Congratulations to the Toronto Rush for winning in their first year in the league with a win vs Madison 16-14. The Rush capped a perfect season 18-0 and a large point differential; and therein lies a problem. A problem that I discussed way back at the start of the season and one that remains one of the most critical issue to both Toronto and the AUDL.
Let me expand upon this by saying that I have been to almost every home game this season. I have sat through the cold, the rain, the heat, the sun in the eyes as it sets, and I have been the first to jump back into the stands after a lightning delay to cheer for my friends. The problem, my friends, is that you’re too good. Games are boring and lack drama. Any drama that does come is when an opposing team manages to make it past half and doesn’t wither under the pressure. I love that the Rush continues to play hard and doesn’t give up or doesn’t mind running up the score; that’s their job. The problem is that the league lacks the depth to challenge Toronto and that carries perils.
The AUDL already has their own share of issues. On a cloudy, cold, and rainy day Toronto has more fans, in less than ideal conditions, than their competition does at home on a great day. The lack of crowds leads to an unsustainable model and Toronto will face the real issue of a lack of any competitors.
A question that has bothered me from the start of the season is: If Toronto wins easily and without drama, what’s the point of going to the games? I stated early on that it was to support my friends and the sport. The problem is that supporting the sport is distinct in many ways. All of the players on the teams have a spot on GOAT or GT and the AUDL is supposed to be entertainment, much like other professional sports. Problem is that I’m not entertained. So I’m at a crossroads and it’s something that the AUDL needs to address. Fortunately they have the time and resources to address some of the issues I’ve brought up. The bigger question is: Can they?