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.

Kill People With Kindness

The tragic events this past week remind us that we live in a fallen and volitale world.  Just when you might have thought our nation was past racial strife and anger yet another incident happens to rear its ugly head once again.  

I don’t understand why there are so many more instances where white police officers are killing black people.  It is very disturbing to every race.  We live in a quick-tempered, trigger-happy world today.  It has gotten out of control.

Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

People are quick to get angry even if they are in the wrong.  There is no kindness.  Just today I was sitting down at a department store waiting for my wife and daughter while they were shopping and this woman I have never met before came up and said, “That’s just like a man to get what he wants and sit down.”    I sat shocked not knowing exactly what to say.  They weren’t words of kindness.  Why are we so quick to say an unkind thing or make negative assumptions about people?

For believers, it is imperative to set the example.  We should be quick to be kind to one another and forgive often.  Yes, people are going to do mean things but that doesn’t give us the cause to do something back.  

So how should we respond to the violence this week?

  1. Show kindness to everyone.  All races of people.  Don’t just limit it to the people you know.  
  2. Cut people some slack.  Don’t immediately respond in anger.  If someone cuts you off in traffic or says a mean word to you, forgive them quickly and respond with kindness.
  3. Don’t make assumptions about people.  We all have experiences and histories others do not know about.  Let’s give people the benefit of the doubt.  

We don’t need to join protests or respond with violence.  Just make a difference where you are.  

Friday Flashback:  Nashville Cubs


Nashville’s rich baseball history includes the Nashville Cubs which played from 1945-1951 as a member of the Negro Southern League.  They were originally called the Nashville Black Vols but changed to the Cubs in 1946.  They played their home games at Sulphur Dell which is now the same site of First Tennessee Park for the Nashville Sounds.

On April 6, 1947 the Cubs beat their parent Baltimore Elite Giants at Sulphur Dell, 5-1, in the first exhibition game of the season.

First baseman-outfielder Clinton “Butch” McCord was one of the Cubs best player in 1946.  McCord went on to play for the Baltimore Elite Giants and Chicago American Giants.

The Cubs won the second half of the split season schedule in 1949.   In most records, the Cubs were champions of the Negrol Southern League, there are a lot of questions about just who the Cubs defeated to claim the title.  Records aren’t clear as to how the Cubs were deemed champions that season.

Nightwatch Snap 9-Game Losing Streak

Nashville Nightwatch 19, Charlotte Express 15

On Saturday the Nightwatch (2-11) won their first game since April 17th as they won a hard-fought, low-scoring 19-15 game over the Charlotte Express (4-10).

Although the Nightwatch gave up an early goal to fall behind 1-0, they tied the game seven minutes later and never trailed again taking a 10-8 lead into halftime.  Javier Ortiz led the defense with three stops while four others had two to hold the Express to 15 points in the game.

The Nightwatch entered the game without Coach Ryan Balch and their top scorer, Jake Wright.  

The Nightwatch will try to close out the season with a win when they host the Jacksonville Cannons (5-7) on Saturday at John Overton High School.  Opening pull is 6 p.m.

Here are the league standings going into the final weekend of the regular season:

Western Division

  • San Francisco FlameThrowers (10-3)
  • Los Angeles Aviators (8-5)
  • Seattle Cascades (8-5)
  • Vancouver Riptide (6-7)
  • San Jose Spiders (5-8)
  • San Diego Growlers (2-11)

Eastern Division

  • Toronto Rush (12-2)
  • DC Breeze (10-4)
  • New York Empire (7-7)
  • Ottawa Outlaws (6-7)
  • Montreal Royal (5-8)
  • Philadelphia Phoenix (0-12)

Midwest Division

  • Madison Radicals (12-0)
  • Pittsburgh Thunderbirds (9-4)
  • Minnesota Wind Chill (8-4)
  • Indianapolis AlleyCats (8-5)
  • Chicago Wildfire (4-9)
  • Detroit Mechanix (4-9)
  • Cincinnati Revolution (0-14)

Southern Division

  • Dallas Roughnecks (13-0)
  • Raleigh Flyers (9-3)
  • Austin Sol (6-7)
  • Atlanta Hustle (6-7)
  • Jacksonville Cannons (5-7)
  • Charlotte Express (4-10)
  • Nashville Nightwatch (2-11)

Team of the Week:  Portland Pickles


As American as hot dogs, apple pie and…..pickles?

Well, that’s what they think in Portland, Oregon as the Pickles play in the summer at Walker Stadium.  The Pickles are a collegiate summer league baseball team in the Great West League.  Collegiate summer leagues are made up of aspiring major league players who are currently in college.  The Pickles took the field for the first time this season in an attempt to fill the void when the Portland Beavers were sold in 2010 and moved to Tucson, Arizona.

The Pickles are currently 13-12 and in third place.

The leading batter is First Baseman Steven Chavez with a .365 batting average.  Chavez attends Loyola Marymount University.

Declan Kearney leads the pitching staff with an Earned Runs Average of 0.93 which ranks him second in the league.  Kearney is a freshman at the University of Oregon.

Dillion the Pickle is the team’s mascot.

Naturally with a team named the Pickles, you have sports editors with some catchy headlines.  Here are a few:

  • “Portland Pickles leave Gold Sox feeling sour”
  • “No sweet taste of home victory yet for Portland Pickles”
  • “Portland Pickles baseball is a crunchy, tangy good time at first home game.”
  • “Caught in a pickle:  Gold Sox fall to Portland.”

In case you wondered about other names that the Pickles beat out, the other finalists were:  Red Dogs, Pliers, Mud Hounds, Pixels and Posse.

For more information, go to www.portlandpicklesbaseball.com

  

Friday Flashback:  Georgia State League


In the early days of baseball minor league teams were numerous as the farm system was a little crowded with teams in Class D such as the Georgia State League.  The league existed in different forms from 1906-1956.  The league began in 1906 but folded before the season ended.  The Waycross Machinists were in first place with a 37-12 record when the league folded.  The next version began in 1914 and the Americus Muckalees won the first title.

The most notable player in the Georgia State League was Major League Hall of Famer Willie McCovey who played for the Sandersville Giants in 1955.  

The league champions during its existence were:

  • 1914 – Americus
  • 1920 – Carrollton
  • 1921 – Lindale
  • 1948 – Fitzgerald
  • 1949 – Tifton
  • 1950 – Eastman
  • 1951 – Douglas
  • 1952 – Vidalia
  • 1953 – Hazlehurst-Baxley
  • 1954 – Vidalia
  • 1955 – Douglas/Sandersville
  • 1956 – Douglas

For yearly standings and stats visit:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Georgia_State_League

Two years in Nashville


On this date two years ago I started with my current office here in Nashville.   Although I have been with the same agency for the past 25 years, I have had experience with three separate offices during that time.  I spent the first 21 years in Macon, Georgia, two years in Tampa and now two years in Nashville.   I won’t say that I “love” my job but I have done well with it.  I have had a lot of different experiences along the way.  I also learned first-hand that even though I have worked with the same agency, each office has been totally different.  I can’t say much publicly about the work in detail but I can tell you about the nature of people.  

When you move to a new office I have learned that your total experience doesn’t matter to them.  What matters is what group you are a part of.  They don’t see or care about your previous 20+ years of experience.  You have to prove yourself all over again as if you are brand new.   When I started in Nashville I had to replace someone that had been here a while and was told on the very first day that I had big shoes to fill and it would be hard to do.  One day I had enough of that attitude and just made the decision that I knew what I was doing and that I was going to do things my way.  Everything changed after that day.  I am not here to “replace” someone, I’m here to do the job.  If you have a problem with that then I suggest you have tea with the retiree.  

I have also become less involved with the social things now.  It’s work and I don’t want to spend anymore time here than I need to spend.  Work isn’t my life it is the resource that enables me to live my life.  People make way too much of work.  Unless it is mandatory, I don’t go to parties and things that aren’t work-related.  Sorry, but I have learned that those things don’t really make much of a difference.

You really shouldn’t get in trouble if you do your job.

Moving to Nashville has been the right fit.  In the past, it took two years to leave and we were in limbo waiting to move to the next place.  It hasn’t been that way these past two years.  It has been nice to be out of that limbo status.  

So in the past two years what have I learned about living in Nashville?

  • Although it is a big city it has that “small town” feel about it.
  • Yep, they don’t call it Music City for nothing.  Lots of music.
  • You don’t get that Southern Hospitality here as you would expect.  Especially driving on the roads.
  • You get three seasons here….Summer, Fall, Winter and a few days of Spring.
  • We have become a huge Nashville Predators’ fan.
  • Nashville is definitely a tourist location especially from people outside of the USA.
  • Yes I have been to that “American Pickers” place and….(whispering) it is a disappointment.
  • We haven’t seen many celebrities in two years.  We’ve been in the wrong places at the wrong times. 

One thing we know for sure….Nashville is the place for us we just need to figure out the rest as we continue to settle into our lives in the Music City.

 

Team of the Week:  Judean Rebels


This week I go to the Middle East for this week’s “Team of the Week” to bring you the Judean Rebels of the Israeli Football League (IFL).  No, this isn’t the “soccer” football but the American football game that is played in Israel.  The Judean Rebels repeated as league champions in April by defeating the Tel Aviv Pioneers, 32-14, to win Israel Bowl IX.

The Rebels were led by quarterback Dani Eastman who completed 17-of-34 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns.  He also rushed for 87 yards and scored twice on the ground.  Eastman was named the game’s most valuable player.  

The Rebel’s defense did not allow any points after the first quarter.  

The Rebels have now tied the Tel Aviv/Jaffa Sabres for the most titles in league history with three (3).

The IFL was founded in 2005 by a group who wanted to have an American football league in Israel.  The league is sponsored by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.  

The league currently has ten (11) teams.  They are:

  • Judean Rebels
  • Tel Aviv Pioneers
  • Haifa Underdogs
  • Jerusalem “Big Blue” Lions
  • Tel Aviv/Jaffa Sabres
  • Jerusalem Kings
  • Beersheva Black Swarm
  • Ramat Hasharon Hammers
  • Petah Tikva Troopers
  • Northern Stars
  • Rehovot Silverbacks

Friday Flashback:  American Football Association


In the late 70s and early 80s the American Football Association (AFA) attempted to be a professional football league to bring the gap between NFL seasons by playing football in the spring/summer.  The league operated from 1977-1983.  Most of the teams were located in the southeastern United States which made it quite a challenge to play during the hot summer months in the south.  The season started on Memorial Day weekend and ended in August to avoid competition with the NFL.  The AFA was pretty much a forerunner of the United States Football League (USFL) which started in the spring of 1983.   Although the AFA tried to be a “major league” alternative, it never evolved more than a semi-pro league with teams moving and folding often.  

The league attempted to gain some stability when they named former Washington Redskins quarterback Billy Kilmer as the leagues commissioner in 1981.  He only lasted one season.  

Some of the most successful teams in the AFA were the Jacksonville Firebirds, Alabama Vulcans, Carolina Chargers and San Antonio Charros.  

Personally, I remember being able to tune into some Jacksonville Firebird games on a good night with clear TV reception.  Our local newspaper even carried the stories and league standings.  

Team of the Week:  Columbus Lions


It apparently doesn’t matter which league the Columbus Lions indoor football team play in, they have a top-notch organization and talent to win.  They proved it again as they won the American Indoor Football (AIF) championship when they beat the West Michigan Ironmen 74-32 Saturday night in Columbus.

The Lions completed an undefeated season and won their second consecutive indoor title.  They won the championship in the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) last season.   When the PIFL folded in the offseason, the Lions moved to the AIF this season.

Their win over West Michigan had a bizarre ending when Ironmen quarterback Alex Carder threw his fourth interception of the game to Columbus defensive back Chris Smith late in the game.  Smith jumped out of bounds into the stands during the return.  An Ironmen defender drove Smith further into the stands and a fan attempted to punch the the Ironmen player.  Players emptied the benches and a brawl ensued.  When order was restored, the Ironmen elected not to continue the game with 4:08 remaining and forfeited the rest of the game in disgust.

West Michigan scored first on a 1-yard run by Carder to take a 6-0 lead but the Lions roared back to score 23 unanswered points to close out the first quarter with a commanding 23-6 lead.  

Columbus quarterback Casey Kacz finished with 23 of 34 passing for 286 yards and eight touchdowns.

It is unclear whether or not Columbus will remain in the AIF.  The AIF is not a very stable league and it might help the Lions to move to a more stable league such as the Indoor Football League (IFL) or a new league with better organization.