AUDL Playoffs:  Division Finals

This weekend three of the four division finals will be decided.   The West Division was decided last weekend when the Seattle Cascades made the trip to California and swept Los Angeles (31-23) and regular season champion San Francisco (23-17) to advance to the final four in two weeks.

In the East Division, the DC Breeze took advantage of crucial mistakes by the New York Empire in the second quarter to break out of a 6-6 tie to go on a 4-0 run.  The Breeze held off the Empire the rest of the game for a 24-20 victory.  The Breeze now advance to this weekend’s division final against the Toronto Rush.

In the Midwest Division, the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds opened with a 2-0 lead against the Minnesota Wind Chill and withstood a late charge in the final minutes for a 20-18 win.   The Thunderbirds will play at Madison this weekend against the undefeated Radicals (14-0).

In the South Division, the Atlanta Hustle and Raleigh Flyers were forced to postpone their game until Sunday due to storms in North Carolina on Saturday.  After trailing by three in the first quarter, the Flyers built a two-score lead early in the fourth but with a 21-19 lead, the Flyers made several critical errors to allow the Hustle to go on a 6-2 run at the end of the game to upset the defending South Division champions 25-23.    The Hustle will now travel to Dallas to play the Roughnecks.  

Friday Flashback:  Savannah Rug Ratz

Nope.  I’m not talking about the old cartoon from the 90s about mischievous babies.  These Rug Ratz played during the summers of 1997 and 1998 in the short-lived Eastern Indoor Soccer League (EISL).   The EISL was an attempt to become a regional developmental league for other national indoor leagues during their existence.   The Rug Ratz were one of the original EISL franchises that began play in the Savannah Civic Center.  

In their first season, the Rug Ratz finished sixth place in the seven-team league with a record of 7-17.   Their average attendance was also sixth in the league.  The Rug Ratz didn’t fare much better in their second season finishing in last place at 6-22.  The home opener should have provided to be an omen of things to come as their turf was not ready for play after being cleaned earlier in the day.  Excessive wet spots in the turf  forced cancellation of their game against the Lafayette SwampCats.  

In December 1998, the EISL announced it was ceasing operations.  If the league had continued the Rug Ratz would have continued to play.

Some of the Rug Ratz best players were Forward Shawn Beyer who was named to the 1998 All-League Second Team.  Defenders Dan McManemy, Sean Scott and Midfielder Colin Buck were also key players in the short history of the Rug Ratz.

I personally attended one game when visiting Savannah during the summer.  It was a very exciting game and entertaining although there weren’t many people there to watch it.  Obviously there is a lot of other things to do in the coastal city during the summer months.  That could have been why the team was plagued with low attendance figures.

Creating Transcripts For TrialDirector

If you get a nice, clean transcript from the court reporter to import into TrialDirector that’s pretty sweet and easy but what about if you have to create one yourself?  Here are the steps you would take to format a transcript to use in the TimeCoder function of TrialDirector to create your own transcript.

  1. Create the transcript in Microsoft Word
    • The transcript MUST be final. Do all of your edits in Word.  You will not be able to edit or redact the transcript in TrialDirector.
    • To properly format each speaker, insert Make a hard return between speakers
    • Double-space the entire transcript
    • Save as Plain Text (.txt) file
  2. Open Trial Director
  4. Click Cancel
  6. Open the text (.txt) file you created.
  7. Word Wrap Lines over 65 characters
  8. Check remove leading whitespace over 8 characters
  9. Save the file
  11. Browse to the text (.txt) file you saved in step 9.
  12. Take the defaults.
  13. Re-save the file overwriting the previous version.
  15. Browse for your formatted transcript
  17. Add the media file that you will link with the transcript.
  18. Synchronize the transcript – press record button, then play
  19. Press SPACEBAR to enter the timecode. (See the shortcut key box in the upper left corner in TimeCoder)
  20. Press Record button again when you have completed
  21. Export the DVT to TrialDirector Case file (*.cms)
  22. Import into TrialDirector
  23. Click on TRANSCRIPT MANAGER tab
  24. Go to TRANSCRIPTS – Import Transcript(s) from – Synchronized Transcript
  25. Your synchronized transcript should now be in your Case Library. Expand the TRANSCRIPTS folder.
  26. To add a trial exhibit number
  29. Set preferences on how you want to scroll the synchronized transcript in presentation preferences

You won’t find these instructions or how to do this in any of the TrialDirector manuals.  Hopefully this will help you in creating your transcripts.  Good luck.







AUDL Playoffs:  Seattle advances to final four; Atlanta upsets Raleigh

The American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) playoffs got underway this past weekend.  The Seattle Cascades punched their ticket to the final four with wins on the road at Los Angeles (31-23) and regular season division champs San Francisco (23-17).  

The DC Breeze defeated New York 24-20.  The Breeze will face the Toronto Rush this weekend in the East Division Final.

After being postponed on Saturday, the Atlanta Hustle upset Raleigh 25-23 on Sunday.   The Hustle will travel to Dallas to take on the undefeated Roughnecks (14-0).

Pittsburgh defeated Minnesota 20-18.  The Thunderbirds will now go to Madison to play the Radicals for the Division Championship.

Both the DC Breeze and Atlanta Hustle got their first playoff wins in franchise history.

The AUDL Championship Weekend will be held August 6-7 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Quirky Co-Workers

Sometimes I wonder how some people get hired where I work.  I mean, I know we all come from different backgrounds and experiences and I don’t have a problem with that.  I’m just wondering about those co-workers who are quirky.   

I have one that will burst into song at any moment and will ask very personal questions out of nowhere.  

It really makes you wonder how they were hired. 

So how do you deal with quirky co-workers?  You have to work with them so how can you keep your sanity?

Right off the start you must set boundaries.  Be firm and direct about how far that co-worker can go.  

For instance, my co-worker wants to call me Uncle Milton but I put the brakes on that and let him know that was not my name and we weren’t going to start with the nickname thing.  

If you warn them and they ignore you the you can take it to management.   Hopefully you want have to elevate it to that level.  

With most annoying co-workers the best solution is to be straightforward and direct. Don’t be angry or hostile or it will backfire on you badly.  It’s okay to speak up for yourself in a professional way. 

At least you don’t have to live with them.  

Friday Flashback:  Georgia Force

Arena football is still around although they are down to eight teams but the league was booming in 2002-2012.  During those years, the Georgia Force played in the league.  They made the playoffs in seven of the nine years they played and lost ArenaBowl XIX in 2005 to Colorado.

The first version of the Force originated as the Nashville Kats when the team moved from Nashville to Atlanta in 2002.  They originally played in Philips Arena but moved to Gwinnett Arena in 2003.   Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank bought the team in 2004.

In 2007, the Force had their best record at 14-2 and were the #2 seed in the AFL playoffs but was upset in the conference championship game by the Columbus Destroyers 66-56.

The league suspended operations in 2009 due to financial and labor issues but resurrected in 2011.  The Force returned when Alabama Vipers relocated their franchise to Atlanta.   The Force played two more seasons but eventually folded after the 2012 season.  Low attendance plagued the Force as they averaged on 4,242 in their final season.

Some of the most notable players for the Force were:  Chris Greisen (QB), Jermaine Smith (OL/DL) and Troy Bergeron (Offensive Specialist).

Georgia Force seasons:

  • 2002  (6-8) 
  • 2003 (8-8) – Lost in Quarterfinals to San Jose
  • 2004 (7-9)
  • 2005 (11-5) – Lost ArenaBowl XIX to Colorado
  • 2006 (8-8) – Lost in Divisional Round to Dallas
  • 2007 (14-2) – Lost in Conference Championship to Columbus
  • 2008 (10-6) – Lost in Division Round to Cleveland
  • 2009 – League did not play
  • 2010 – Force did not play
  • 2011 – (11-7) – Lost in Conference Championship to Jacksonville
  • 2012 – (9-9) – Lost in Semifinals to Jacksonville

The AFL has recently awarded an expansion team to Washington, DC for next season but there are no indications that Atlanta will have another chance for Arena Footbll.


AUDL “July Madness” Begins

The American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) has finished the regular season and now enters the playoffs to start this weekend.  Here are the match ups for the first weekend:

  • New York Empire at DC Breeze
  • Minnesota Wind Chill at Pittsburgh Thunderbirds
  • Los Angeles Aviators at Seattle Cascades
  • Atlanta Hustle at Raleigh Flyers

The winners will face the teams that clinched the regular season division titles next weekend. 

The final four teams will meet at Breese Stevens Field in Madison, Wisconsin during the weekend of August 6-7.

The favorites to win the title are the Toronto Rush and the Madison Radicals but watch for the Dallas Roughnecks or Pittsburgh Thunderbirds to make their own bid.  

Here are the final standings for the 2016 AUDL regular season:

East Division

  • Toronto Rush (12-2)
  • DC Breeze (10-4)
  • New York Empire (7-7)
  • Ottawa Outlaws (7-7)
  • Montreal Royal (6-8)
  • Philadelphia Phoenix (0-14)

Midwest Division

  • Madison Radicals (14-0)
  • Pittsburgh Thunderbirds (10-4)
  • Minnesota Wind Chill (9-5)
  • Indianapolis AlleyCats (8-6)
  • Chicago Wildfire (4-10)
  • Detroit Mechanix (4-10)
  • Cincinnati Revolution (0-14)

West Division

  • San Francisco FlameThrowers (11-3)
  • Seattle Cascades (9-5)
  • Los Angeles Aviators (9-5)
  • Vancouver Riptide (6-8)
  • San Jose Spiders (5-9)
  • San Diego Growlers (2-12)

South Division

  • Dallas Roughnecks (14-0)
  • Raleigh Flyers (9-5)
  • Atlanta Hustle (7-7)
  • Austin Sol (7-7)
  • Jacksonville Cannons (5-9)
  • Charlotte Express (4-10)
  • Nashville Nightwatch (3-11)

Team of the Week:  Portugal

I must admit that I do not keep up with the international soccer scene but when dining at a local sports bar in Nashville, Tennessee on Sunday it was clear that it was a pro-France crowd when they groaned at near-misses on goal by France.  After settling down from the initial outburst and getting my heart rate back down to normal, I realized they were watching the Euro 2016 championship.

When I got home I checkout the final score:  Portugal 1, France 0.

To compare it to other sports in America this was like an 8-8 wildcard team winning the Super Bowl.

Portugal advanced out of the group round with ties against Iceland, Austria and Hungary.  They were the 15th seed in the round of 16.  They beat Croatia 1-0 (extra time),  Poland 2-1 (penalty kicks) and Wales 2-0.   

In the final, forward Eder scored in the 109th minute from 30 yards out for the game-winning goal to give Portugal their first win in the European Championship.   Portugal prevailed without their star player, Cristiano Ronaldo who was injured in the game.

Words Matter

Remember that old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”?

That old adage first appeared in The Christian Recorder of March 1862, a publication of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. 

It certainly doesn’t fit in what we see today in America.  

Now it seems if you say “Black Lives Matter” or “All Lives Matter” that you are against others or even called a racist.  America is way too hypersensitive about these kind of things.  If you say “black lives matter” it doesn’t make you racist no more than saying you support any other cause.  

If you were to join a march against cancer that doesn’t mean you are for Alzhemiers or ALS.  It only means that you are trying to bring attention to that issue.  Usually because that issue affected you personally in some way. 

Yes all lives matter.  Where were these movements when we were killing Native Americans and taking their land?   Would it have been racist for them to form a group called “Indian Lives Matter”?

President Obama made the statement yesterday  “We are not as divided as we seem”.  Is he serious?   Has he been watching the news?   When simple words divide us there is definitely something wrong.   It’s not sticks and stones that are hurting us.  It’s words and guns that are doing it.  

Nightwatch Finish Season With Historic Win

Nashville 30, Jacksonville 26

The Nashville Nightwatch ended their second season in the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) scoring a franchise-high 30 goals for a 30-26 win over the Jacksonville Cannons.  With the win, the Nightwatch finished the season at 3-11 and exceeded their win total from last season.

In one of their best games I have seen them play, the Nightwatch scored the first goal and never trailed as they built a 19-13 lead at halftime and then held on in the final quarter.  In past games, the Nightwatch have struggled with getting the disc up the field and moving forward but on Saturday night they had sharp passes and connected on long passes down the field that set the pace for their record-setting effort.

Jake Wright led the Nightwatch with nine goals and finished the season with 53 goals.  Tyler Conger had six assists in the game.

Now the question:  Will they be back in 2017?

All indications are that they will but here are a few ideas I propose to improve:

  1. Better home field.   John Overton High School is not a good field for location or game atmosphere.  I think you need a more intimate setting where the fans are closer to the game.  Also, Overton is right next to I-65 and that’s just not a good setting at all.  A better location would be one closer to Nashville.  Maybe the Vanderbilt area.  Maybe later I will come up with some ideas of better fields.
  2. More sponsors.  The team really needs some major sponsors if they are going to survive.  More money will help.
  3. Advertise.  More exposure is needed.  Set up booths at festivals or public events to let people know about the team.
  4. Media Coverage.  It improved some this year with a few articles and posts from some local news personalities that attended the game.  Still need more.

Unfortunately the Nightwatch did not qualify for the AUDL playoffs but you can still following the playoffs here.

The 2017 season begins again in April.