The Radicals have the advantage of playing in Madison. This works for them in many ways. First, there are a lot of great club players in Madison, Madison Club has consistently been a nationals caliber team. Second, you have the Wisconsin Hodags in town to draw from as well. Not only that but you get the student body, a great resource to draw fans from. Madison is also home to several youth teams. Even though it isn’t nearly as big as many of it’s competitor cities in the AUDL, it’s easy to see why Madison has an AUDL team.
The Radicals are one of the reasons that the Midwestern Conference of the AUDL is viewed as so much stronger than the East. In the Midwest the AUDL doesn’t have to compete with the MLU for players, so these teams have their pick of the litter. And in the Radicals case, they have some very solid players signed up. Players like Dave Wiseman, Brian Hart, Tyler Glenn, and Pat Shriwise have all made names for themselves playing Madison Club, and that’s just the beginning of the list. Last season at Club Nationals Madison lost their first three games to Machine, Revolver, and Ring of Fire which ended up eliminating them. But they made the best of it, and went 4-0 the rest of the weekend to finish 9th, beating PoNY, Truck Stop, Rhino, and Johnny Bravo along the way. While their statistics from that tournament are incomplete (as they are for practically every team) they show Radical players getting stats on a deep team, Tyler Glenn getting eight goals and three assists stands out in particular, the second most goals listed on the team. Their statistics from 2011 are also incomplete, but Brian Hart was recorded having 11 goals and 7 assists on the weekend, tied for the most goals and second most assists on the team.
Clearly the Madison Radicals can hang with the rest of the AUDL. But what makes this team, so, well, radical is the attitude the organization has toward their product. They interact with their fans on facebook and twitter more than any other team, let kids 12 and under into home games for free, only charge $5 for admission (less than any other pro Ultimate team), and they encourage tailgating at their games. When you add to that the Radicals website is one of the best in the AUDL (my one complaint is that it’s difficult to find where the team plays), and their logo is by far the best (it’s lightning and a fist!) it’s easy to see this team becoming popular in Madison. With a good field location in Breese Stevens field, fans won’t have to leave Madison to watch the team either.
The Radicals are in the tougher division. It’s no sure thing they make the playoffs by any stretch of the imagination. The star power is in Chicago, and their rivals to the west have been getting the better of them more often than not the last five years. But the Radicals will contend for the title, and their fans will have fun watching them do it.