Monday, March 27, 2017

Seventeen Questions about AUDL 2017

Another AUDL season begins on April 1st with 24 teams across 4 divisions. Here are just some of the questions I have about this season, which have been condensed to 17 questions about AUDL 2017.

1. Will Toronto Rush start its season with 2 losses?
The Rush begin their AUDL season schedule on the road, again. The Rush also start the season (again) with back-to-back games. Rush take on New York Empire on Saturday and then D.C. (the only American-based AUDL  East team to ever beat Toronto) the next day. Opening weekend for the AUDL East will set the tone for the rest of the season.

2. How will rookies perform in the AUDL?
A bunch of former MLU players will be playing their first (rookie) season in the AUDL, plus there's always a handful of new ultimate players playing on the big AUDL field. Examples: L.A., Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Ottawa, Montreal.

3. Will the AUDL keep track of Integrity Rules this season?
Ever since the 2012 season ended, I have called for this this-what-makes-our-sport-special player stat to be tracked. Maybe this will be the year.

4. Will Philadelphia Phoenix win a game this year?
Philadelphia went (0-14) in 2016. With a revamped roster, the Phoenix will probably win at least one game in the AUDL East.

5. Might Nashville go winless this season?
The NightWatch won 2 games in 2015 and improved in 2016 with 3 wins. Though, Nashville could be ripe for a winless season based on roster upgrades of rival AUDL South teams,

6. Will Dallas be better than they were in 2016?
The perfect (17-0) Roughnecks record can't be better, but the Dallas roster could be better than last year after re-signing their core and picking up Jay Froude.

7. Will San Francisco finally win a Division Championships?
The FlameThrowers have made the playoffs 3 consecutive years. The FTs posted 11 wins in 2016 and finished in first place of the West Division. Yet, the San Francisco AUDL team has never won a West Division Championship.

8. Will people pay to watch AUDL games online?
Not just any games, but specifically four choice cross-divisional match-ups according to 2016 regular season finishes. Viewers can pay $5.00 per game or $10 for the 4-game Cross-Coast Challenge package.

9. How many teams will be sporting updated jerseys?
There's always room for improvement based on the evaluation of the AUDL team jerseys from the 2016 season. Furthermore, jerseys are cool and all, but I'm ready to stock up on some american ULTIMATE disc league SHORTS.

10. Will any Midwest team be competitive against Madison?
The Radicals have won 4 consecutive Midwest Division titles and are again in the zone to continue their Midwestern dynasty.

11. How will Seattle's roster mix work for the AUDL 2016 runner-up?
After a successful 2016 season, Seattle changed up their roster composition. After an off-season divorce, the Cascades are actively playing the field with a blended roster.

12. How will WFDF 2017 World Championships of Beach Ultimate affect AUDL?
Weeks 12 and 13 of the AUDL season occur during the same time as WFDF's WCBU. Top players from teams will be participating in the international beach ultimate event. In addition, The Eternal Spring Tournament in Colombia over Week 5 (April 28-30) is a big draw for top club teams.

13. Will not broadcasting on ESPN3 help or hurt the AUDL?
Goodbye, ESPN3. Hello Fulcrum Media returns to capture the on-field action for AUDL Games of the Week. Utliworld will also be broadcasting a handful of AUDL games.

14. Whatever happened to the AUDL movement-tracking efforts?

15. How many SportsCenter highlights will AUDL have this season?
The AUDL has been highlighted on SCTtop10 10+ times in 5 seasons.

Of course, it would be most beneficial to have ESPN cover AUDL league play as part of its regular SportsCenter show.

16. How will a long break in between regular season and the AUDL championship weekend impact momentum for the AUDL's 6th season?
It's gonna be a long AUDL season. The regular season ends July 23 and the Championship Weekend is over a month later on August 26-27.

17. Where will the Championship Weekend be held?
It's known that it will take place IN Montreal. However, the actual field/stadium is suspiciously missing from AUDL's promo of the post-season event. Percival Molson Memorial Stadium was the Royal's home stadium until this year.

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