Grant painfully recalled. “The fact that I was never able to help the [Colorado] Mammoth win a playoff game, let alone a championship – that’s what I came here to do, to turn the franchise around and get them to the top of the heap – I just wasn’t able to do it.”

 

The Mammoth, their fans, Grant Jr.’s former teammates, and everyone in between view his career as an outstanding success, though, even in Colorado. On Saturday, despite not bringing a Champion’s Cup to the Mammoth organization, the Denver NLL franchise will retire Grant Jr.’s #24 jersey alongside Mammoth stars and NLL all-time greats Gary Gait, Gavin Prout, and Brian Langtry.

 

For nearly two decades, Grant Jr. personified greatness. The way he nimbly maneuvered around the turf even though he stood 6’2” tall and weighed in at around 220 pounds was incredible. Although it may be hard to imagine, he wasn’t always one of the larger men on the field.

 

“I was always the smallest kid on the team or close to it,” Grant Jr. said recounting his childhood playing days. “I would always be getting picked off the floor or carried off the floor… I was always playing against people who were older. Even in my early teens, I would be playing with the senior [Peterborough] Lakers guys at either our house or Jim Watson’s house or one of the other hall of famers houses playing backyard lacrosse… I remember that’s when I learned to play against kids who were bigger, stronger, faster and even adults. I always had a chip on my shoulder – kind of the small guy syndrome – trying to beat my dad and his friends at anything. Fortunately, I hit a growth spurt around 19 or 20 and went from being 5’6” to 6’2” and started putting weight on then. So everything I learned as a smaller player, the game just became easier when I was bigger.”

 

What magnified his greatness was his timelessness. Following ten seasons with the Rochester Knighthawks, Grant was traded to the Mammoth in 2011 at the age of 36 and would six seasons (and change) with the club like he was in his 20’s.

 

In his second season with the Mammoth, Grant Jr. tallied 116 points over 16 games earning him NLL Most Valuable Player honors. Playing until he was 42, Grant Jr. amassed 235 goals and 317 assists with the Mammoth. In just six playoff games, he shined just as bright scoring 13 goals and recording 16 assists in 6 games. Even more impressive, Grant Jr., by his account, was always playing through an injury while still posting ridiculous stats. “I don’t even remember a time when I wasn’t playing through pain,” he said.

 

His effort matched with his consistent jaw-dropping performances earned him the love of the Mammoth faithful and the respect of some of the greatest players to ever be part of the NLL. “John is one of the best offensive players ever, if not the greatest offensive player ever,” said the NLL’s all-time points leader John Tavares. “He has the greatest hands, the greatest shot, the greatest tricks shots. John was a very competitive guy and had a great career. Considering how many injuries he had through his career, it’s really impressive how good he was every game he played.”

 

Grant Jr.’s former teammates, Mike Accursi, shared similar sentiments about the dynamic scorer. “Junior was a magician with his stick,” Accursi said. “I’ve never seen a guy who could do what he did. Often we would sit back and watch and say, ‘Did he just do that?’ I have never seen, and probably will never see, a guy who could shoot, pass and take over a game as he could. His commitment to his skill set and passion that he had for the game of lacrosse made everyone around him better. Not only is he the best pure scorer I’ve ever seen, but he was also one of the best teammates I’ve ever played with; He truly is a legend in this sport.”

 

Had it not been for the mounting number of concussions Grant Jr. suffered, he might still be playing. Yet, he is extraordinarily grateful to have had the opportunity to play as long as he did, particularly for so many years with the Mammoth into his 40’s.

 

“[Steve Govett] took a chance on me when most people thought my career was over,” Grant Jr. said of the former Mammoth GM. “Now that I don’t play for him, we’ve become better friends, but he did a lot for me not just for playing professionally on the floor, but he talked with me a lot saying, ‘You’re not going to be able to play forever. You’ve got to start putting the pieces together for your next career.’ So he was hard on me that way kind of like a father figure. He really did help me grow up and establish myself. And, thankfully I did start to focus on off the field stuff. It definitely softened the blow to have something to lean on after I was knocked out of the game. If he didn’t take that chance on me back in 2011, I don’t know where I’d be or what would be happening in my life.”

 

Not only is Grant Jr. working now that he’s retired from playing, he says he is, “busier than I ever was when I was playing.” He currently is coaching the Valor Christian High School lacrosse team, he is the Offensive Coordinator/Assistant Coach for the Major League Lacrosse Denver Outlaws, and is the Co-Founder of Evolve Elite Lacrosse, not to mention he has tried out being a sideline commentator for the Mammoth this season.

 

As a legend in the organization and as someone who loves the city of Denver and its lacrosse fans, it would be no surprise if he were to take on a more committed role with the team in the future. “I grew up with Dan [Carey], and we’re really close, and I told him, ‘If you ever need anything, I’m here to help.’ … Would I want to be part of the Mammoth down the road? I’ll never say never.”

 

Even though Grant Jr.’s jersey retirement brings his Mammoth career to a close, for now, he is appreciative to have had the chance to be part of the franchise. “I’m extremely blessed to have played for as long as I did. To have played with and against my idols and then to be coached by guys that I played with… it’s been such an amazing ride. But, now it’s over, and the ride is taking a different road. My career is on the other side of the whistle as I like to say.”

 

 

 

NLL