USAFL Weekly: Edition 15-4: For Australia Day Week: Week Ending 24 January 2015

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Hello, everyone…welcome to Australia Day Week.

Here’s what we have “ON TAP” for this edition:

  • Changes Abound
  • The Road To Austin Challenge
  • Show 15-3 Preview

 

  1. Changes Abound

     

    This week after several attempts on trying to get it working on UStream, it was decided to move over to YouTube. You can look for it under USAFL Weekly Show. Episodes 15-1 and 15-2 are on there now.

     

  2. The Road To Austin Challenge

     

    For those that haven’t been keeping up on Facebook, I have started a new challenge and that’s walking the distance from home base HQ in Smyrna to the Onion Creek Soccer Complex in Austin, home site of the 2015 USAFL Nationals, which is a total of 915 miles. So, with that, I am beginning to also update on here as well. As of last Sunday, here’s the current status:

     

    Total miles last week: 15.85

    Year-to-date miles: 34.15

    Distance to go: 880.85

    Days to go: 347

     

    On the map: As of last Sunday, I was 2.5 miles east of the Interstate 65/840 interchange in Southern Williamson County and crossed the interchange after Monday’s walk total.

    Coming this week: 3 days off (Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday). Road race on Saturday (Zoo Run Run 5K in Nashville @ Nashville Zoo).

     

  3. Show 15-3 Preview

     

    This week’s show will be on at the normal time on 4th Sundays which is 1 pm CST. Here’s the preview:

     

  • AFL Preview of Collingwood
  • AFL Preview of Essendon
  • AFL Preview of Fremantle
  • USAFL Weekly for the month of February

     

    The previews of Collingwood, Essendon and Fremantle are the focus on this show and we will end the show after the groups with our look ahead to February and the shows ahead.

     

     

    With that, that’s it for this week…more next week in Edition 15-5.

USAFL Weekly: Edition 15-3: Show 15-2 Preview and 2015 USAFL Winter Classic Recap

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Welcome to Edition 15-3, everyone.

This week’s blog will have a lot to cover so, with that, let’s to see what’s “ON TAP”:

  • USAFL Winter Classic Recap
  • 2015 USAFL Standings
  • Show 15-2 Preview

 

  1. USAFL Winter Classic Recap

    This past Saturday (10 January), history was made in the USAFL as for the first time, an actual point’s match tournament took play…IN JANUARY and on TURF. The first ever USAFL Winter Classic took place at Belmont University’s Rose Park on the Soccer Turf field, the first time ever that an USAFL match took place on turf. The 35 players, representing the Indianapolis Giants, Nashville Kangaroos and the Atlanta Kookaburras began the round robin matches @ 2:30 pm under sunny conditions with the first bounce temperature at 36 degrees, making it the 2nd coldest game in USAFL history (2008’s Grand Final @ The Nationals in Colorado Springs was 26). The matches were on Metro 9s, which the first 2 games (Atlanta vs. Nashville Redbacks and Atlanta vs. Nashville Wallabies) would count in the overall USAFLWR final standings as 1 point.

    Game One: Nashville Redbacks vs. Atlanta Kookaburras

    Game time: 2:30 pm CST

    Weather: Sunny and 36 with Light and Variable Winds

    The first game of the day was the Redbacks vs. Kookaburras. Right from the beginning, this match would be a defensive first half battle as the teams would literally go to a stalemate with the Redbacks leading at 1.3 (9) to Atlanta’s 1.2 (8) even though the Kookaburras outmarked the Redbacks 17-9 in the first. The second half show the tenacity of the Redbacks as they took command of the contest by outmarking the Kookaburras by a 23-11 advantage as they went 4.1 (25) to 2.2 (14) to win the game 5.4 (34) to 3.4 (22).

    Game Two: Nashville Wallabies vs. Atlanta Kookaburras

    Game time: 3:20 pm CST

    Weather: Sunny and 37 with Light and Variable Winds

    Game #2 was Nashville’s 2nd Metro team, the Wallabies, against the Kookaburras. Unlike the first game, the Kookaburras brought more intensity as they made a strong offensive battle, but couldn’t get the marks to go to go to goals. The marks was in Atlanta’s favor 11-10 in the first, but like Game #1, the Kookaburras was down by a score of 2.1 (13) to 1.0 (6). The second half was a complete 180 as the Kookas was on the attack from the outset. The second half went in a fast break for the Kookaburras as they outmarked the Wallabies by a 12-7 as they kick 3.1 (19) to 0.4 (4) to win the game 4.1 (25) to 2.5 (17). With that, the series for Nashville vs. Atlanta went 1-1, but with Nashville having the higher point total, wins the Classic by a total of just 4 points.

    Game Three: Nashville Wallabies vs. Nashville Redbacks
    Game time: 4:15 pm CST
    Weather: Sunny and 39 with Light and Variable Winds

    Game #3 was the battle of the Wallabies and the Redbacks in the finale. From the outset, the Redbacks brought the hammer down as they went on the attack, outmarking the Wallabies 19-9 in the first half to lead at the half at 4.4 (28) to 1.0 (6). The second half was more of the same as the Redbacks outmarked the Wallabies 21-11 in the second half and shut them out on the second half with a 5.4 (34) to 0 to win the overall tournament 9.8 (62) to 1.0 (6).

    Field Umpires: Jeff Persson and Kane Harrison

    Goal Umpires: Toby Persson and Alex Benjamin (142nd)

     

  2. 2015 USAFLWR Standings

    Being this early on the season, here are the standings thus far:

     

Men’s W-L Pts. PF PA %
1)  Nashville Kangaroos 1-1 1 51 47 108.51
2)  Atlanta Kookaburras 1-1 1 47 51 92.16

 

  •  Show 15-2 Preview

    Next week, we will begin the 9 part series of the AFL and USAFL as we begin in the AFL with the first 3 teams on the group. Here’s next week’s show:

     

    1. Opening Segment

      The opening segment will be our traditional start with our customary welcome and to preview the show for this week.

       

    2. Segment Two: AFL News

      Our first major segment is the latest news in the AFL from Lisa Albergo on that happened last week.

       

    3. Segment Three: Adelaide Crows Season Preview

      Segment Three will have the first previews of the AFL and USAFL as we preview the Adelaide Crows.

       

    4. Segment Four: Brisbane Lions Season Preview

      Segment Four will have the Brisbane Lions Preview.

       

    5. Segment Five: Carlton Blues Season Preview

      Segment Five will have the Carlton Blues Preview.

       

      Please note: Segments Three-Five will happen during our six part series and will consist of the Season Schedules and our predictions of where the teams will be.

       

    6. Segment Six: Preview of Show 15-3

      The final segment will preview Show 15-3.

       

      That’s it, everyone….we shall see everyone Sunday and for those that missed the premiere, head over to Youtube where Episode 15-1 will be on there.


The 2014 Year In Review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for USAFL Weekly Report, enjoy….

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 28 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

USAFL Weekly: Edition 15-2: Premiere Show 2015 Preview

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Hello, everyone…

Welcome to 2015. As you know, for those that are on Facebook and Twitter, I announced late on Monday night (29 December 2014 Central Time) that we are moving up our first show of 2015 to 11 January, 2 weeks ahead of our typical start of Australia Day weekend (25 January). That doesn’t mean, however, that we will abandon our 25 January show. Hardly, we are just doing it a little differently.

 

Here’s how the first show of 2015 will go:

  • Segment One: Introductions

    Our opening segment will have the Introductions and our traditional opening song from John Sebastian “Welcome Back”.

     

  • Segment Two: Recap of the AFL Off-Season

    Second segment will recap the AFL Draft and the ongoing Essendon scandal that has been ongoing.

     

  • Segment Three: Recap of the USAFL Off-Season

    Our third segment is the recap of the USAFL Off-Season with the word on the newest teams in the USAFL, the Tampa Bay Larrikins and the Boise Rovers.

     

  • Segment Four: 2015 USAFLWR Shows Preview: January-March

    Our fourth segment will be our shows preview for the 2015 season for the January-March session as we will be previewing the January-March shows.

     

  • Segment Five: Preview of Show 15-2

    Our fifth segment will preview Show 15-2, which will begin our first of nine part series between the AFL and USAFL Season Previews. We will begin with Adelaide, Brisbane and Carlton and will look at the 2015 schedule and our predictions. The 9 part series will go like this:

     

  1. 18 January: AFL: Adelaide, Brisbane and Carlton
  2. 25 January: AFL: Collingwood, Essendon and Fremantle
  3. 8 February: AFL: Geelong, Gold Goast and Great Western Sydney
  4. 15 February: AFL: Hawthorn, Melbourne and North Melbourne
  5. 22 February: AFL: Port Adelaide, Richmond and St. Kilda
  6. 1 March: AFL: Sydney, West Coast and Western Bulldogs
  7. 8 March: USAFL: Eastern Regional
  8. 15 March: USAFL: Central Regional
  9. 22 March: USAFL: Western Regional

     

     

  • Segment Six: Final Words

    We will have our final words for the week and get set for next week.

     

     

    That’s it for this week….we will gear up for Show 15-2 and our preview next week.

     


     

USAFL Weekly: Edition 15-1: 2015 Shows Preview

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Welcome, everyone…to 2015.

It is time to look ahead to 2015 and what the shows will be ahead for next year. So, this blog will preview the year ahead. So, I will go through each month (No shows in December as usual, but 1 will be in November, unlike normal).

January:

 

 1)  25 January (4 pm CST): Show 15-1: Opening Show of 2015: Show #230

Our first show of 2015 takes place in the traditional spot on Australia Day weekend on Australia Day as we recap the off-season with the Entry, Rookie and Pre-Season Drafts and recap all of the USAFL games that happened, if any, as the 2015 season will begin in earnest. We will also preview the 2015 season as we will have some of the schedule stabilized.

 

February

 

1)  1 February (Off because of Super Bowl Weekend)

2)  8 February (4 pm CST): Show 15-2: 2015 AFL Season Preview:  Part One: Adelaide, Brisbane and Carlton
Our first show will have the first of several parts for the AFL as we prepare for the 2015 season in earnest in early in April.   What’s different this year is we are doing 3 teams at a time instead of the entire league in one week.  I hope everyone enjoys this new format and post your questions on Facebook for any team and as we get to that particular team’s week preview, we will answer them.  In Part One, we will be talking about the Adelaide Crows, Brisbane Lions and the Carlton Blues and all of the team will have their predictions for the 2015 season.

3)  15 February (4 pm CST): Show 15-3: 2015 AFL Season Preview:  Part Two: Collingwood, Essendon and Fremantle
Our second show of February will be our season preview for Collingwood, Essendon and Fremantle and our predictions for their 2015 season.

4)  22 February (1 pm CST): Show 15-4: 2015 AFL Season Preview:  Part Three: Geelong, Gold Coast and GWS
Our final show of February will mark our halfway point of the season previews in the AFL as we will preview Geelong, Gold Coast and GWS and our predictions for 2015 season.

March
1)  1
March (4 pm CST): Show 15-5: 2015 AFL Season Preview:  Part Four: Hawthorn, Melbourne and North Melbourne
Our first show of March (our last in Standard Time for 2015), we will have our preview of the defending premiers in Hawthorn, Melbourne and North Melbourne as we make our predictions for the 2015 season and we will make our thoughts known on our American Footy star, Eric Wallace…as he tries to make the Kangaroos Team.

 

2)  8 March (4 pm CDT): Show 15-6: 2015 AFL Season Preview:  Part Five: Port Adelaide, Richmond and St. Kilda
Our second show of March (our first in Daylight Time for 2015), we will have our preview of Port Adelaide, Richmond and St. Kilda as we make our team predictions for 2015.
3)  15 March (4 pm CDT): Show 15-7: 2015 AFL Season Preview:  Part Six: Sydney, West Coast and Western Bulldogs
Our third show of March will have our final AFL season preview as we have our preview of the Premiers Runner-Up in Sydney, West Coast and Western Bulldogs.

 

4)  22 March (4 pm CDT): Show 15-8: 2015 USAFL Season Preview

Our fourth show of March will finish the entire 2015 Season Previews by dedicating entirely to the USAFL and our predictions on where everyone in the men’s and women’s divisions will make it to the Nationals in Austin.

5)  29 March (1 pm CDT): Show 15-9: 2015 AFL Season: Week 1
Our final show of March begins the 2015 AFL Season in earnest as we will have our first game picks for Week 1 in the AFL.

April

Please Note: As we begin the month of April, we will have a different format for 2015 as we will go to Segments. So with that, here’s the lineup of how the shows will be:

Segment One: Recap of the Week in the AFL and our picks for the week ahead.
Segment Two: VFL Recap with recaps of Weribee and Collingwood
Segment Three: AFL News from the week
Segment Four: USAFL Recap of games from last week
Segment Five: USAFL A Look Ahead
Segment Six: Question Time*
Segment Seven: Weekly Report Look Ahead Next Week
*- Segment Six on Question Time is especially for our fans that we will take questions that our fans send via our Facebook page as well as during our chat during our live shows as well. We will have that also during our Opening Ceremonies at the Nationals. I hope everyone enjoys it during the 2015 season.

1)  5 April (4 pm CDT): Show 15-10: Easter Sunday: Week 2 of AFL

Our first show of April will recap Week 2 with the exception of the Easter Monday game, which will happen after our show.

2)  12 April (4 pm CDT): Show 15-11: Week 3 of AFL

3)  19 April (4 pm CDT): Show 15-12: Week 4 of AFL: ANZAC Week:  7 Year Anniversary Show
T
his is a special week in the group as we celebrate 7 years being on the air and we will look back at the last 7 years and hopefully, look forward to the next 7.
4) 
26 April (1 pm CDT): Show 15-13: Week 5 of AFL

 

May

1)  3 May (4 pm CDT): Show 15-14: Week 6 of AFL

2)  10 May (4 pm CDT): Show 15-15: Week 7 of AFL

3)  17 May (4 pm CDT): Show 15-16: Week 8 of AFL
4) 
24 May (4 pm CDT): Show 15-17: Week 9 of AFL
This is going to be a short show as this will be just on the AFL as the USAFL is off during the Memorial Day holiday, which falls the next day.
5)  31 May (1 pm CDT): Show 15-18: Weeks 10 and 11 of the AFL

This week will be a special one because this will be falling on the week of Jennifer’s and my 5th anniversary. The following week, we will be celebrating on the road east of here. So, with that, we are combining two shows in one for this set and it will be longer, more than 2 hours.

 

 

June

1)  7 June: No Show: On the Road
2) 1
4 June: (4 pm CDT): Show 15-19: Week 12 of the AFL
During last week (7 June), this and next week (21 June), the AFL will have only 6 games on the schedule as the teams will have a bye weekend. So, both the 14th and 21st shows will be slight shorter time wise, but still full nonetheless.

 

3)  21 June: (4 pm CDT): Show 15-20: Week 13 of the AFL

4)  28 June: (4 pm CDT): Show 15-21: Weeks 14 and 15 of the AFL
This week’s show will be like May 31st for the simple reason that the following week is Independence Day holiday in the USA and it also happens to be my youngest son, Billy, 15th birthday. So, once again, we will have our 2 weeks of predictions and like May 31st, it will be more than 2 hours.

July
During the month of July last year, the Central Regional Tournament had happened in Indianapolis and could happen again, so depending on what happens, this month could be a crazy month.

1)  5 July: No Show due to Independence Day

2)  12 July (4 pm CDT): Show 15-22: Week 16 of the AFL

3)  19 July (4 pm CDT): Show 15-23: Weeks 17 and 18 of the AFL
This show, once again, will be a two week round once again, but for a special reason. My oldest son, Nathan, will be shipping off to Basic Training @ Great Lakes Naval Station during early June and by the time that Basic concludes, which is 8 weeks, will happen during the next weekend. So, we will be once again, on the road.

4)  26 July: No Show: On the Road in Wisconsin…

 

 

August

During this month is usually our month when we head for the Parallel Cup. Depending on where it is being located, we may have shows during that weekend.

1)  2 August (4 pm CDT): Show 15-24: Week 19 of the AFL:  Director’s Birthday Show
This show will be a special one as we celebrate the director’s birthday (otherwise known as my 47th, which is Friday this year).

 

2)  9 August (4 pm CDT): Show 15-25: Week 20 of the AFL

3)  16 August (4 pm CDT): Show 15-26: Week 21 of the AFL
4) 23 August (4 pm CDT): Show 15-27: Week 22 of the AFL
5)  30 August (4 pm CDT): Show 15-28: Week 23 of the AFL

September
The month of September is going to be busy as we will wind down the 2015 season. This year, the AFL Grand Final will be on 2 October. The AFL Grand Final week will come on the last show of September.

 

1)  6 September (4 pm CDT): Show 15-29: AFL Finals Week 1

This show will get us into the Finals in the AFL as well the USAFL Regionals Tournaments.

2)  13 September (4 pm CDT): Show 15-30: AFL Semi-Finals

3)   20 September (4 pm CDT): Show 15-31: AFL Preliminary Final
4)  27 September (4 pm CDT): Show 15-32: AFL Grand Final Week

October/November
During the last 5 weeks of the year, we go full tilt to the USAFL and the Nationals. We will have a recap of the AFL Grand Final then it shifts to the Nationals. Depending on the Parallel Cup, during this month, we may have our 300th show ever.

 

1)  4 October (4 pm CDT): Show 15-N1: AFL Grand Final Recap and USAFL Nationals Begins

We will be recapping the AFL Grand Final and then we will jump into the USAFL Nationals as we may have the first look at the Pools.

2) 11 October (4 pm CDT): Show 15-N2: USAFL Nationals Preview:  Annual Release of the Pools
The annual Release of the Pools show will have our predictions of all 5 divisions (Divisions 1-4 and Women’s). This will be a very long show, nearly 2.5 hours long.

 

3)12 October: Monday: 10 pm CDT: Show 15-N3: Preparations Show

Our Annual Preparations Show as I get set for Austin the next day and get the final weather reports.

4)  13 October: Tuesday: Shows 15-N4 through N8
Day One of the 9 day Nationals Trip begins with The Breakfast Show with the departure @ 10 am as I head west on I-840/40 to West Memphis, AR with the Lunch Stop @ 1:30 pm then west on I-40 through Little Rock and southward on I-30 to Arkadelphia or Texarkana. Depending on weather, I will be either stopping at one of the two cities. If the weather is bad, like in 2013, it will be Arkadelphia, otherwise it will be Texarkana.

 

5)  14 October: Wednesday: Shows 15-N9 through N13

Day Two of the 9 day Nationals Trip begins with The Breakfast Show with departure @ 10 am, Lunch Stop @ Dallas @ 2 pm and arrival in Austin expected @ 7 pm and the arrival show @ 10 pm. This year’s Home Base HQ will be Holiday Inn-Austin Town Lake in Downtown Austin just northwest of Austin International Airport.

6)  15 October: Thursday: Rest Day: Shows 15-N14 through N17

This is a rest day here in Austin as I will be doing 4 shows, including a trip out to my favorite fields in the USA (outside of Elmington Field), Onion Creek Soccer Park. Shows at 10 am, 1 pm, 5 pm and 7:30 pm. The 7:30 pm will be our Preparation Show with Lisa and Stephen.

7)  16 October: Friday: Opening Ceremonies: Shows 15-N18 through N22
This is our busiest day of the 9 days as we will have Breakfast @ 10 am, Lunch @ 1 pm, Opening Ceremonies @ 6 pm from USAFL HQ Hotel and then Preview Show @ 10 pm.

8) 17 October: Saturday: Day 1 of the Nationals: Shows 15-N23 through N27
W
e will be doing live broadcasts from the field with Breakfast @ The Nationals @ 7 am, 1st Bounce beginning @ 8:30 am, Lunch @ The Nationals @ 1 pm, Afternoon from 2 pm and then Day One Recap beginning @ 7:30 pm.

 

9) 18 October: Sunday: Day 2 of the Nationals: Shows 15-N28 through N31

Grand Final Day begins with Breakfast @ The Nationals @ 7 am, Morning Round Robin beginning @ 8:30 am, Grand Finals including LIVE coverage of the Division One Grand Final @ 4 pm and Recap @ 9 pm.

10) 19 October: Monday: Shows 15-N32 through N35
Our Departure Day begins with our Breakfast @ The Nationals then departure for home after dropping Lisa off @ Austin International and hopeful arrival @ Texarkana in the late evening.

11) 20 October: Tuesday: Shows 15-N36 through N39
Our home day heads from Texarkana to Nashville with our shows beginning @ 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm and arriving @ home sometime after 8 pm.

12)  25 October: Sunday: 4 pm CDT: Shows 15-N40: USAFL Nationals Review
We will recap of the Nationals during this show and our final thoughts of the 2015 Nationals.

13)  1 November: Sunday: 4 pm CST: Show 15-33: 2015 Season In Review
Our final show of the year will recap the 2015 season in not only the AFL, but the USAFL as well. This will be a full 2 plus hour show.

Final Counts
By the time we finish the 2015 season, if everything goes exactly right, we will have 73 shows this year, which would put us at 303 for the overall total. And if you are wondering, yes, everyone, that 73 shows will be an all-time record, breaking the record for most shows in a season. The old record: You guessed it…the last time we went to Austin in 2013, 67.

And if you are wondering on how many blogs could happen…that would be a total of nearly 40. So, get ready….it could be a record breaking year…in more ways than one. See you on 25 January, exactly one month from today, @ 4 pm as we begin 2015!


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.