#FanSpotlight - Thomas Apsey

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This article is part of our 2016 series #FanSpotlight in which we get to know some of the Hustle's exceptional fans.

Season Tickets are now available for sale at Early Bird Pricing through Dec 31st

Where do you play?

I have been playing pick-up Ultimate since I was in high school. This wasn’t anything serious, just a blast to play. These were the days when you only had four cones, everyone played every point (no matter how many people were there), and the end zone was infinitely deep.

After high school, I went to Auburn and I found they had an Ultimate team. I played at Auburn (Underdogs/Hare Jordans) all four years I was there. That was my first experience with serious Ultimate. It was a great place to meet people, stay in shape, and travel all around the SEC with my best friends playing the game I love.

I have been playing in the AFDC since before I graduated college. I captain the most fun (and longest running) spring league team, Gratuitous Party. We have been playing and partying together in matching tuxedo t-shirts for 7 years, and we have no intention of slowing down! If you see a powder blue tuxedo anything, that is probably one of us.

The game itself is so much fun, but it is the people, and Spirit of the Game that makes me love Ultimate so much.

Why do you go to Hustle games?

Hustle games are a great environment. You get to see some of the top players making exceptional plays. It is also cool to see the difference in the rules. I love the idea of timed games and throwing up a desperation huck before time expires.

NOTE TO FANS: If the Hustle has the disc, do the 10 second count down loudly, so they know to release their throw before the clock expires. If the other team has it, start the count down 5 seconds early #8thMan

I also love these games because all my friends are there. Most of the AFDC comes out to the games and it is a great social scene. You get to see your friends play and hang out with them as well. What can be any better than that?

Also, Rick will keep you pumped up with great music and hilarious audio clips. "Get Off My Plane!"

What tickets do you get?

Season tickets baby! That is the way to go. Plus, you usually have extra to share with friends. I put out a challenge to my spring team for the extras I have; Haikus for Hustle tickets. We had over 60 entries; it was hilarious.

Also, they usually run deals where you can get a jersey or something cool with your tickets. Not only did I get a sweet Frank Wooten jersey, but he signed it for me too!

Who do you typically go with?

I usually hang with all my teams from the AFDC. We have been playing together so long we have a tight knit group of friends. The beauty of the games is that everyone there is a friend. I will usually have a home base, but roam around the stands to see all the people.

Also, you must stop by the concession stand to see the amazing Ozone women. Be sure to have some of The Pickle’s famous egg rolls! Don’t forget the sauce; that is what makes them off the charts.

Got any Pre-game rituals?

My pregame is pretty much the same every game. Because of the great downtown location, I can bike to the games. We usually bike to a pregame spot and then get the crew together to bike to the fields. This gets us good and hyped up for heckling.

Got any Favorite moments from games?

Anyone who has met me will tell you that I love things over the top. So, any time a huge huck goes off, or a layout happens, those kinds of plays get me PUMPED to be in the stadium. Especially when Frank unloads that left-handed backhand huck. How I miss running some of those down.

My FAVORITE is whenever an upside-down throw gets unloaded. They are not as common in the pros, but when it happens… it holds a special place in my heart. Guys, I know you are reading this. MORE HAMMERS!!! *Boom, got a heckle into my interview.

The day I got my jersey, I brought my Sharpie and was so pumped to get Frank to sign my #12. I hopped onto the field and Frank was more than happy to oblige. Not only that, but they took a team photo and I was invited to be in it. That was a pretty awesome moment getting to be with the team in a jersey. That is the only way I could make it onto the team was to sneak in!

Thomas (2nd row, far left wearing plaid shorts) jumped into the team photo after a home win versus Raleigh in 2016

Thomas (2nd row, far left wearing plaid shorts) jumped into the team photo after a home win versus Raleigh in 2016

Any fun stories from the stands?

I love the Heckle shirts as the Hustle logo. I have been begging for one and can’t find who makes them (I am a Medium). Heckling is a huge part of the game for me. Being in the stands with all my friends watching some great Ultimate is what it is all about. There isn’t a better way to spend the weekend in my mind.

Favorite parts of the game day experience?

Hustle does a great job including the community in their games. There are usually middle and high school teams in the stands; some are even honored at half time. I love Ultimate and most of my best friends I have met playing Ultimate. I even met my amazing girlfriend Maddy playing in the AFDC! It is great to see the sport growing and Hustle is doing their part to get this sport in front of as many people as they can and teaching it at a young age.

What do you do after the games?

You can either celebrate a win or drown your sorrows after a loss. I hate to give up my cool spot, but we usually end up on the porch at The Highlander. Great food and very close by. We get some food and beers and just enjoy the day. We have fans and players that come to relax and have a good time. Even one of the referees plays on my team and he comes to hang too.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Though I am probably best known for clowning around the fields, I did want to leave this on a semi-serious note. I love Ultimate. I love the sport. I love the community. I love the Spirit of the Game and I love the people. Ultimate is one of the few places that you can find a full range of great people. My AFDC teammates have ranged from a twelve-year-old to people who are well over 50 and still playing at Great Grand Masters! Their careers range from student, to contractor, to doctor, to unemployed, to lawyers. You never know what type of person you will find when you go to see or play Ultimate. I will tell you this, Ultimate players are some of the most loving, friendly, and fun people you will meet in your life. I have made best friends, met my girlfriend, developed business contacts, and experienced some of the best times of my life playing this sport. I am honestly lucky that I found this sport and that I live in a city that plays it so well that we have A PROFESSIONAL ULTIMATE TEAM!

 

GO HUSTLE! Practice and play hard, but also remember to have a good time doing it. And an occasional hammer never hurt anyone’s feelings…