Philly Looks to Rebound after Poor Performance

The Philadelphia Spinners haven’t had to come back from a loss very often this season, thanks to their 13 and 2 league record.

When they have entered a game looking to avoid a two-game losing streak, however, Philadelphia has made sure to assert its dominance. In the two games they have played this season following a loss, the Spinners have won by an average of 14 points, with one of their victories being a 35-13 thrashing of the Buffalo Hunters.

Following their loss to Nexgen on Thursday night, the Spinners will look to continue this trend on their biggest stage yet: the AUDL’s Eastern Division Finals.

Philadelphia will look to bounce back from their worst game of the season, in which they became overwhelmed by Nexgen’s speed and athleticism, losing 24-17.

As much as their play on Thursday may raise questions about the team’s mindset, however, the familiar opponent that Philadelphia will see lined up across the field will ease its worries.

The Spinners have defeated the Rhode Island Rampage by an average of more than seven points per game in the teams’ three games this season.

Even the Rampage’s owner admitted that it should be the Connecticut Constitution, not his own team, who should be competing against the Spinners in Saturday’s contest at Franklin Field, but due to the legal situation that Connecticut finds itself in with the league, the Rampage get the spot.

Rhode Island travels to Philadelphia amidst internal discussions attempting to move the franchise to Boston.

Regardless of what the future holds, in the short term, a win earns the victors a trip to the Silverdome in Michigan for the inaugural AUDL championship against the Indianapolis Alleycats next weekend.

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Spinners v. Nexgen

The Philadelphia Spinners will breathe a sigh of relief on Saturday, when they return to playing against other AUDL teams.

The young-guns of the Nexgen Tour asserted their dominance over the Spinners time and time again on Thursday night in Philadelphia, winning 24-17.

Despite worries that playing with AUDL rules would affect them, Nexgen showed no negative side affects, ending the game with no 7-second stall outs and showing no fatigue as the game wore on long after they had scored 15 times.

The game stayed close for the first period, with both teams breaking the other three times. In time, though, Nexgen started taking advantage of numerous Spinners’ turnovers and converting break opportunities.

By half time, Nexgen led by 5, and despite the Spinners attempt to throw different defensive looks at the young squad, the lead never shrank to anything less than 4.

The Spinners played their worst game as a team, deviating from the slow, methodical play that made them able to slowly wear teams out over the course of 48 minutes, and falling into the fast-paced play that the college all-stars prefer.

David Baer was honest on Twitter following the game, tweeting that the Spinners “knew this would be the toughest game all year.” He tipped his hat to his opponents for their “fast, aggressive” brand of ultimate.

Nexgen’s Tyler DeGirolamo played a phenomenal game, ruling the sky on almost every opportunity. He came into the game leading his team in goals.

In addition to DeGirolamo, Callahan winner Nick Lance and Luther’s Eric Johnson took advantage of any space that the Spinners gave them, breaking the mark and placing the disc in prime position for their cutters to succeed.

The Spinners suffered as much from the athletic Nexgen players as they did from their own execution, however.

In the second half, the Spinners would attempt to place the pull on the line, then set a double team trap. However, in all but one of those efforts, Nexgen stayed composed, eventually getting the disc off of the line and to the break side, allowing for the easy score.

Nexgen moves to 7-1 on their bus tour, while the Spinners suffer their 3rd loss.

On Saturday, the Spinners will be back at Franklin Field to take on the Rhode Island Rampage in the AUDL’s Eastern Division Championship.

Until then, they’ll be thankful that rosters closed weeks ago, so that the Rampage couldn’t talk Nexgen into staying in Philadelphia for a few more days.

 

 

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Bluegrass Revolution Lose Regardless of Sunday Result

Today’s playoff matchup between the Indianapolis Alleycats and the Bluegrass Revolution is about more than a bid to the league’s championship game. 

It’s about all of the turmoil that has surrounded the league for the last month, and the basis upon which the league has been built.

The Indianapolis Alleycats, from a marketing standpoint, have been one of the most successful AUDL franchises. 

They have over 1,100 followers on Twitter, and 3,390 fans on Facebook. In terms of attendance, they are second in the league, averaging 620 people per contest. 

On the other side of the worrisome line that the league has walked between accepting money for franchises regardless of whether or not Josh Moore and the AUDL would be able to put each of its owners and teams in the best position to success stand the Bluegrass Revolution.

While their opponent on Sunday has done a fairly commendable job getting the word out, the Revolution have had more trouble. Their Twitter account has only 440 followers, and their Facebook page stands at just under 1,000 fans as of the midnight before they play for a place in the championship.

Their woes don’t just exist in cyber space, however. In their last three home games of the season, the Revolution posted attendance numbers of 140, 129, and 129 people respectively.

Amidst a Twitter feed that, when compared to other teams’, is quite active in terms of in-game activity, one can find pleas for more people to come out to game, as well as ideas for how the team could be promoted around the community in a more effective fashion.

And so, the BGR will take the field on Sunday, away from home, despite having a better overall league record.

John Korber and others have been critical of the league’s supposed focus on selling franchises rather than helping to stabilize the current ones, and the effects of this strategy will be exemplified first hand on Sunday.

Surely, even the NFL, or other successful professional leagues, has teams that draw better and those who draw worse. The difference in this case is that, when the Jacksonville Jaguars start playing well, the league’s marketing strategy, the league’s visibility brings the public eye onto the team.

Comparing the NFL and the AUDL is apples and oranges, for sure. However, the point remains valid. If Josh Moore and the league had spent the time and effort, both throughout the season and in the week leading up to this matchup, on the success of the Bluegrass Revolution, the team wouldn’t be in such a difficult situation.

Tomorrow, win or lose, the Revolution will still be without a strong fan base, and without the resources necessary to bring attention to its product.

The fate of the Revolution was sealed when the league agreed to purchase the rights to create a team in an area without an already-present, strong ultimate presence.

Some of the blame lies on the team itself, as Connecticut has proven that a team doesn’t need to be placed in a major metro area to draw well, but it all goes back to the league’s priorities.

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President Defends AUDL Marketing Approach, Silent on Other Issues

In the past month, Josh Moore has gone from maneuvering his league from behind-the-scenes to standing front and center in a swirl of controversy.

For the most part, besides a letter posted on the AUDL webpage regarding the lawsuit between the Constitution, the Rampage, and the league, Moore has stayed mostly silent while talk around the league grew regarding the manner in which Moore chose to operate.

With that silence comes a confidence that he knows a secret that others within the league don’t quite comprehend.

While his dissenters comment that the league is simply interested in selling franchises and not focused on how the current ones pan out, Moore pleads for rationality on the issue.

“The league has pushed down tens of thousands of dollars to the teams to make the season happen and all of the teams have benefited from these funds,” Moore said. “The monies received from expansion teams have been reinvested into the league to facilitate success and growth.”

As for those who criticize the league’s marketing campaign throughout the first year of the league’s existence, Moore refers back to the money trail.

“We would love to have unlimited resources to market the sport, but as our teams do not pay the league dues or fees, and we are in our infancy stage with minimal sponsorship dollars, the claim that the league is not helping the teams is upsetting to hear after all the support was pushed down to the teams to help get our league off the ground,” Moore said.

Moore was frank when responding to critics, as well as questions regarding the policies on forfeits and missed games.

He explained that “every effort be made to play the game – whether it means move it to the evening, cool mist fans, emergency personnel, shade tents.” If the agreement to cancel isn’t mutual, then the team requesting a reschedule must find an available date in the future. In the case of the Columbus Cranes’ forfeit, the only open date was one during which they would not have enough players.

As for the Indy Alleycats looking to take a forfeit and pay the fines toward the Rhode Island Rampage rather than put out money for travel expenses, Moore called the situation one that “we never wanted to see happen,” and that, looking toward next year, “we want to make sure that in the future, every game on our schedule gets played.”

But in regards to other issues, from the dissention within the league, a possible restructuring of the league, Brent Steepe’s relation to the new Boston franchise, and anything regarding the lawsuit with the Constitution and the Rampage, Moore was silent.

He explained that he needed to stay quiet on these issues “in order to avoid complications as we work for resolution.”

The Western Division Championship will be played on Sunday, featuring the Bluegrass Revolution taking on the Indy Alleycats.

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Lawsuit May Bring Real Change to AUDL

Despite what their record may suggest, the Connecticut Constitution will not play the Philadelphia Spinners in the Eastern Division Championship on August 4th.

And in the eyes of Constitution GM and Coach John Korber, the more that people are talking about the steps that led to this difficult situation, the better.

For the last year, since the league began operation, the league and team owners’ agendas have been on opposite ends of the spectrum.

“The league has continued to go about its business in the same manner for the past year, and that business has been trying to sell new franchises, and only minimally focusing on the values and behaviors of the existing franchises,” Korber said.

Unlike the league, the team owners are focused on making professional thrive, which Korber defines as having between two to five thousand fans attend each game.

Korber has spoken of this difference in opinions between the league and its teams since before the season, but until the legal trouble, the league had been able to keep such an opinion in the minority.

After league owner Josh Moore sued the Connecticut Constitution and the Rhode Island Rampage, “those two agendas, which are rarely in alignment, intersected in a public (and valuable) way,” Korber commented.

Since the lawsuit, more attention has been paid to the league’s aims and the organizational decisions that lead to fines being levied against the Constitution for missing games, despite the number of similar situations earlier in the season that did not result in the same disciplinary action.

Besides the fines, Korber said that the league attempted to keep the news of the compensation that the Spinners received for the breach in the Territory Licensing Agreement.

In Korber’s mind, “the issuing of fines and forfeits has primarily been to try and bully the Constitution’s ownership to leave the AUDL entirely.”

Rather than supporting the owners of one of its most successful franchises thus far, the league continually has established that Connecticut will either stop questioning the league’s questionable decisions, or not return for its second season.

However, as Connecticut has no intention of paying the fines, and is more than willing to speak about its difficulties with the league, this plan has backfired for the league.

Such an issue was bound to arise due to the very structure of the league.

“The only incentives the league has are in the growth of the number of teams in the league,” Korber explained.

“This model is doomed from the start, but is a great place to start, provided that the parties involved are willing to evolve. The current league management (unlike the owners) hasn’t proven an ability to do so.”

Currently, with the league engaged in a legal battle with two of its eight teams, the light at the end of the title doesn’t seem to be in sight.

Whether the Constitution are forced out of the league or not, Korber believes that, despite the current climate, the fix is quite simple.

“The league office, including the commissioner and any additional staff, should be employees of the league,” Korber said. “The league should be owned by the collection of owners of which it consists, like every other successful professional sports league.”

As obscure a road it may seem to take to arrive at a solution, the Constitution’s legal entanglement may be what will lead to changes to the currently chaotic AUDL.

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AUDL Source Argues League’s Side of Story

UPDATE: Connecticut Constitution CEO Bryan Ricci responds to AUDL’s comment regarding the Constitution helping to bring the New York owner into the league. See comment at the bottom of the page.

Deep within the American Ultimate Disc League’s Facebook, a voice arguing the league’s side of the story has finally spoken.

On a post thread that began with a fan asking why Detroit was formally informed by the league that their game against the Constitution had been cancelled, but Connecticut had not, the moderator of the AUDL’s Facebook responded fervently.

Such comments are old news, but as the conversation drags on, new information unearths itself.

Last week, news broke regarding money changing hands between the league and the Spinners, allowing the Hammerheads and the NY franchises to be founded within the Spinners’ 100-mile radius as delineated within the Territory Licensing Agreement signed by Philadelphia.

In this comment by the AUDL, however, “they” refers to the Connecticut Constitution, showing the lengths to which the Constitution is willing to go to prevent franchises being founded in the areas from which it draws the majority of its talent.

Knowing that the Constitution was offered an olive branch by the league softens, to an extent, the amount of blame that is able to be placed upon the league within the current controversy.

Later on in the comment thread, the AUDL representative speaks of the agreement regarding the NY and Boston franchises that had been agreed to before the TLA was signed:

This post doesn’t comment as to whether such an agreement was verbal or in writing.

More interesting, however, is the fact that the AUDL claimed that the Constitution helped to bring the owner of the supposed New York team into the league.

This, if anything, adds to the complexity that is this legal mess between Connecticut and the AUDL.

In addition, it is a breath of fresh air to hear any information from the league, who has been mostly silent throughout this debacle.

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Week 14 Recap: Spinners Overcome Alleycats, Revolution

More than a day total spent on a bus, numerous games of Mafia, and two victories against the top two teams in the Western Conference.

It was quite the weekend for the Philadelphia Spinners, who took down the Indianapolis Alleycats, 19-16 on Saturday night before hopping right back onto the bus, travelling down to Kentucky, where they defeated the Revolution, 27-17.

The Alleycats gave the Spinners a close match, keeping the game within three points for the entire 48 minutes. Dave Baer, an o-line starter for the Spinners, tweeted that his team had “some hiccups (possibly due to 12 hour bus ride,” but in the end, Philadelphia was victorious.

Captain Trey Katzenbach congratulated his d-line on Twitter for carrying the team over the course of the game.

On Sunday, after a close three quarters before a crowd of just 129 fans, the Spinners broke away early in the fourth against the Revolution, taking 13 of the last 18 points scored in the contest.

The Alleycats also played back-to-back games, taking on the Columbus Cranes on Sunday following their loss to the Spinners.

The game was close throughout, staying within three points until late in the fourth. Columbus took the first point of the match, and held on for the full 48 minutes, winning 25-20 over Indy.

The Alleycats hope to get Brodie Smith back for the playoffs, as they limp into the Western Conference Finals, with their only win in the last five games coming by way of a forfeit on part of the Connecticut Constitution.

Rounding out the weekend in the AUDL, the Rampage defeated the Buffalo Hunters, 26-21, taking the season series 3-1.

Rhode Island led by just two early in the second quarter, but by halftime their lead had swelled to 14-8.

That six point lead would remain for the rest of the contest, as the Rampage defeated the Hunters, 27-21.

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