DC Breeze Owners Aaron Foreman and George ‘Ty’ Simpson Talk Ultimate Frisebee and Expanding It

Listen In With KNN” host Kelsey Nicole Nelson recently sat down with Aaron Foreman, founder and co-owner of the DC Breeze and co-owner George ‘Ty’ Simpson. The duo make up the only minority ownership group in the Ultimate Frisbee Association. The diversity has extended beyond the ownership onto the team. This season, the DC Breeze entered its 11th season. The convo began with Nelson asking Foreman about what fans and locals can look forward to happening with ultimate frisbee in the nation’s capital, with the home opener right around the corner kicking off at Catholic University May 10 The DC Breeze hosts their home games at Carlini Field at Catholic University. Simpson touched on how the partnership came about. “Catholic University gave us their football field which was huge. It holds about 5,000 people. But we have something special for you. Catholic has decided to build a brand new soccer stadium, which is perfect for fans to watch,” he said. 

“I remember back in 2013, I remember a friend of mine told me about this league that was starting and that they were looking for owners to help lift the league off the ground. Me being a former athlete, I was very interested in the possibilities of actually owning something. I looked into it and discovered that it was the ultimate frisbee,” he said as he continued talking about his experience with frisbee in college. Foreman elaborated on the level of professionalism that the sport has and that is why he was drawn to it. For fans new and old, there’s lots to look forward to the DC Breeze this season. Foreman and Simpson shared how most of the players on the current roster are college graduates. “We have a variety of backgrounds including engineers, lawyers, and business owners. It’s a melting pot,” Foreman said. He elaborated on the fact that the players know how to balance their professional careers along with playing on the team as well. 

Nelson asked about the sports current diversity. “We had one of the most diverse ultimate teams. Unfortunately, this year we have lost four of our African-American players,” Simpson said. Simpson discussed players like Rowan McDonnell who was crowned MVP in 2018 of the entire league and AJ Merriman whose mother is a track coach. Both players have embarked on their careers since the team consists of graduate students and industry professionals. 

Looking at the 2024 schedule which begins for the DC Breeze on April 27 when they take on the Salt Lake Shred on the road. Simpson spoke to this year’s competition in the league as Nelson asked if the DC Breeze would be bringing a championship to DC. This season the DC Breeze returned 22 players.

“We would have to get through New York to get to a championship since they have been the best and dominant team. In order for us to make the championship we have to get through New York,” he said.

Nelson and Foreman both then talked about how he was introduced to the game of frisbee. “I was introduced in college and the military. Growing up, I didn’t really see it,” he said. Foreman is a native Washingtonian, who spent 30 years in the military serving the country. The Ballou High School graduate, went on to continue his education at The University of the District of Columbia and Morehouse College. Simpson  is also a native of Washington, D.C. and a D.C. public schools graduate, who also matriculated through the University of the District of Columbia, before heading to Emory University, Clark Atlanta University, and Georgia State University.

Simpson shared he was first introduced to frisbee down South. “I was living in Atlanta at the time, I was in my last semester of college and I started interning at a law firm. The lawyers asked me to play frisbee with them on their team. It took me a long time to learn how to throw the frisbee but I got it. So my knowledge of ultimate frisbee came from me playing in the lawyer’s ultimate frisbee league,” he said. 

For those interested in playing for DC Breeze, Nelson asked how folks can get involved in playing and recruit talent. Foreman shared how they are always looking for more talent “We are always scouting. We do hold tryouts. Over a month now, we have completed tryouts. We have guys that come from all over but we do scout. The anomaly about this league is that there are guys that are constantly moving because they are in their 20s so they are moving around trying to establish their careers,” he said. Foreman also continued by saying that players help with recruiting because they might know other good players that are interested in playing on the team. 

As the game of frisbee continues to grow, Nelson touched on player safety within the league as we see parents being more concerned about putting their children in sports. “We have something in Ultimate called the Spirit of Sport. It’s technically a non contact sport. So this is the upside of the sport on a non-pro level, a club level, high school level, and middle school level because it is a conflict resolution sport,” Simpson said. 

Nelson also brought up that fans can watch DC Breeze games this season at  https://www.watchufa.tv/ and select their favorite team. 

You can listen to the full show here

Jasmine Pollock