Player Insight: Curtis Dickson’s Journey South

Despite a dwindling amount of phone booths in San Diego County in recent years, Curtis “Superman” Dickson has opted to remain a member of the San Diego Seals for at least the next two seasons. 

Last year, Dickson decided to take his talents to Southern California following an 11-year stint with the Calgary Roughnecks.

His former Roughnecks teammates, Dane Dobbie, and Wes Berg, were already down in “America’s Finest City.” With Kevin Crowley also signing on to suit up for the Seals last season, it was one of those moves that would disrupt the order in the West Conference. 

Dickson saw an opportunity to achieve great success with a roster loaded with talent from back to front, and, by many standards, it was a great success. Dickson and his teammates helped the Seals to a 14-4 record, which was tied for the best record in the league. The first-round playoff exit was not what the team hoped for, but that result was part of the motivation to return and run it back with most of the guys.

“We have a sour taste in our mouths with how last year finished (being the top seed and being bounced in the 1st round),” Dickson said. “I felt it was needed to run it back and give it another shot with the squad. It was a pretty easy decision – I didn’t want to stick around and test free agency again. I loved being part of the Seals last year, so I thought I’d lock myself in for two more years.”

Individually, Dickson put up 44 goals and 56 assists. This was his 3rd season recording 100 or more points and his 2nd season with 50 or more assists. It was also his 8th season with 40 or more goals. Dickson credits the amazing pieces around him on offense for allowing him to reach great heights.

“Playing with the offense on that team that we do – they’re outstanding,” Dickson said. “The even distribution of firepower that we have out there makes [my] job a heck of a lot easier.”

This year’s Seals team is going to look a little different. Crowley is now with the Vancouver Warriors, but Berg, Dobbie, Austin Staats and Tre Leclaire, and other significant contributors to the offense will be back to try to make a run at the NLL Cup again.

Dickson is grateful for what his teammates brought to the table to make this an exceptional experience in San Diego and has appreciated his time around the organization.

“It’s a fantastic organization,” Dickson said. “Anyone fortunate enough to be in San Diego for 2 weeks watching the Worlds knows that it’s an awesome city with awesome weather and awesome people.”

While Dickson is still performing at a very high level, at 35 years old, he understands that playing in over 220 games (regular season and postseason combined) over 12 seasons physically takes a toll on you. He was still able to put up impressive numbers last season, but he knows that won’t keep happening forever, even if he is surrounded by the same amount of talent that he was surrounded by in his first year in San Diego. 

“Unfortunately, it’s getting to the point in my career where it’s kind of winding down,” Dickson said. “Hopefully, I’ve got a few more good years left in me, but [retirement] is something you start to think about. San Diego is obviously a place I’d like to ride out the rest of my career in, as long as they’re willing to have me. 

“Who knows, if [the NLL] keeps bringing franchises in, maybe I’ll be like a JT [John Tavares] and play into my 40’s.”

Since Dickson claimed his title as “Superman”, it has been hard to imagine an NLL without the dynamic scorer. He’s currently ranked 8th all-time in NLL regular season history for the most goals scored – he has 502 goals – and has tallied over two dozen game-winning goals. He truly has saved the day on many occasions. 

How many more rescues does Dickson have in him? Hopefully, enough for him and the Seals to win their first ever NLL Cup. That’s why he’s sticking around in San Diego. Winning another title might get some people calling him “Super-champ” instead of “Superman.”