USAFL Weekly: Edition 14-17: REFLECTIONS IV: 2014

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Hello, everyone….

It’s time to take a look back at 2014, our 4th year of Reflections. And for me, it was a year of transition and tribulations. But, as 2015 dawns next month, it is with hopefulness. So, let’s take a look back and a look ahead and my thoughts on both:

1)  A Look Back: 2014

What can I say about 2014 except eventful, but for the wrong reasons. This was my 10th year being a goal umpire and this was supposed to be my milestone year for making it to a special mark. That didn’t happen and for once, it wasn’t because of me. This year started at my 135th game and the way it was supposed to have gone should have finished in Columbus with me hitting the milestone 150th game during the Nationals. The year started off with a full tilt with several games, including the triple header with the Tournament of Champions and it was looking good that I would make my 5th Nationals come October. However, that took a turn in mid-July when the old job @ Sprint decided to throw a major monkey wrench and close the shop and thus sending the 2nd half of the year into major chaos.

At one point, it looked like I will be heading for the unemployment line for the first time in 4 years. However, come mid-August, I got the good news on moving to Opry Mills North and my current job @ Comcast in the Billing Department for the Central Regional, with a 22% pay increase. The bad news on the job came when it was going to start in early September, just 5 weeks before the Nationals. So much for my 5th for 2014. And, believe me, everyone noticed that I wasn’t there. My friends in the USAFL knows when I am there, everyone will be more informed on the group and the world will also know.

All of my friends in the USAFL and the USAFL Weekly Report missed me this year and so did my team, the Nashville Kangaroos, as I found out at the recent AGM and Awards Ceremonies at Jed’s Sports Bar @ Vanderbilt just 2 weeks ago. I never know how much I am missed than what the team had told me at the Nationals on “Where’s Alex?” as I was relegated to being home due to my 6th week of training in my new job and couldn’t travel. It is good to know how much you are loved by the USAFL community than when you are missed by not only the umpires, but the fans and the coaches and players of the USAFL. So, my year in the Goal Umpire ended at 139 games and will be starting at Game #140 next season.

But it wasn’t all bad news this season when it comes to the 2014 season. Even though I only had 5 games in umpiring, it was more than made up with the shows and the blog. The blog got added with 17 this year, which will put the blog on #208 as we will begin the 6th year with the first blog in 2015. During the 2014 year, we added another 11 countries reading the blog bringing the country count that reads the blog at least once to a total of 42.

Ah, but it doesn’t end there. For the first time, we now moved over to World Footy News as I became the newest contributor and the USAFL correspondent for the 2014 season, in which there was several of the blogs were highlighted on their website. I will be continuing for them in 2015 as the contributor once again.

As for the shows…

This year was 3 milestones for the USAFL Weekly rounds as we celebrated 6 years on the air on Anzac Day in April and hit the 200th show the week before Memorial Day. We also hit the big milestone in the views total as we crossed the 800,000 view mark and will be starting at just under 850,000 at 847,595. We will start 2015 at show #220 in our 7th year.

 

The USAFL also went through a lot in 2014 as they welcomed their 35th team this year in the Tampa Bay Starfish. There was a new rising force out west in the Los Angeles Dragons finishing in the top 5 for the first time in history and the unexpected surprises as the 2nd year Tulsa Buffaloes finished in the top 15 and ultimately had the upset of the year, toppling the powerhouse Dallas Magpies and to have a rising team in the North Carolina Tigers, pulling the unthinkable in winning Division 4. Also having the dominance that is the New York Magpies in taking the #1 spot and winning the 2014 Division 1 title in the men’s and the Denver Lady Bulldogs continuing their dynasty as they won their 5th straight title. No team, men’s or women’s, has ever pulled that feat and they will be heading for their 6th in 2015.

 

2)  A Look Ahead: 2015

The 2015 season is one of deep promise and it is a big year for me. This will mark my 10th full season (and 11th overall) as goal umpire, so in the technical terms at the club level, this will be putting me in the Hall of Fame with the Kangaroos. Needless to say, it’ll be a full year ahead as the 2015 schedule will not be posted ahead until pretty much March, however, the 140th game won’t take long into the season as the arch-rival Atlanta Kookaburras will be the first opposition in early January, marking the first time in history that the teams will start the season this early, breaking the old record of the first game of the year by 2 months (the old record was March 19th in 2010 as the Baton Rouge Tigers come to town). We will see how that will transpire the 2015 season. If it goes like 2014 was supposed to be, the 150th game will happen sometime during the season, if not at the Nationals, which is likely going to be in Racine, Wisconsin from 9-11 October 2015. And, don’t forget, it is also Parallel Cup year next year, so road trips will be plentiful next season, but they won’t all be for matches. Next year is also special because my oldest stepson, Nathan, heads into the Navy and one of the trips will have me traveling near the site of the 2015 Nationals in Great Lakes, IL for him to be completed Basic Training in late July. Depending on when the Parallel Cup happens, that trip may be missed this year. The Nationals WILL NOT BE! And, I will have something to talk about the Nationals in the next segment.

It will also mark a milestone on the blog as we will start our 6th year as we continue to do the weekly tradition of previewing the shows for next week that was started last year, so more people can get excited about and we are about to add a 2nd blog site to add more content via The Grid.io, so get ready for a lot of changes here too. This will be an interesting year as we head for a possible 250th blog by seasons end. Depending on what happens with the road trips that may happen. We will be trying to expand to be more in-depth next season and we will also be contributing to World Footy News as we will be doing articles for the 2nd year.

As for the shows…

Our 2015 season will begin in the traditional way, Australia Day weekend. The first show, our 220th, will be on 25 January 2015 @ 4 pm as we begin our 8th year (come April). There’s a distinct possibility that we will be surpassing the 250th show just before the AFL Grand Final, which has been moved to 2 October, the week before the Nationals. Here’s the preliminary look ahead at 2015 for shows (All Shows are on Sunday @ either 1 or 4 pm, unless noted):

 January:

  1. 25: 4 pm

    February:

    8 and 15: 4 pm
    22: 1 pm

     

    March:

     

    1: 4 pm CST

    8, 15 and 22: 4 pm CDT

    29: 1 pm CDT

     

    April:

     

    5, 12 and 19: 4 pm

    26: 1 pm

     

    May:

     

    3, 10, 17: 4 pm

    24: Off for Memorial Day

    31: 1 pm

     

    June:

     

    7 and 14: 4 pm

    21: 5 pm

    28: 1 pm

     

    July:

     

    5: Off for Independence Day

    12 and 19: 4 pm

    26: 1 pm

     

    August:

     

    2, 9, 16 and 23: 4 pm

    30: 1 pm

     

    September:

     

    6: Off for Labor Day

    13 and 20: 4 pm

    27: 1 pm

     

    October: Nationals Month

     

    4: 4 pm

    7 (Wednesday)-12 (Monday): Multiple shows due to Nationals. Will have a full list as we get closer, but it will be at minimum 10 shows.

    18: 4 pm (Season Finale)

     

    By my count, looking at 43 shows for 2015, which will put us at 263 by the time of the season.

     

    Like I said…this is very preliminary, but I hope everyone will be able to enjoy 2015 on the USAFL channel and the videos could be going to The Grid.io too. We shall see what happens…

    3)  Final Thoughts

     

    I am doing something different for Final Thoughts, so bear with me as it is important.

     

    After this year’s Nationals, there was an announcement to push the Nationals to be more accommodating to the Northern USA by having it in June-August. When I heard about this from the USAFL President in the state of the USAFL address, I was absolutely flabbergasted. The league that I have come to love to move the season ending Nationals to June-August to accommodate the Northern US? I say, stop right there. First of all, it has been a tradition for the last 15 years that to have the traditional time after the AFL Grand Final time. Granted, we have been shuttling between Ohio and Texas the last 4 seasons, but I am convinced that with more teams now coming on the scene in the last 5 seasons (Tulsa, Cleveland, Des Moines, Indianapolis, Tampa Bay, Sacramento, Los Angeles), this is no time to make changes.

     

    To suggest to move it to a June-August finish when most teams are literally getting underway in the Northern US (Minnesota, Seattle, and Portland…among others) is a recipe for disaster. Most of the teams over the last few years rarely get their first game before May 15th. That, I do have the proof of that with the blogs over the last several years as most teams in the South already have multiple games before the teams out west like Sacramento, Portland and Seattle and the North Central teams like Chicago, Minnesota, Des Moines, Kansas City and Milwaukee just get their 1st game in. That’s the way it has been for the last few years and it will stay that way. The best way to have more tournaments in the northern cities is to have the Regionals and the Parallel Cups in the cities and to have them hosted. Indianapolis did an awesome job for their 1st attempt at a Regional in the Central as well as Reno in the Western this past season. We have other ways of getting more cities to get involved with USAFL. Moving the Nationals to an earlier time is not the answer. Leave the Nationals in the traditional after the AFL Grand Final period on Columbus Day weekend.

     

    As far as Metro/Tournament games during the season, yes, continue with when there are more than 3 teams coming through. But also leave the traditional 4-quarter games with the traditional rivalries like Nashville-Columbus, Atlanta-North Carolina, and New York-Boston among others. To get more people involved in the USAFL, you need to teach them the traditional game of the AFL before going to the Metro/Tournament games. That’s what makes the AFL in the 150 years and the USAFL in its 18 years so great. If it isn’t broke, don’t replace or fix it. Leave it alone.

     

     

    Alright…off my soapbox.

     

    I hope that everyone has a great holiday season ahead and the first blog of 2015 will come in 5 weeks just after the New Year. Godspeed to everyone. See you in 2015!


USAFL Weekly: Edition 14-16: USAFL Season In Review

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Welcome, everyone…

This has been an interesting year for the entire USAFL as well as the USAFL Weekly Report family as we have gone through some new beginnings, among other things…

This is an extended blog, so it will recap the entire season and we get set for the 2015 season as well. With that, here’s what “ON TAP”:

  • Review of the 2014 Season
  • Final USAFL 2014 Standings
  • A Look Ahead: 2015 and Changes Ahead

 

1)  Review of the 2014 Season

What can I say about the 2014 season, except, “Expect the unexpected?” Who would have begun the 2014 season and think that the team to beat would be Austin and have at the end of the season have the top 2 teams going to the Nationals and yet neither team winning the Grand Final. Or to have a team that went 0-3 in the regular season, got the top seed in Pool B in Division III and went 0-3 in the Nationals. Or to have a perennial powerhouse team be upended by a 2nd year team and that team finish higher than you. Or to have not a tie in the regular season, but two ties during the 2014 season. Or have another former perennial powerhouse to be not only the Wooden Spoon, but for the first time in a decade, didn’t field a team to the Nationals.

Now, if you are wondering what I am talking about, I will decipher it for you:

  1. The top 2 teams that came into the Nationals (Austin @ 12-0 and Orange County 13-1) that didn’t win the Grand Final in Division One (New York won it at 13-1). Orange County finished in 2nd and Austin in 4th.
  2. The team that went eventually 0-6 is the Fort Lauderdale Fighting Squids, which finished 29th.
  3. The perennial powerhouse team that was upended by a 2nd year team was in July when Tulsa upended Dallas @ Tulsa. Tulsa finished 14th; Dallas finished 17th.
  4. And the two ties that happened this season was Nashville vs. Cincinnati @ Indianapolis in the Central Regional Tournament and the Sacramento vs. Des Moines match @ the Nationals last weekend. Sacramento finished in 8th, Cincinnati 11th, Nashville 12th and Des Moines 18th. For Des Moines and Sacramento, it is their best finishes in their club history.
  5. And the former perennial powerhouse that didn’t field a team to Dublin and will have the Wooden Spoon for 2014 is the San Diego Lions at 0-8 and will finish 31st.

 

What else can be said of 2014???

 

2)  2014 Final USAFL Weekly Report Standings

With all of the upside down the 2014 season has been, who would have figured that Austin sitting 2nd and Golden Gate in 1st after the regular season, the Nationals have turned the final season standings upside down as well. With that, here are the final 2014 standings and what they did in the Nationals:

Men’s Ladder

Team W-L Points PF PA % Nationals
1)  New York Magpies 13-1 48 813 273 297.80 Won Division One Grand Final against Orange County
2)  Orange County Bombers 14-2 40 967 263 367.68 Lost Division One Grand Final against New York
3)  Los Angeles Dragons 10-4 35 783 309 253.40 Won Division Two Grand Final against Columbus
4)  Austin Crows 13-2 32 590 322 183.23 Finished 5th in Division One
5)  Columbus Jackaroos 14-10 31 1098 1097 100.09 Lost Division Two Grand Final against LA
6)  North Carolina Tigers 6-3 28 611 403 151.61 Won Division Four Grand Final against Denver B/KC
7)  Minnesota Freeze 9-3 27 794 507 156.61 Finished 6th in Division One
8)  Sacramento Suns 6-9-1 27 578 598 96.66 Won Division Three Grand Final against Philadelphia
9)  Houston Lonestars 7-6 24 694 365 190.14 Finished 3rd in Division Two
10)  Philadelphia Hawks 6-4 22 325 353 92.06 Lost Division Three Grand Final against Sacramento
11)  Cincinnati Dockers 7-6-1 20 614 626 98.08 Finished 3rd in Division Three
12)  Nashville Kangaroos 5-6-1 17 528 516 102.33 Finished 7th in Division Two
13)  Golden Gate Roos 8-4 16 347 407 85.26 Finished 7th in Division One
14)  Tulsa Buffaloes 6-6 16 522 651 80.18 Finished 3rd in Division Four
15)  Atlanta Kookaburras 4-5 16 503 689 73.00 Finished 4th in Division Four
16)  Denver Bulldogs 6-5 15 471 297 165.32 Finished 4th in Division One
17)  Dallas Magpies 5-11 14 597 623 95.83 Finished Last in Division One
18)  Des Moines Roosters 4-7-1 13 602 667 90.25 Finished 5th in Division Three
19)  Chicago Swans 3-8 12 414 552 75.00 Finished 6th in Division Two
20)  Kansas City Power 5-4 11 417 419 99.52 Lost Division Four Grand Final against North Carolina
21)  Seattle Grizzlies 3-8 10 266 511 52.05 Finished 5th in Division Four
22)  Portland Steelheads 3-4 8 257 327 78.59 Finished 6th in Division Three
23)  Baltimore/Washington Eagles 2-8 8 377 578 65.23 Finished 5th in Division Two
24)  Boston Demons 2-5 6 145 247 58.70 Finished Last in Division Two
25)  Louisville Kings 4-2 5 398 248 160.48
26)  Baton Rouge Tigers 1-6 4 221 540 40.93
27)  Indianapolis Giants 1-6 4 227 621 36.55 Finished 6th in Division Four
28)  Saint Petersburg Starfish 1-0 2 42 18 233.33
29)  Fort Lauderdale Fighting Squids 0-6 0 92 289 31.84 Finished Last in Division Four
30)  Milwaukee Bombers 0-1 0 25 117 21.36
31)  San Diego Lions 0-8 0 73 773 9.44

 

Women’s Ladder

Team W-L Points PF PA Pct. Nationals
1)  Denver Lady Bulldogs 4-0 20 121 20 605.00 Won 5th Straight Title against San Francisco
2)  San Francisco Iron Maiden 4-2 16 108 124 87.10 2nd time Runner Up in Grand Final against Denver
3)  Sacramento Lady Suns 3-4 12 173 112 154.46 Finished 7th
4)  Minnesota Lady Freeze 2-1 8 82 13 630.77 Finished 4th
5)  Boston Lady Demons 3-1 6 92 69 133.33
6)  Baltimore/Washington Lady Eagles 1-2 4 72 34 211.75 Finished 5th
7)  New Lady Lady Magpies 1-3 4 145 86 168.70 Finished 6th
8)  Columbus Lady Jillaroos 0-5 0 20 420 4.76 Finished 8th
9)  Portland Lady Banshees 0-1 0 0 57 0

 

Ok, everyone is wondering…”I see 9 teams…where did BWE come in on the games and where did Portland come in?” BWE teamed up with Montreal and had 3/4ths of the team during the Nationals, so their scores counted, thus they finished 6th. Boston teamed up with Columbus, but Columbus had more players, so their scores at the Nationals counted. Portland teamed up with San Francisco, so the Iron Maiden would count on the games. Calgary finished 3rd in the Women’s field.

 

3)  A Look Ahead: 2015: Changes Abound

Now that we can finally close the book on 2014 and the interesting season of the USAFL and the Freedom, Revolution and Liberty teams (Revos finished 9th, Freedom 3rd, Liberty 7th in the International Cup in Melbourne), it’s time to look ahead at 2015 and what will be another interesting season of programming and what will be a very interesting 11th season for me as Goal Umpire and our 7th year on the air next January. To begin, this season was my lowest count of games done (5). I will start 2015 on my 140th and will need 11 games to make the big 150th. Lisa Albergo, my excellent friend and co-host, is nearing her 300th game and will be just 13 games away. We hope that both of us will hit our respective marks at next year’s Nationals…wherever they made be. The finalists that I have heard is Austin, Racine/Milwaukee or Sarasota. If it is Racine/Milwaukee, it will mark a return for the first time in that area in nearly a decade. If it is Austin, it will mark the 3rd time in 5 years. If it is Sarasota, it will mark the 1st time not only for the city, but for the state overall as the USAFL Nationals has never been in Florida.

But it also marks changes for me as well. During the 2014 season, my job @ Sprint ended when the call center in Nashville closed down after I have been there 3.25 years. But, when one door closes, another door opens. On September 8th, I went to the brand new Call Center for Comcast in Opry Mills North. The good news for me with the new job, the pay increased by nearly 25% over my old job, which means I will be making more trips to the matches, but unlike 2014, where most of the games were on the road, 2015 will be mostly home! So, the chances of making the 150th are quite good and yes, making the Nationals will be a definite GO!, no matter where it is.

As for my shows that I will be at for 2015… We will be at Show #226 as we start 2015 and most likely be in the 250-260 range by season’s end of 2015. As far as road trips, next year…that’s at least 3, however, 2 of those are family related as my oldest son, Nathan, will be heading for the Navy and will be graduating Basic Training in late July/early August. The 2nd trip, of course, the Nationals in October wherever it is. The 3rd will be Nathan’s graduation from AIT, which I think will be near Thanksgiving or Christmas of next year. As for blog entries…will be starting at 209th after the Reflections 2014 is done and then no telling where we will be at the end of 2014. We hope to be at the 225th by mid-season and knocking on the 250th by the end of the 2015 season.

 

4)  Final Thoughts

As I conclude the 2014 year in the blog and the USAFL season, I hope that everyone realizes on the sacrifices that the players, the coaches, the administrators that have done during the 2014 season. And, I know that they also appreciate the sacrifices that I have put through over the last decade and especially in the last 7 years for the show, the last 5 in the blog and the last 6 on Facebook. If everyone thinks that I am retiring after the 2014 season, nope…I won’t do that to all of you. You have me heart and soul until I can’t do it any longer. I hope that 2015 will be a magical year that I can hit the big milestones in the umpiring, shows and yes, the blog as well. I will do a Reflections blog in early December to reflect the 2014 year. I hope everyone has a good break away during the holidays and I will see you in the new year with our first blog of 2015 in early January. Take care and God Bless.

 

 

 

 

 

 


USAFL Weekly: Edition 14-15: USAFL Nationals Preview

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Good evening, everyone…

Before we begin, I need to apologize to everyone on here as I have been not having doing the Editions on the website since mid-July due to a lot of changes with work moving from one after 3 years (Sprint Call Center in Donelson) to my new job that I started one month ago today (Comcast Call Center in Opry Mills North, 7 mi. NW). I thank everyone for their patience and reading up via Facebook, but this is NATIONALS WEEK…so we need to get rolling fast as kickoff is 3 days away. So, with that, let’s get rolling:

 

Welcome, everyone….to the 2014 USAFL Nationals Preview.

As we begin what will be our 1st year doing the rounds on World Footy News as a contributor as well as our 5th year doing it on our main website. So, what will make this different is we will have the full divisions and the predictions for each of the divisions in winning each pool with the current records and ranking and then we will have our show times for this coming weekend. So, let’s get started:

 

  • Division One Preview

We will begin with the premier division in all of the USAFL, Division One Men’s. In this Division lay the toughest pool in all 5 divisions of Aussie Rules in the USA, including the last undefeated team (Austin). So, with that….

Key: Team (Record, Points, Current USAFL Weekly Report Standings)

Pool A Seed Pool B
Austin Crows (12-0, 28, #3) 1st Calgary Kangaroos
Denver Bulldogs (5-3, 11, #12) 2nd New York Magpies (9-1, 28, #2)
Orange County Bombers (11-1, 28, #1) 3rd
Dallas Magpies (5-8, 14, #8)
Minnesota Freeze (8-1, 23, #4) 4th Golden Gate Roos (7-2, 12, #9)

 

Ok, I know what everyone is asking why is Austin and Calgary are the top seeds, even with a very strong Orange County at 11-1 being ranked #1 for the majority of the season. Simple, they are the defending pool champs in their respective pools from Austin and Austin is the defending Premiers from last season. Now that has been cleared up, the toughest pool in the Division One is, of course, Pool A with 3 of the top 4 teams in the USAFL in that pool and the perennial 8-time champs Denver rounding out the pool. The matches to watch during the weekend are:

  • Pool A: Austin vs. Orange County (3 pm EDT, Saturday). The winner of that game will win the pool and will be a strong contender to win Division One.
  • Pool B: Calgary vs. New York (11 am EDT, Sunday). They save the best of Pool B for Sunday, but I think it will be worth the wait as the winner of that game will win the pool.

Predictions:

  • Pool A: Austin vs. Orange County will decide it and in my estimation, that game will be an all-out war. I think at this point until Austin gets toppled, they will be the team to beat. Austin.
  • Pool B: Once again, the battle between Calgary vs. New York will decide it and another all-out war. I will go with New York to win it in a close one.
  • Grand Final: Austin vs. New York. These two teams have played each other last month with Austin pulling a 16 point win on a neutral Dallas field. I think on this one, unless the champs are knocked down, Austin will take it. Austin by less than a goal.

 

  • Division Two Preview

     

Pool A Seed Pool B
Los Angeles Dragons (6-4, 15, #8) 1st Columbus Jackaroos (11-9, 19, #5)
Nashville Kangaroos (5-3-1, 17, #6) 2nd
Houston Lonestars (5-5, 16, #7)
Baltimore/Washington Eagles (1-5, 4, #24) 3rd
Boston Demons (2-2, 6, #19)
Quebec Saints 4th
Chicago Swans (2-6, 8, #15)

 

Matches To Watch:

  • Pool A: I know everyone is shocked to see the Nashville Kangaroos being seeded #2 and in Division 2, but remember this. Their record of 2-4 in the last 2 years moved them to there. With that said, the match to watch will be their match with Los Angeles (Sunday, 10 am EDT). Whoever wins that match will win the Pool.
  • Pool B: The match to watch will be the Houston vs. Chicago at 5 pm EDT. Whoever wins that game may have an outside chance to topple Columbus.

Predictions:

  • Pool A: The winner of LA vs. Nashville will win the pool. In my opinion, Nashville with the tougher schedule this year, should beat Los Angeles and wins the pool.
  • Pool B: Until someone can topple Columbus, they will be the team to beat.
  • Grand Final: Nashville vs. Columbus. This will be an all-out war as the teams have split the season series. I will go out in a limb and will say, Nashville, by less than a goal, to win their first Grand Final ever.

 

  • Division Three Preview:

 

Pool A Seed Pool B
Sacramento Suns (3-9, 9, #14) 1st
Fort Lauderdale Fighting Squids (0-3, 0, #29)
Des Moines Roosters (3-6, 7, #18) 2nd
Philadelphia Hawks (3-3, 10, #13)
New York Magpies B 3rd
Calgary Kookaburras B
Cincinnati (Ohio Valley) Dockers (5-4-1, 12, #10) 4th
Portland Steelheads (2-2, 4, #22)

 

Matches To Watch:

  • Pool A: With the Houston Lonestars moving to Division Two, Sacramento, as the runners-up, got the top seed. The match that will be to watch in Pool A could be the most unknown, Sacramento vs. New York Magpies B (Saturday, 3 pm EDT). Whoever wins that game will have the inside track to win the Pool A.
  • Pool B: The unexpected top seed in the Fort Lauderdale Fighting Squids will have their hands full if they can get through the tougher Pool B and the game to watch will be their final game against Philadelphia (10 am EDT, Sunday). The winner will take the pool.

Predictions:

  • Pool A: Both pools will be difficult to predict, but more so in Pool A. In Pool A, I will go with the Sacramento Suns to win the pool in a tough pool, but don’t be surprised to see to have Des Moines.
  • Pool B: The game between Philadelphia and Fort Lauderdale will take it and with Philadelphia playing the tougher schedule, I will take the Hawks to win the pool.
  • Grand Final: Sacramento vs. Philadelphia. These teams faced each other in Pool B last year in Austin, in which I umpired that game to decide that pool. Sacramento won that game and I think they will win the Grand Final to take Division 3. Sacramento by 2 goals.

 

  • Division Four Preview

     

Pool A Seed Pool B
Tulsa Buffaloes (4-5, 8, #16) 1st
North Carolina Tigers (1-3, 4, #23)
Denver Bulldogs B/Kansas City Power 2nd Columbus Jackaroos B/Orange County Bombers B
Houston Lonestars B 3rd Milwaukee Bombers/Indianapolis Giants
Minnesota Freeze B/Seattle Grizzlies 4th Atlanta Kookaburras B/Baltimore-Washington Eagles B

 

Match To Watch:

  • Both Pools: With the only two full teams in the Pool, the match of the Division Four will be Tulsa Buffaloes vs. Houston Lonestars B (4 pm EDT Saturday). That match most likely will decide Pool A and have a great chance of winning Division Four.

Predictions:

  • Pool A: The Tulsa vs. Houston will be the match of the Division and with the stronger schedule for Tulsa, I will go with Tulsa to win.
  • Pool B: With 3 other teams being split teams, North Carolina is the class of the field and will win Pool B.
  • Grand Final: Tulsa vs. North Carolina. This will be an all-out war. Tulsa has played more games in the USAFL this season (9) to North Carolina (4), so with that, I will go with Tulsa to take their first Premiers in only their 2nd Nationals ever. Tulsa by 2 goals.

 

  • Women’s Division Preview

     

Pool A Seed Pool B
Denver Bulldogs 1st San Francisco Iron Maiden/Portland Banishees
Calgary Kangaroos 2nd
Sacramento Suns
Montreal/Baltimore-Washington Eagles 3rd Minnesota Freeze Blue
Minnesota Freeze Blue/Columbus/Boston 4th
New York Magpies/Toronto

 

Matches to Watch:

  • Pool A: Denver, with all of their power, will have to wait for, in my opinion, the match of the entire Women’s Division as they face Calgary (3 pm EDT Saturday). The winner of this match will likely win the entire thing. If there’s any chance for the dynasty to end, this will be the game.
  • Pool B: San Francisco Iron Maiden/Portland vs. Sacramento Suns (Noon EDT Saturday). Sacramento has absolutely owned San Francisco in the regular season as they taken 3 out of 4 games this season, but this is the Nationals. Does Sacramento have it in them to do 4 out of 5?

Predictions:

  • Pool A: In my opinion, until Denver gets beaten, Denver will win Pool A and go for 5 in a row.
  • Pool B: The San Francisco/Portland vs. Sacramento will decide who will face Denver. Move over, San Francisco. Sacramento will win Pool B.
  • Grand Final: Denver vs. Sacramento. These teams have faced each other last year with Denver winning in the Nationals by 45. Expect more of the same. Denver to win 5 straight by 6 goals.

 

Showtimes This Weekend:

This year, due to work constraints, I am forced to head the Nationals coverage from home base Smyrna, however, don’t panic. Rob De Santos and Brian Reiss from Gem City Sports will be our liaisons in Dublin. We will have 7 shows this weekend. Here’s our showtimes and what we will cover during those shows (All times USA Eastern Daylight Time):

Friday

9 pm: Our Opening Ceremonies (2 hours): We will preview all 5 Divisions and will have special guests during our 2 hours.

 

Saturday

1 pm: Halftime Report (1 hour): We will be on Darree Fields as we recap the morning session and preview the afternoon session and our games to look ahead.

4 pm: Special Show (1 hour): During the 4 pm show, we will be interviewing the newest teams in the USAFL and what they are doing to strength the USAFL in new areas and we will recap the first half of the afternoon games.

7 pm: Day in Review (2 hours): Our Day in Review will recap all of the games and have the standings for each of the divisions and preview Sunday morning’s games. During the show, we will have an open segment to answer questions from our Facebook, Twitter, Chat on UStream and our live audience in Dublin. For those on Twitter and Facebook, use #FootyCentral with your question throughout the day on Saturday and we will answer them during the show.

 

Sunday

1 pm: Grand Final Preview (1 hour): We will be on Darree Fields as we recap the final round robin games and set the stage for the Grand Finals.

4 pm: Special Show (1 hour): We will recap the Division 4, 3, 2 and Women’s Grand Final during this hour.

7 pm: Grand Final Day In Review (2 hours): Our Grand Final Day in Review will recap all 5 Divisions and hopefully have interviews of the winning teams during the 2 hour show. Remember, as we did Saturday, we will have a Q and A session as well. Use #FootyCentral with your question throughout Sunday and we will answer on this show.

 

Please bookmark our websites during this weekend:

Video: USAFL Weekly @ The Nationals: www.ustream.tv/channel/usafl-weekly : Alex will be hosting the video portion here.

Audio: Gem Sports Radio Network: radio1.gemcitysports.com : Rob and Brian will lead the audio here.

 

I hope everyone makes it to the websites during this weekend. The NATIONALS begin Friday….time to bounce for the titles!

 


USAFL Weekly: Edition 14-14: For The Week Ending 12 July 2014

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Hello, everyone….Welcome to Independence Day Week…. As we are at the halfway point of the season in the USAFL season and nearing the three-quarter pole in the AFL, it is also time to begin the preparations for not only the International Cup but also the USAFL Nationals, now just under 100 days to go.  So, we got a lot to cover this week.  With that, here’s what “ON TAP”:

  1. USAFL Standings
  2. A Look Ahead:  Next Week’s Games
  3. First Look:  USAFL Nationals

1)  USAFL Standings As we begin the month of July, we have a battle brewing in both the Women’s and Men’s Divisions.  Here are the latest standings: Men’s Division

  1. Austin Crows 5-0, 12 pts. (218-99, 220.20%)
  2. Dallas Magpies 4-2, 12 pts. (372-179, 207.82%)
  3. Minnesota Freeze 5-1, 11 pts. (449-313, 143.45%)
  4. Columbus Jackaroos 8-5, 11 pts. (756-671, 116.13%)
  5. Cincinnati Dockers 4-3, 9 pts. (424-381, 111.28%)
  6. Orange County Bombers 3-0, 8 pts. (212-17, 1247.05%)
  7. Golden Gate Roos 5-1, 8 pts. (196-243, 80.88%)
  8. New York Magpies 2-0, 6 pts. (101-30, 280.56%)
  9. Louisville Kings 4-2, 5 pts. (398-248, 160.48%)
  10. Nashville Kangaroos 1-0, 4 pts. (148-15, 986.67%)
  11. Baltimore/Washington Eagles 1-0, 4 pts. (107-28, 382.54%)
  12. Seattle Grizzlies 1-0, 4 pts. (63-23, 273.91%)
  13. North Carolina Tigers 1-2, 4 pts. (212-200, 106%)
  14. Philadelphia Hawks 1-1, 4 pts. (63-109, 57.80%)
  15. Atlanta Kookaburras 1-2, 4 pts. (190-386, 49.22%)
  16. Los Angeles Dragons 2-1, 3 pts, (136-66, 206.06%)
  17. Denver Bulldogs 2-2, 3 pts. (189-156, 121.15%)
  18. Boston Demons 1-1, 2 pts. (64-43, 148.83%)
  19. Tulsa Buffaloes 2-2, 2 pts. (157-271, 57.93%)
  20. Sacramento Suns 1-6, 1 pt. (252-289, 87.20%)
  21. Kansas City Power 1-1, 1 pt. (101-131, 77.10%)
  22. Des Moines Roosters 1-1, 1 pt. (240-350, 68.57%)
  23. Chicago Swans 0-3, 0 pts. (81-173, 46.82%)
  24. Fort Lauderdale Fighting Squids 0-1, 0 pts. (13-35, 37.14%)
  25. Baton Rouge Tigers 0-3, 0 pts. (148-403, 36.72%)
  26. Indianapolis Giants 0-5, 0 pts. (142-396, 35.86%)
  27. San Diego Lions 0-3, 0 pts. (22-220, 10%)

Women’s Division

  1. Sacramento Lady Suns 2-1, 8 pts. (106-37, 286.48%)
  2. San Francisco Iron Maiden 1-2, 4 pts. (37-106, 34.91%)
  3. Columbus Lady Jackaroos 0-1, 0 pts. (19-87, 21.84%)

2)  A Look Ahead:  This Week’s Games This week’s matches is the first Showdown Saturday as the several of the top 11 teams in the Nation take the field.  Here are this week’s matches:

Stop One:  #11 Baltimore/Washington @ #8 New York:  Tibbetts Park

Our first stop is one of the oldest battles in the USAFL and the EAFL as the Eagles take on the Magpies @ Tibbetts Park.  This game will begin the EAFL season for both teams and whoever wins will definitely move up in the USAFL Weekly standings.

Stop Two:  MATCH OF THE WEEK:  #1 Austin and #4 Columbus @ #10 Nashville:  Ted Rhodes Cricket Grounds in Metrocenter

The Match of the Week is the only round robin matches of the week, but this will go a long way in the standings.  The current ladder leaders in Austin and #4 Columbus comes to the friendly confines of Ted Rhodes Cricket Grounds in North Nashville (Metrocenter) as the Tournament of Champions take place.  Austin comes in @ 5-0, Columbus is 8-5 and Nashville is 1-0.  Each of the games will count 2 points, so a maximum of 4 points is at stake for the round robin.

Stop Three:  #21 Kansas City @ #19 Tulsa:  Veterans Park

Our third stop takes us to Tulsa as the 21st ranked Power take on the 19th ranked Buffaloes.  This will be a full game, so 4 points is on the line as well.

Stop Four:  Vancouver @ #12 Seattle:  Skagit River Park in Burlington, WA

The final stop of the rounds takes us to Burlington as the 2nd in the series of the Battle of the 49th Parallel continues with Vancouver taking on Seattle.  This is a full game and will count 4 points as well.

 

 

USAFL Weekly: Edition 14-13: For The Week Ending 21 June 2014

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Hello, everyone.

As we begin our 13th addition of the year, we got a lot to cover as the teams are all over the place this week.  So, with that, here’s what “ON TAP”:

  1. Last Week’s Games
  2. Standings
  3. This Week’s Games
  4. This Week’s Show

1)  Last Week’s Games

We head into last week’s games with our first stop @ Bethell, WA as the Seattle Grizzlies began their 2014 campaign with the Battle Of The Border.  From the beginning, the Grizzlies wouldn’t be denied as they won their game 8.15.63 to 3.5.23.  Stop Two took us to Indianapolis as the Ohio Valley Metro Championship took place with the Giants, Columbus Jackaroos, Louisville Kings and the Cincinnati Dockers.  Here are the scores from the games in Indianapolis:

Game 1 (Metro):  Louisville 7.5.47 Columbus 4.11.35

Game 2 (Metro):  Louisville 13.9.87 Columbus 3.3.21

Game 3 (Full):  Cincinnati 23.12.150 Indianapolis 3.5.23

Louisville takes the Ohio Valley Metro Championship.

The other game of the weekend was Baton Rouge taking on Houston @ Baton Rouge.  Houston wins the game 21.10.136 to 4.2.26.

2)  Standings

As we go into this week’s matches, here are the current ladder:

Men’s Ladder

  1. Columbus Jackaroos 8-5, 11 pts. (756-651, 116.13%)
  2. Cincinnati Dockers 4-3, 9 pts. (424-381, 111.28%)
  3. Austin Crows 4-0, 8 pts. (218-99, 220.20%)
  4. Dallas Magpies 3-2, 8 pts. (337-166, 203.01%)
  5. Houston Lonestars 2-4, 8 pts. (378-254, 148.82%)
  6. Minnesota Freeze 4-1, 7 pts. (357-305, 117.05%)
  7. Golden Gate Roos 3-0, 6 pts. (83-36, 230.56%)
  8. Louisville Kings 4-2, 5 pts. (398-248, 160.48%)
  9. Orange County Bombers 1-0, 4 pts. (153-3, 5100%)
  10. New York Magpies 1-0, 4 pts. (62-9, 688.89%)
  11. Baltimore/Washington Eagles 1-0, 4 pts. (107-28, 382.54%)
  12. Seattle Grizzlies 1-0, 4 pts. (63-23, 273.91%)
  13. North Carolina Tigers 1-1, 4 pts. (165-146, 113.01%)
  14. Atlanta Kookaburras 1-1, 4 pts. (175-238, 73.53%)
  15. Los Angeles Dragons 1-1, 2 pts. (39-35, 111.43%)
  16. Tulsa Buffaloes 2-2, 2 pts. (157-271, 57.93%)
  17. Denver Bulldogs 1-1, 1 pt. (135-105, 128.57%)
  18. Des Moines Roosters 1-3, 1 pt. (232-258, 89.93%)
  19. Kansas City Power 1-1, 1 pt. (101-131, 77.10%)
  20. Baton Rouge Tigers 0-3, 0 pts. (148-403, 36.72%)
  21. Indianapolis Giants 0-5, 0 pts. (142-396, 35.86%)
  22. Sacramento Suns 0-3, 0 pts. (28-79, 35.44%)
  23. Chicago Swans 0-1, 0 pts. (26-79, 32.91%)
  24. San Diego Lions 0-1, 0 pts. (3-153, 1.96%)

Women’s Ladder

  1. Sacramento Suns 1-1, 4 pts. (58-30, 191.33%)
  2. San Francisco Iron Maiden 1-1, 4 pts. (30-58, 51.72%)
  3. Columbus Lady Jackaroos 0-1, 0 pts. (19-87, 21.84%)

3)  This Week’s Games

This week, our games will head to Boston and Fort Lauderdale for the first time this season and we will welcome the 36th team in the USAFL as the St. Pete Starfish plays their 1st game.  With that, here’s this week’s games:

Stop One:  Boston Regional

Teams in Competition:  Men:  Halifax, Montreal, #23 Chicago, #10 New York and Boston  Women:  Montreal, New York, Quebec and Boston

Our first stop is the home grounds of MIT and Stateside Footy’s Bill Robert as the Boston welcomes Halifax, Montreal, Chicago and New York for the Boston Regional for the Men’s and the Montreal Angels and New York Magpies and Quebec for the Women’s.  All games will count 2 points for this round.

Stop Two:  Fort Lauderdale vs. #4 Dallas and St. Pete

The second stop will have Fort Lauderdale @ Broward Regional Stadium as we welcome St. Pete to the USAFL with their inaugural game against Fort Lauderdale and Fort Lauderdale will play Dallas.  The Fort Lauderdale/St. Pete will be a Metro and will count 2 pts. while the game with Dallas is a full game and will count 4 pts.

Stop Three:  #5 Houston @ #3 Austin Metro Carnival

The third stop takes us to USAFL National Champions Austin @ Onion Creek Soccer Fields for the Metro Carnival against Houston.  The round robin will count 2 pts. for each win.

Stop Four:  #19 Kansas City @ #6 Minnesota

The 2nd full game this weekend and our last stop will be @ #6 Minnesota as the Freeze plays #19 Kansas City.  A win by Minnesota will put them in the ladder top spot.

4)  This Week’s Show

Our show this week will recap this week’s games as well as Week 14 of the AFL and we will have reports from the VFL on the Roosters with Eric Wallace and St. Kilda as well.  Showtime is at 4 pm on Sunday.

With that, that’s it for this week.  Busy week next week as Nashville will begin their season next week.  We will preview that next week.  See you then!

USAFL Weekly: Edition 14-12: For The Week Ending 7 June 2014: Returning To The Blog

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Good afternoon, everyone…

We got a lot of catching up to do today as we haven’t been on the blog in nearly 2 months.  So, with that, here’s what “ON TAP”:

  1. Apologies
  2. Standings leading into June
  3. This Week’s Games (14 June)
  4. UStream Updates
  5. This Week’s Show (15 June)

 

1)  Apologies

As we begin this edition, an apology is needed to begin.  Over the last several weeks, I have extremely swamped with a lot of things that, unfortunately, that hasn’t been in my control.  If it hasn’t been work, it has been family.  Let me explain on both.  Work over the last month and a half has been extremely busy to a point that we are working overtime on our days off.

To add insult to injury, the family situation is also been out of my control, too, as several family emergencies are ongoing at the present that hasn’t rectified itself.  One of my great uncles is in Stage 3 Lung Cancer and not sure on how much longer he will have and my Mom and Dad’s health isn’t the best either.  So, I hope everyone understands if the blogs seemed a little haphazardly absent, but now, you, the fans, know why and I thank you for being patient with me during this trying time.

 

2)  Standings leading into June

Before we begin on the standings, here’s how this year’s standings will be done:

  • All full USAFL Games- Wins counts 4 pts with Ties counts 2 pts.
  • All USAFL Metro Games:
  • Metro Full (14s)- Wins counts 2 pts with Ties count 1 pt.
  • Metro 9s- Wins counts 1 pt with Ties count .5 pt.

During the Nationals:

  • Wins during the Round Robin matches counts 4 pts. with Ties count 2 pts.
  • Grand Final:  The Grand Final Winner in each classification counts 8 pts.

Our first 2 months of the season has produced some upsets and some major blowouts as well.  As we get set for the month of June, here’s the updated standings as we go into the games for June 14th:

Men’s Division

  1. Columbus Jackaroos 8-3, 11 pts. (700-517, 135.40%)
  2. Austin Crows 4-0, 8 pts. (218-99, 220.20%)
  3. Dallas Magpies 3-2, 8 pts. (337-166, 203.01%)
  4. Minnesota Freeze 4-1, 7 pts. (357-305, 117.05%)
  5. Golden Gate Roos 3-0, 6 pts. (83-36, 230.56%)
  6. Cincinnati Dockers 3-3, 5 pts. (274-358, 76.54%)
  7. Orange County Bombers 1-0, 4 pts. (153-3, 5100%)
  8. New York Magpies 1-0, 4 pts. (62-9, 688.89%)
  9. Baltimore/Washington Eagles 1-0, 4 pts. (107-28, 382.54%)
  10. North Carolina Tigers 1-1, 4 pts. (165-146, 113.01%)
  11. Houston Lonestars 1-4, 4 pts. (242-228, 106.14%)
  12. Atlanta Kookaburras 1-1, 4 pts. (175-238, 73.53%)
  13. Louisville Kings 2-2, 3 pts. (264-192, 137.50%)
  14. Los Angeles Dragons 1-1, 2 pts. (39-35, 111.43%)
  15. Tulsa Buffaloes 2-2, 2 pts. (157-271, 57.93%)
  16. Des Moines Roosters 1-3, 1 pt. (232-258, 89.93%)*
  17. Kansas City Power 1-1, 1 pt. (101-131, 77.10%)*
  18. Indianapolis Giants 0-4, 0 pts. (119-246, 48.37%)
  19. Baton Rouge Tigers 0-2. 0 pts. (122-267, 45.69%)
  20. Sacramento Suns 0-3, 0 pts. (28-79, 35.44%)
  21. Chicago Swans 0-1, 0 pts. (26-79, 32.91%)
  22. San Diego Lions 0-1, 0 pts. (3-153, 1.96%)

Women’s Division

  1. Sacramento Suns 1-1, 4 pts. (58-30, 193.33%)
  2. San Francisco Iron Maiden 1-1, 4 pts. (30-58, 51.72%)
  3. Columbus Jackaroos 0-1, 0 pts. (19-87, 21.84%)

You noticed the asterisks on several of the men’s teams.  The reason as we were coming to post that those teams had games scheduled for Saturday in the case of Des Moines-Kansas City, their game was postponed due to extreme heavy rain in Kansas City and Des Moines.  They will be rescheduling as a possible doubleheader later in the season.

 

3)  This Week’s Games (14 June)

As we get into the second week of June, some of the teams are finally coming out of hibernation and will have their first games this week.  Here’s this week’s schedule:

Stop #1: #11 Houston @ #19 Baton Rouge

Our first stop of the week takes us to Baton Rouge for the battle of I-10 Central as Baton Rouge takes on Houston.  This will be the first game for Baton Rouge in 3 weeks as well for Houston.  Expect fireworks between these two teams as they try to move up the standings.

 

Stop #2:  Ohio Valley Metro Championship @ Indianapolis

Teams involved:  #1 Columbus, # 6 Cincinnati, # 13 Louisville and #18 Indianapolis

This is the final metro rounds in the Ohio Valley Championship and the winner will be decided this Saturday.  After this set, the next time these teams will face each other will be in July @ the Central Regional Tournament with Chicago, Nashville and Milwaukee.

 

Stop #3:  BC Saints vs. Seattle Grizzlies @ Bothell, WA

This is a rare I-5 North battle that BC and Seattle play as they will be on a neutral ground in Bothell.  For Seattle, this is their season opener for them.

 

4)  UStream Updates

We will be updating the UStream shows over the next few days as we get prepared for the trip to Indianapolis which is just under 7 weeks away.  July 5th week, we will preview the Indianapolis trip and get everyone set for this first trip ever to the Central Regional tournament.

 

5)  This Week’s Show

This week’s show will be on a special time of 5 pm as we will celebrate Father’s Day in the USA.  A lot to cover over the last 2 weeks and the new standings will be out as well.

 

With that, everyone….that’s it for now.  More next week as we get set for the Battle in Boston and gear up for the showdown in Nashville at the end of the month against Atlanta.  See you next week!

 

Rutherford Redbacks vs. Wilson Wallabies score

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Rutherford Redbacks vs. Wilson Wallabies- Metro Game 1

Game @ Elmington Field. Temp: 77 and Sunny. Winds: West 7 mph

Umpires:
Field:
Goal: Toby Persson, Alex Benjamin (135th)

1st Quarter:
Rutherford Redbacks – 4.0.24
Wilson Wallabies – 3.1.19

2nd Quarter:
Rutherford Redbacks – 4.1.25
Wilson Wallabies – 3.0.18

3rd Quarter:
Rutherford Redbacks – 2.2.14
Wilson Wallabies – 2.2.14

4th Quarter:
Rutherford Redbacks – 2.4.16
Wilson Wallabies – 2.1.13

Final Score:
Rutherford Redbacks – 12.7.79
Wilson Wallabies – 10.4.64