Team of the Week: Laredo Lemurs

This week we go to Southwest Texas for a team in the American Association.  The American Association is an independent minor league which means they are not in the minor league farm system.  

The Lemurs opened in Laredo in 2012 when the Shreveport Captains franchise moved.  

Since playing in Laredo, the Lemurs have qualified for the postseason each year and won the championship last season when they beat Sioux City 3 games to 1.

Outfielder Leandro Castro leads the team in batting with a .325 average.  Matt Sergey leads the Lemurs in pitching with an ERA of 0.81.  Kyle Winkler is a close second with an ERA of 0.84.

The Lemurs are currently second place in the South Division with a record of 32-26.

Latest news story:   Seven Lemurs will represent the team in the American Association All-Star game to be held in St. Paul, Minnesota on August 1st.

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.