|Cavaliers Operating Co. Mentorship||
Today was the closing of my mentorship hours, even though I have completed the course requirements I will still be working alongside the Cavaliers Operating Company and Mr. Ostrowski for the remainder of the Gladiators season. I have had a great experience through this program, and I look forward toward continuing the relationships that have been created. I went in today and took a group photo with the team who works in all the Cavaliers Franchises, again this was not an official goodbye rather a new beginning towards a great future. The duties I completed today were pre and post-game interview organization along with the 30 minute autograph session required by the league.
Today we focused on polishing up for the big game tomorrow. Our walk through was held at the Q arena, so we did not have to travel to the APAC for duties. When we have our walk through at the arena all film breakdowns are compiled on a dvd to be ran on a TV instead of the projector. Meeting rooms are much smaller, but the coaches and athletes are more organized. I have noticed that there is a relaxed feel to the practices, but a more militant approach to the process. Being that we had the walk through at the Q, front office staff watched over the practice from their offices and some on the sideline.
Today was a big day as I got to participate in my project with the Gladiators Youth Clinic. First I had to prepare film breakdown for the red zone area in our morning meetings. Orlando has a pretty consistent red zone attack, that has very little wrinkles and I think we will be well prepared for them. After practice I headed down to the Q in preparation for the Youth Clinic.
The Cleveland Gladiators Youth Football Clinic was a project I that featured seven Cleveland Gladiator athletes facilitating a sports clinic for ages 5 - 16. There were over 150 youth who participated in the clinic and it was hosted at the Q Arena. Parents were allowed to observe the clinic while kids participated in drills on the field. The camp was three hours long, followed by an autograph session with the Gladiators. This was a great way to close out my mentorship program.
A win against Orlando would secure the tie breaker against them. We both have a 1-1 record versus each other so this has playoff implications. Today we worked mid-field, so I was responsible for the film breakdown and evaluation of the Preds. They have been on a 5-1 win streak since our previous meeting May 29th, so we have a nice battle coming ahead. We did not make any transactions today, but I do expect some changes to be made even if its just to throw off our opponent.
Today was a very busy work day for me with 10 plus hours of activity! I began my day with the normal routine which involves team meetings with the coaching staff and players. During the team meeting, the coaches provide a scouting report, which is an evaluation/breakdown of the upcoming opponent. The coaches addressed desired personnel match-ups and strategy versus the Orlando Predators. The contest versus the Preds. is now scheduled as "Game of the Week" on the CBS Sports Network, Saturday July, 18 2015. Both teams are battling for a playoff spot.
Gladiators Fan Appreciation provided season ticket holders an opportunity to meet the Gladiators! The event provided food and drinks for the "Gladiators Football Alliance (GFA)," the official for the season ticket members. It was a three hour event. The GFA entered the arena and was greeted with a cocktail/appetizer hour. During the cocktail hour, the athletes were briefed on the event itinerary. The Glads. entered the field area disbursed at various stations that featured 60 second, "Minute to Win It" inspired games. When the GFA entered the field area they participated in the games versus the Glads. Afterwards the Gladiators team was officially introduced to the GFA. Once the team introduction was complete, all of the athletes rallied-up the GFA by tossing fan appreciation shirts in the crowd. The event featured over 300 GFA members, who were provided the opportunity to enlist for the 2016 season.
Game day! Yesterday was a long day of travel. Even though we left early and arrived 24 hours before the game, there were major complications with our travel. We had to stop to change busses before leaving Cleveland because the driver accidentally broke his side mirror against a hanging tree branch. Another issue, believe it or not, the driver had navigation complications, his GPS system failed while driving forcing incorrect turns further prolonging the trip. Ultimately we safely arrived in Philly 3 hours late. For today, I was responsible for pre and post-game activities. There were no required autograph sessions since we were the visiting team, but there were a few post-game interviews.
Day three was another combination day of red zone and walk through. We made three more transactions placing on player on inactive reserve, and activating two from inactive reserve. The inactive reserve spot is normally used for an athlete who is a little banged up, but not seriously injured, therefore they can avoid the penalty of being placed on injured reserved forcing the franchise to waive the individual before having the opportunity to return to their original team. Tomorrow we will be taking a road trip to Philly using Barron Bus Company, our charter bus service. We set up the departure time for 5am because league rules state that the opposing team must arrive in the event location at least 24 hours before the start of the contest.
The Soul were back to back American Conference Champions in 2012-2013, however the Gladiators are the reigning American Conference Champions from 2014. The rivalry between Philly and Cleveland has become on of the most popular match-ups in the AFL. Today was noted quite an importance of the rivalry as we made four transactions placing two people on injured reserve, releasing one player on reassignment, and signing a top free agent. As I have expressed previously, transactions are essential to a teams activity. They can be a very strategic advantage for the acting franchise. Most teams wait until Thursdays to be most active because by doing it later in the week the other organizations will have less reaction time to respond to an available player. For example there is a 24 hour claim period for a released player and a 48 hour claim period for a recallable released player which most often leads teams to game day, therefore a team may elect not to sign a player in such a short window because most often a new additions calls for a decrease or waiver of a roster spot.