The Tuesday Toss: Back from Burnout, Kittredge Joins the FlameThrowers
January 17, 2017 — By Evan Lepler
2016 represented another fascinating chapter of Beau Kittredge’s brilliant ultimate career. He helped lead his Dallas Roughnecks to an undefeated inaugural season, taking the title and becoming the first AUDL player ever to win three straight championships. As a member of Team USA, Kittredge won Worlds in London, battling back from injury to win possibly his last gold medal representing his country.
The year was filled with redemption and success for Kittredge, as he further cemented his legacy as one of the greatest players in the history of ultimate.
Despite a spate of injuries, Beau Kittredge still found ways to make the big play in big moments in 2016.
And still, he entered this offseason depleted. He was injured, exhausted, and ready for a change. If ever there was any doubt, Kittredge’s feelings last fall confirmed that even the best could be smacked by burnout.
“My mental strength and physical strength were at an all-time low,” admitted Kittredge in a recent interview. “I finished last season on sheer willpower. My throwing shoulder was [messed up] so bad; I couldn’t throw past 10 feet. My knee [felt] screwed. My back could barely bend. Putting on socks every morning including jamming my foot against the bedframe to be able to get my hands to feet.
“I avoided ultimate as much as possible; didn’t even touch a disc for months.”
Bruised and battered from years of bold bids, Beau was also mentally fried from the nomadic lifestyle and other job demands in Dallas.
On the field, the Roughnecks experienced historic success. Superstars meshed, highlights sizzled, and victories mounted. But Kittredge, despite being well compensated for his play, did not treasure all of the other tasks that being a full-time Roughneck entailed. Typically maniacal about his workouts, he claims that he trained less during last season than any other in his career.
After winning another AUDL championship, Kittredge returned to the Bay Area of California—his adopted home—and sought the solace of several longtime friends.
Throughout the winter, when Beau remained disinterested and disillusioned by ultimate, buddies would drag him to the track. Many days, he lacked the motivation that had long defined him. Only gradually did it start to return, a product of the pushing from the trusted confidants that surrounded him.
Consequently, when he and his best bud and fellow star Cassidy Rasmussen evaluated their AUDL futures, a return to Dallas became very doubtful. Quickly, they turned their attentions to San Francisco and San Jose. Rasmussen had already played for both franchises, captaining the FlameThrowers in 2014 before joining the title-bound Spiders in 2015. Kittredge won both of his MVPs for the Spiders in 2014 and 2015, accumulating 65 assists, 102 goals, and 55 blocks while helping to bring the franchise back-to-back titles in the first two years of its existence.
Kittredge and Rasmussen have a strong tradition of following each other's lead.
They sought to negotiate an agreement that would unite their primary group of friends—diehard ultimate fans might refer to these gents as Revolver—with a pro team that would allow them to seize complete control of the on-field operation.
San Francisco, an organization that has flirted with this type of pact in the past, was the first Bay Area franchise to bite. Not long ago, the FlameThrowers officially announced that they have entered into a multiple year partnership with Revolver, the club team that has won four national titles and three world championships since 2010.
“Last year, I tried to grow the sport with energy, money, and the all-important Jim factor,” said Kittredge. “This year, I will get paid the same as everyone else on the team. This year, I will try to grow the sport with just love, putting together a team of people who want to win, love the sport, and each other.”
In returning to the West Division, Kittredge, who will be 35 in June, will reunite with many of his former Spiders teammates. Several members of the 2017 FlameThrowers, the full roster of which has yet to be announced, will be seeking their third AUDL title.
Kittredge has a resume of accomplishments that is undeniable, though his wisdom in repeatedly choosing the right situation to excel also speaks volumes. Beau’s not exactly lining up against Seattle, Toronto, or Madison with a bunch of scrubs that he has to singlehandedly carry to glory.
Although all of the details are not yet set, it’s safe to say he’ll be surrounded by an excellent supporting cast in his return to San Francisco. Rasmussen, who also dealt with a barrage of injuries in 2016, remains Kittredge’s most reliable sidekick, a versatile talent who is virtually unstoppable when healthy. Greg Cohen, a two-time champ alongside Beau with San Jose, and a critical player in the negotiations between Revolver and San Francisco, will be back on the FlameThrowers for the second year in a row. Lucas Dallmann, a FlameThrowers original who captained the team the past two years, is on board for his fourth season.
Greg Cohen came into his own for San Francisco during the 2016 season, putting up 29 assists, 36 goals, and 24 blocks while earning All-AUDL Second Team honors.
Even without knowing exactly what Seattle’s roster will look like, the hunch is that San Francisco will enter the season as the favorite out West. The Cascades have already re-signed All-AUDL standout Mark Burton as a 2017 captain, and today announced the signing of explosive AUDL rookie Khalif El-Salaam.
Mark Burton had one of the most impressive offensive seasons in league history during 2016.
But Seattle’s public partnership with Sockeye is not expected to continue in the same form as the past two years. Much of Seattle’s core might still return, but it remains unclear exactly how the Cascades will follow up their epic postseason push from this past summer.
Regardless of what Seattle’s final squad looks like, the 2017 edition of the FlameThrowers will absolutely be San Francisco’s strongest team in franchise history.
And judging by the recent past, no matter where he goes, it’s never silly to put your money on Beau.
Back from burnout, the rejuvenated, reignited Kittredge is now a FlameThrower.
Dallas Still Looks Loaded
While the Roughnecks have lost two of the sport’s top stars, I’m not writing the eulogy for Dallas’s 2017 championship hopes quite yet. Even without Kittredge and Rasmussen, the Roughnecks should still be among the most talented teams in the AUDL, especially now that they have locked up arguably their two most valuable players from last season.
Jimmy Mickle and Kurt Gibson have both agreed to return to Dallas, drawing the lines of demarcation for an epic rivalry game that may or may not happen. Last year, several FlameThrowers expressed their deep desire to match up with Dallas and prove that they could win without Beau. Obviously, Seattle ensured that this game never transpired. This year, Mickle and Gibson, will conspire their talents to try and prevent Kittredge’s fourth title in a row.
Jimmy Mickle and Kurt Gibson have re-signed with the Dallas Roughnecks for 2017.
“I’m really excited to be playing with the Roughnecks in 2017, honestly probably more excited than in 2016,” Mickle said. “Without Beau and Cassidy, I feel a little bit more ownership of the team. It’s going to be a younger and less experienced team, but that often means more fun. We have lofty goals for the season again, both on and off the field.”
The goals might be the same, but the circumstances will be quite different for Dallas this spring. Unlike last year, the majority of the team’s highest-profile players are not expected to be living in Texas during the season. Gibson will likely commute from his new home in Chicago, while Mickle, who’s been back in Colorado since August, is still uncertain of his residency plans for the season. If the team’s best players aren’t regulars at weekly practice, it will definitely impact the culture and cohesion of the squad.
At the same time, any team in the country would enthusiastically take Mickle and Gibson on gameday. The duo is separated by six years of age, but they are similar players in their versatility, explosiveness, and achievement. During their college days, each led their school to a national title. Since then, they each have continued to improve, refining their skillsets to stay at the top of the sport.
Working together in recent years, they have learned to complement one another, creating an often unstoppable on-field partnership very similar to Beau and Cassidy’s. With each of these duos, you never know who will be the receiver or the thrower. In two-on-two small space situations, their quickness and chemistry are deadly.
There may not be a better give-and-go tandem than Mickle and Gibson.
“Playing with [Kurt] through the years has definitely helped me become the player I am today,” said Mickle, now 25 years old. “I think I’ve learned to be a little more conservative with the disc. Kurt will still yell at me often to ‘stop throwing those darkhorse blades!’ Thank God I won a college championship in 2014 or I would spend the next few years listening to ‘Jimmy can’t win without Kurt.’
As for who will be joining Dallas’ new dynamic duo, sources indicate that former Madison Radicals star Jay Froude will likely be a new Roughneck sidekick. This would be a tough break for the Radicals, especially considering Madison will host Dallas in one of the four interdivisional showcases this season.
In just 298 regular season points played with the Radicals, Jay Froude has generated an incredible 31 blocks over two seasons.
Joel Clutton, a towering lefty who had six assists, 16 goals, and 12 blocks in 10 games for the Austin Sol last year, is also expected join Dallas in 2017. Clutton, who enjoyed a standout college career as one of the anchors to the University of Texas in recent years, will give the Roughnecks another long, lanky athlete capable of making the exceptional highlight.
Joel Clutton doing his best Jumpman impersonation for the buzzer-beating score.
As for Dylan Freechild’s status, that also remains uncertain. The Roughnecks are hoping to have him back, but the former Callahan winner from Oregon is still on the fence about returning.
As the 2017 Roughnecks roster becomes clearer, it is likely that Dallas will again be viewed as the South Division favorite. But Raleigh and Jacksonville, in particular, will be aggressively gunning for the kings this spring.
Even without Kittredge and Rasmussen, Dallas is still the franchise with the greatest target on its back. With Mickle and Gibson leading the way, alongside a large chunk of last year’s supporting core, the Roughnecks will have plenty of remaining ammunition to defend their championship turf.
Put Me In, Coach!
While not every team has firmed up its coaching post for 2017, many organizations around the league have shaken things up with new sideline leadership.
In the East Division, Toronto Rush’s Scott “Shooter” Hastie will be back as general manager, though his head coaching designation will shift slightly. Hastie is now the co-coach of the Rush, along with veteran handler Sachin Raina, who served as interim coach last year when Hastie handled Team Canada responsibilities at the 2016 world games. Elevating Raina to the post is a logical move for a team that will be seeking its fifth consecutive division title in 2017. It infuses the team with some new leadership, but promoting from within is wise considering the team’s culture of regular season success.
The Rush released their first batch of returning players on Monday, with many familiar names like Isaiah Masek-Kelly, Cameron Harris, and Remy Ojo. While Toronto has not unveiled the majority of its squad, the Rush will be adding Benjamin Burelle, a dynamic young playmaker who led the Vancouver Riptide with 38 goals and a +52 plus/minus, for the 2017 season.
Benjamin Burelle will be joining the Toronto Rush in 2017 after a breakout rookie season last year.
“Both [Team President] Phil [Watanabe] and I have played and coached against him in the past and recognize what he brings,” said Hastie. “He has a real nose for the disc and is super fast, so we are pumped to have him on board for the summer.”
Elsewhere in the East, Tom Gibbons will return as head coach for the New York Empire. Gibbons considered stepping away after a hectic 2016, but eventually decided to lead New York once again. Talented handler Isaiah “Izzy” Bryant—who had 34 assists in 2015 before sitting out last year—is also expected to return to the Empire this spring.
While New York has always been, at best, second to Toronto, the Empire closed the gap by adding Jeff Babbitt and John Wodatch after the college season last year. If those two return along with the vast majority of the team’s playmakers—not a done deal, but a very realistic proposition—then New York might finally have the horses to end Toronto’s rampage of dominance in the East.
Despite playing in only eight games with the team in 2016, Jeff Babbitt was a force defensively for the Empire, earning 20 blocks.
The DC Breeze’s coaching situation is not certain. The Breeze should return many of their key veterans—the franchise already has Alan Kolick and Markham Shofner locked in from the multi-year deals they signed before 2016, plus several other players have already re-upped their contracts as well—but the franchise could also shift a bit with some additional players who used to play for the Current. DC has lost Nicky Spiva to the Philadelphia Phoenix and will almost definitely enter 2017 without the services of Jonathan “Goose” Helton, Brett Matzuka, and Bob Liu.
Alex “Dutchy” Ghesquiere, who has led the Breeze since 2014, may still return for a fourth season on the D.C. sideline, but nothing has been finalized yet.
In Montreal, Guylaine Girard will return for her second season as the Montreal Royal’s head coach, and she will not be the only female leader in the division. Eileen Murray, who has ben coaching at various levels since 2000, takes over the Philadelphia franchise that went winless in 2016. The Phoenix have already introduced Spiva, Marques Brownlee, and Matt Esser as marquee free agent signings, and more could be coming in the near future.
Ottawa Outlaws Coach John Haig will not return to his post for a second season, and the Outlaws will have a new leader this spring.
The South Division has five of its six head coaches from last year poised to return. After leading the Roughnecks to a championship, Dallas’s Patrick Eberle is back. He’s far from the loudest personality to ever roam the sidelines, but Eberle brought a steady hand and let his players do much of the leadership heavy lifting last year. He, along with the franchise, will put a perfect 17-0 record on the line this April.
The Atlanta Hustle’s leader, Greg Swanson, will lead the Hustle for a third straight season, and he will have his staff of Miranda Roth Knowles and Stu Downs alongside him again too. One uncertainty for Atlanta’s upcoming campaign, though, is the status of 2016 league MVP Dylan Tunnell. He is hoping to return, but admits his status is up in the air, with other life considerations and a possible family move brewing.
The Raleigh Flyers’ veteran taskmaster Mike DeNardis will coach the Flyers for a third straight season, and DeNardis has added David Allison as an offensive assistant. Allison helped coach the University of Virginia women’s team “Hydra” to the semifinals of College Nationals last year. The Flyers do expect to take advantage of the Charlotte franchise’s folding, as the Express have several players that could help Raleigh. Shane Sisco, who you might remember catching roughly a gazillion goals in last year’s season opener against the Flyers, was courted by multiple teams in the South, but has decided to join Justin Allen and company with the Flyers for 2017.
Shane Sisco racked up 50 goals in two seasons with Charlotte, and will now be taking his speedy talents to Raleigh.
Tuba Benson-Jaja will be be back with the Jacksonville Cannons for a third straight year as well, and the Cannons have already made some significant player news. Aside from reloading with their established stars, Mischa Freystaetter and Cole Sullivan, the Cannons have plucked key players from three other teams early in free agency. Dallas’s Jeremy Langdon moves from the champs back to Jacksonville, where he played in 2015. Similarly, Chris LaRocque, the former Florida State star who suited up for Raleigh last year, will be back with the Cannons this spring. Michael Hickson, a third guy who sat out 2016 after playing for the Cannons the year before, will also rejoin Jacksonville in the coming months.
As good as Langdon, LaRocque, and Hickson have been throughout their careers, it’s fair to say that none of them have the athletic ceiling of Jakeem Polk, who made his debut in competitive ultimate last year with the Charlotte Express. The insanely explosive former D-II football player will return to his home state of Florida and play for Benson-Jaja, whom he really connected with during some productive offseason conversations.
Jakeem Polk was a sensation in his first year in the league.
For a team that needed to add some speed to its defense, the Cannons have picked up a potentially dynamic, albeit raw, weapon. As a spectator, it’s hard to take your eyes of Polk when he’s on the field. It will be fascinating to see what strides he takes in his second year in the league, along with how he fits into the Cannons still-evolving collection of talent.
As previously reported, Ryan Balch is back for a second season leading the Nashville NightWatch. At tryouts this past weekend, former University of Oregon women’s star Jesse Shofner held her own and could very well have a role on the Nashville squad this season.
“From what I’ve seen so far, [Jesse] will definitely make the team,” Balch said. “We don’t differentiate between the 28-man roster and practice squad until late March, but she has the talent and experience to move to the next stage. She would either be a practice player or on the squad, depending on her preseason performance.”
At this time, the only female to play in an AUDL game is Jessi Jones, who suited up and played a marginal role for the Raleigh Flyers in a 2014 win over Nashville. Shofner, if she could make it onto an active roster, would be the second female (and the second Shofner) to play in the league.
The only coaching change coming in the South is in Austin, where Mike Natenberg is planning to take a step back in 2017. The team’s first ever Head Coach helped run tryouts this past weekend, but he’s currently focused on helping to transition a new coach into that responsibility before the season begins. Natenberg’s other life and family responsibilities forced him to be absent for some games last year; hence, the team has some experience without him. But the Sol will certainly miss him as the primary sideline leader this spring.
Things are relatively stable at the top of the Midwest Division. Madison mastermind Tim DeByl is back leading the Radicals, while David Hogan is set to guide the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds for the third consecutive season.
In Michigan, team owner Brent Steepe assumed the coaching responsibilities last year for the first time, and the Detroit Mechanix improved dramatically, going from zero wins in 2015 to four in 2016. Steepe plans to continue as the team’s leader this spring.
Meanwhile the Minnesota Wind Chill, Indianapolis AlleyCats, and Chicago Wildfire are all expecting to have new coaches this year.
The Wind Chill, piloted by Lou Abramowski for the last few seasons, have moved on. Recently they tabbed Phil Bowen, the long-time coach of Carleton College’s successful men’s team, as their new leader this spring. This is an intriguing development for the Wind Chill, a team that did improve from 2015 to 2016, making the playoffs this past summer for the first time. Minnesota appears ready to take another significant step forward this spring, though roster details are not yet certain.
In Indianapolis, Eric Leonard will replace Jared Payne as the AlleyCats commander. An Indy assistant in 2014 and 2015, Leonard also has experience coaching the Purdue University men and the Rice University women. With the AlleyCats looking to return to the playoffs again after missing the postseason each of the past two years, Leonard will lead the way.
As for Chicago, Chris Ashbrook, who led the Wildfire the last two seasons, will not return. Replacing him will be Adrian King, a mainstay on Chicago’s O-line the past few seasons who will now shift into a coaching role. Steve Gordon, the team’s managing partner—along with being the AUDL Commissioner—has promised significant changes to the team’s overall culture and roster, and he believes that King, a University of Oregon alum who, now in his mid-30s, recently began coaching Loyola University as well, is the right fit for their developing roster.
“Adrian knows the game, he loves thinking about the game, and he loves teaching the game,” Gordon said. “He will have a definite impact.”
The Wildfire were perennial postseason participants in the Midwest prior to 2016, when the squad stumbled to a four-win season, losing five games by four goals or less. They went 1-6 last year in games that they led or were tied with less than five minutes remaining. With plenty of young talent in the area, the Wildfire will hope to fix the little things and become better closers to rise back up the standings in the Midwest.
Lastly, out West, some of the situations are still in their larval stages. As for the done deals, Kevin Stuart will be back leading the San Diego Growlers, while Tasia Balding will return for the Vancouver Riptide. Whereas Balding co-coached Vancouver last year along with Matt Doyle, he will not be back in 2016, leaving Balding as the head coach.
Earlier this month, the San Jose Spiders announced that former Spider Tyler Grant would be taking over as team’s new Head Coach. In a change for Andrew Zill’s team, a full-time coach will lead the Spiders in 2017 for the first time, rather than the player/coach model anchored by Kevin Smith over the past three years. Grant served as an unofficial assistant last year while dealing with a knee injury. As he continues to recuperate, he will embrace the coaching responsibilities, though he has not closed the door on a possible return to the field as a player in 2018.
In southern California, where Franklin Rho has piloted the squad during the Los Angeles Aviators’ first two seasons, things are a bit uncertain. Rho remains in the leadership mix and, like Austin’s Natenberg, helped to oversee LA’s recent tryouts. But with other work and life responsibilities, Rho is still unclear whether he can make the commitment to be the team’s full-time coach for the third consecutive season.
San Francisco and Seattle are most likely candidates to finish first and second in the West, but here in mid-January, neither squad has publicly made its coaching situation clear at all. Joshua Greenough has led the FlameThrowers for the past two seasons and remains a co-owner of the franchise, so reason would suggest that he could man the post again. But one also wonders if the Revolver core, seeking full control of the on-field strategic plan, may look elsewhere. Former FlameThrower Captain Ryo Kawaoka, who retired from playing after the 2015 season, could be a candidate to take more of a leadership role with San Francisco. Of course, Greenough also played in the Revolver program several years back and is obviously very familiar with the team’s personnel.
As for the Cascades, it’s anybody’s guess. There certainly are abundant collection of ultimate leaders in Seattle, so the team could have dozens of good candidates. While Roger Crafts ‘coached’ part-time the past couple years, he definitely stayed in an advisory role more than a prototypically active Head Coach. The Cascades have been a player-led juggernaut, anchored by Reid Koss, Danny Karlinsky, Matt Rehder, and several other notable veterans. Obviously, Mark Burton will assume some of those leadership responsibilities this season. His coaching/captaining companions, for now, remain a mystery.
Travelling Tales (Basketball Season Edition)
While the ultimate hot stove continues to sizzle and the anticipation for April’s opening pull gains more and more steam, I must admit that my attentions are divided these days between disc rumors and hoops happenings. Currently entrenched in the heart of conference play in college hoops, I feel obliged to share this crazy story from one of my recent journeys.
This past Saturday, I had the honor of handling the play-by-play for the ACC Network’s coverage of Syracuse and Boson College from the Carrier Dome in central NY. But the relatively last minute assignment left me scrambling a bit in my quest to return to North Carolina for another broadcast on Sunday.
Consequently, I was forced to arrange a very ambitious travel plan, a 7:09 PM flight out of the Syracuse airport on Saturday evening. Tipoff at the Dome was at 4:05 PM.
Fearing overtime, I took to the airwaves after jokingly asking the referees to do whatever they could to keep the game moving along. Over the course of 40 minutes of action, the Orange exacted revenge for their New Year’s Day loss to the Eagles, and more importantly from my selfish perspective, they did so in a timely manner. As the clock struck six, I raced out of the Dome and into my rental car, poised to navigate my way around the more than 21,000 fans who were in attendance to get to the highway, and the airport, as quickly as possible.
Despite some tense minutes sitting stationary in traffic jams, I made the eight-or-so mile trek in about 28 minutes, and by 6:32 or 6:33, I had returned my car and was walking toward security. It may seem like the story is over, but unbeknownst to me at the time, the absurdity had not even really begun.
Syracuse has a small airport, and, as I quickly realized, Saturday nights in January are slow times for this transportation destination. When I arrived at security, there was not a single passenger to be seen.
Still, perhaps eight TSA agents were standing by, undoubtedly wondering what this suited fellow was doing frantically snaking his way through the maze of ropes toward the ID-screening podium.
Then, I briskly walked through the terminal toward my gate—of course it was at the very end of the airport—and arrived to make two bizarre realizations.
Firstly, I was both comforted and dismayed to see on the electronic placard that my flight had been delayed. Instead of 7:09, it was now scheduled to depart at 7:50. But more alarming was the fact that the gate area was almost completely deserted.
There was one person sitting in a chair, a female that looked a few years younger than me, fiddling with her phone. And there was me, frazzled by the unexpected delay and baffled by the lack of human beings nearby. Not only was she the only person at my gate, she was the only person at any gate in the surrounding area. The four gates nearby were completely desolate.
As I scanned my surroundings, contemplating the situation, the female finally looked up from her phone and asked a somewhat alarming question. She said to me, “Are you the one person on this Charlotte flight?”
It turns out she was the gate agent for this direct flight to Charlotte, and she stood up and walked toward the counter. There were, apparently, plenty of good seats still available on this upcoming flight, not to mention every seat available in the terminal.
“I’m the only person on this flight?” I asked confusedly.
“Actually, I think there are two other people that are supposed to be on it,” she said.
She then added that the delay was a result of the incoming flight getting cancelled, which made me quite nervous that my flight would meet a similar fate. But she said that another plane was coming, and it would be departing at 7:50.
I had no choice but to wait. I briefly disappeared to the restroom, and when I returned, she was gone too. It was probably 6:40 PM on a Saturday night, and there was not a single human being at any of the nearby gates. No passengers. No staff. Nobody.
For about 30 minutes, I sat in solitary confinement amidst hundreds of other empty chairs, anxiously waiting for anyone else to show up. About 10 minutes past seven, an older woman, wearing American Airlines garb, began approaching from a distance.
“You’re the one person on this flight, eh?” she said. “Actually, there are a couple other people that will join you.”
“Where are they,” I asked.
“They’re coming,” she insisted, firmly.
Perhaps 10 minutes later, as the soothsaying staffer had suggested, another couple arrived. Between the three of us, the flight manifest, from a passenger standpoint, was complete and accounted for.
We were still waiting on our plane, and it rolled in around 7:40-7:45ish. The older woman asked if we needed her to run through the entire pre-boarding audio protocol. I assured her we all knew the drill.
“Ok,” she said, looking at the three of us. “All passengers. All rows.”
Without bothering to even look at or scan our boarding passes, we marched onto the plane. It was a small bird, one that typically would force its occupants to gate-check any larger luggage meant for the overhead bins, but with no lack of extra space on board, we were encouraged to just throw all of our bags in abandoned rows of seats.
The one flight attendant sarcastically demonstrated how to buckle a seat belt, saying that she wasn’t going to run through the entire safety procedures like normal. My flying companions and I were fine with this shortcut, especially since the other couple was a pair of Packers fans that were aiming to arrive in time to connect with their next flight to Dallas, where they apparently had tickets for the Aaron Rodgers show on Sunday.
By 7:55 PM, we were rising into the sky. Two pilots, one flight attendant, and three passengers bound from Syracuse to Charlotte. In a tribute to the absurdity of airlines building in wild amounts of buffer time in their official flight schedules, when we landed at 9:30ish, we actually were basically “on time,” even though we took off about 45 minutes “late.”
As for the highlights of the in-air journey, the flight attendant decided that my simple request for some ice water required an above-and-beyond response. She handed me a cup of ice and a full-unopened liter jug that I could take with me. She also offered four bags of pretzels, which I gradually accepted.
By the end of the night, I had arrived where I needed to be for Sunday’s telecast, and, somehow, I was not even that dramatically delayed. But it was perhaps the most bewildering experience I have ever encountered at the airport.
On Sunday, my game—Liberty at Gardner-Webb—went to overtime. But that was ok. Unlike the day before, I did not have a flight to catch.
The Tuesday Toss is published weekly during the AUDL regular season and will be monthly staple during the offseason. Got a comment or question about the AUDL or the current state of ultimate? E-mail Evan Lepler at AUDLMailbag@gmail.com. Feedback can also be levied on twitter: @EvanLepler