Player Chatter: Championship Weekend In Review

August 30, 2023
By Matt Rezin

“Player Chatter” is a series consisting of player quotes, thoughts, and feelings from around the league. All current AUDL players were sent a handful of prompts earlier this week designed to be as open-ended as possible. Additionally, players were asked to vote in a single-question, multiple choice survey.

Championship Weekend Survey Results

Who’s winning the AUDL title in 2024?

New York Empire: 39.3% of votes
Any Other Team: 60.7% of votes

Championship Weekend Reactions

“Tough way to go out, but we did have a great time. Incredible facilities!” Kyle Henke, Austin Sol

[Jeff] Babbitt had six goals in the first half and still led the game after resting. MVP locked.” CJ Colicchio, Philadelphia Phoenix

“It turns out that one quarter suspension was the only thing keeping [Jake] Radack from leading the field in throwaways.” Jacob Blackman, Atlanta Hustle

Joel Clutton. That’s it.” Kyle Henke, Austin Sol

“Joel Clutton stepped up in the final to try and keep things competitive but it just wasn't enough; good individual effort though.” Matt Smith, Atlanta Hustle

“The roar of the crowd as we walked to our benches before the semi was literally one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Chills the whole time. Minnesota frisbee and its fans proved why we’re one of the best communities in the country. Y’all deserved that weekend—it was as much for y’all as it was for us. Thanks for helping make it so special.” Brandon Matis, Minnesota Wind Chill

“What a game on Saturday night between Minnesota and Salt Lake! It was great to see Minnesota and championship weekend! Having the home team there will always help with the hype. Part of me wishes they made the final to see what the crowds could have been!” Jeremy Hill, Toronto Rush

“In the final it was hard not to notice how much fresher the Empire seemed; earlier and less stressful semi had them in a very good place to capitalize on Saturday.” Matt Smith, Atlanta Hustle

Antoine [Davis] 100 percent should be MVP, he took [Jordan] Kerr out of the game.” Tannon Hedges, Atlanta Hustle

“Shoutout to Bretton Tan and Quinn Snider representing Canada at Championship weekend! Both with big efforts to help their teams.” Jeremy Hill, Toronto Rush

2023 Season Reactions

“[Jeff] Babbitt for MVP” Jeremy Hill, Toronto Rush

“Hats off to New York, they really are a collection of very skilled players who have proven they are a cut above. However, from a league perspective, is it really any surprise that the team spending presumably at least four times more than any other franchise to retain their top end talent is consistently the best?” Anonymous AUDL Player (verified) 

“The season had a lot of twists and turns but the Empire ending up on top wasn't a huge shock.” Matt Smith, Atlanta Hustle

“New York just turned it on to the max and people weren't ready for it. They believe they can beat everyone, and train hard. Not surprising they cruised to another championship.” Tannon Hedges, Atlanta Hustle

“Shoutout to Adam Ruffner & Daniel Cohen for their social media work this season. Amazing job growing the sport.” Jeremy Hill, Toronto Rush

“This year there seemed to be a definitive culture shift. The ceiling of the league is high. New York, Salt Lake, and Minnesota should start becoming the standard of the league in terms of dedication and scheming. I wonder how long the bottom five franchises will hang on for.” Anonymous AUDL Player (verified) 

Water Cooler

“More players who are not competing should come out to Championship Weekend! It's always such a great atmosphere.” Matt Smith, Atlanta Hustle

“DC vs. the East Division champ in the divisional round of the last four seasons has been more entertaining than any championship weekend game.” Anonymous AUDL Player (verified) 

“Minnesota state fair corn on the cob is better than cheese curds.” Kyle Weinberg, Salt Lake Shred

“My hot take is the AUDL alters their playoff format next season so DC and NY can both make it to championship weekend.” Jeremy Hill, Toronto Rush

“I am curious what the next step for the league is. I think we are consistently having highlight level plays that get recognition outside our media group, but is it translating to growing the league financially and reaching a new audience? Or is it just repeat exposure to the same demographic? The Hustle have created an amazing gameday environment, and that's driving more cash flow and new fans. I think now that every game is streamed, the focus should be bringing more sponsors and more fan engagement to every team. Players need to continue to push their own brand and content. The AUDL team does so much and we need to do more.” Tannon Hedges, Atlanta Hustle

“Teams like New York and Detroit aren't necessarily bad for the league, but at some point Detroit, Portland, Montreal, etc. need to catch up and become competitive. Once every division is as competitive as the West, the league will thrive.” Anonymous AUDL Player (verified)