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Tailgate

Force Tue Nov 01 2011

Force Tryouts Coming Up

The Chicago Force women's football team is holding tryouts for the 2012 team on Nov. 19 and Dec. 17. Think you have what it takes? Tryouts will consist of a variety of tests of strength, agility and football fundamentals, and are open to women age 17 and over.

Andrew Huff

Force Tue Jun 28 2011

Force Football: For the Love of the Game

Photos, video and text by Lauren Camplin and Ali Trumbull

They refer to themselves as the "Band of Sisters". They're teachers, singers, police officers, full-time moms and nurses.

Despite differing backgrounds, the group of over 60 women come together every week for the same reason -- to play tackle football for the Chicago Force.

"We have a camaraderie with one another and that was one of the reasons why I came back because I missed the team and I missed being around my band of sisters," said offensive lineman Rosalyn Bennett.

Formed in 2003, the Chicago Force joined the Women's Football Alliance after spending eight seasons with the Independent Women's Football League.

"The new league is an opportunity to play different competition," said George Howe, the team's director of media relations. "We were looking for new challenges after playing the same teams for eight years."

The league is not to be confused with the well-known Lingerie Football League's Chicago Bliss. The WFA women wear full gear and play tackle football. This can come as a shock even to those trying out for the team.

"Seeing what it takes to run a team was a shock to my system," said Samantha Powell, the head of gameday operations. "I had no idea all the moving parts of an offensive team and coaching staff, defensive team, special teams, special plays."

While many of the rules in the league mirror those of the NFL, there are strong differences between the two besides gender. The players in the Women's Football Alliance have to pay $600 to play on the team in order to cover expenses. Some women have multiple jobs along with being on the team.

Continue reading this entry »

Tailgate

Force Fri Apr 29 2011

A Forceful Start

force vs. minnesota 04092011.jpg

Brandy Hatcher (28) fights for yards in the home opener / Photo: Scott Renshaw

Starved for football? Want to cheer on a winner? You might check out the Chicago Force, our local women's tackle football team. After going 7-2 last year, they've won their first two games this season 69-0 and 58-0. They play at home tomorrow and the next two Saturdays. All games start at 4 p.m. at Winnemac Stadium (5105 N. Leavitt).

Continue reading this entry »

Jim Reedy

Force Thu Apr 07 2011

Chicago Force Set to Kick Off 2011 Season at Home

Chicago Force during Slaughter Exhibition

Photo: Johnny Boston

Roller derby skaters aren't the only hard-hitting women in town. The Chicago Force, our fair city's all-gal tackle football team, kick off their inaugural season as members of the Woman's Football Alliance on Saturday afternoon with a home game against the Minnesota Machine.

The Force have played for the last 12 years; their inclusion in the WFA will allow them to play other national teams beyond the Central Division.

They have three other home games after this weekend: April 30 vs. the St. Louis Slam; May 7 vs. the Kansas City Tribe; and May 14 vs. the West Michigan Mayhem.

All games will be played on Saturdays at 4 p.m. at Winnemac Stadium (5105 N. Leavitt). Tickets are $10 adult, $3 kids/students/seniors.

Kara Luger

Force Thu May 27 2010

A Force To Be Reckoned With

Headlines just write themselves sometimes, folks. The 7-0 Chicago Force are looking to wrap up a perfect regular season when they travel to Kansas City to take on the K.C. Tribe on June 5. No idea who the Chicago Force are? No problem, they're just Chicago's most-successful football team this season and have been quietly (but, oh, so methodically) taking their opponents apart defensively (five shutouts in seven games). The Chicago Force is Chicago's premier women's football team and no, we're not talking Lingerie Leagues, we're talking brutish, tackle football. The Force are one of the most successful franchises in the Independent Women's Football League and have been playing at Winnemac Stadium (5105 N. Leavitt) all season long. The Tribe certainly present the most challenging game of the year for the Force. At home back in April, the Force barely squeaked out a 14-12 decision against Kansas City and oh, by the way, the 12 points the Force gave up, that's the only time all season an opponent has reached double-figures on the Force and only the second time a team has scored at all.

Brian Lauvray

Football Tue Nov 10 2009

Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Tryouts

logo_force_white_medium.jpgoutfit.jpgTwo of Chicago's hardest-hitting women's sports teams are giving you the change to test your mettle when they hold open tryouts in the coming weeks.

The Chicago Force women's tackle football team, who made it to the Western Conference Finals last season, will hold tryouts for female athietes 18 and over on Satuday, November 21 at Northeastern llinois University and Saturday, December 12 at the Broadway Armory, 5917 N. Broadway. No football experience is necessary, just a willingness (presumably) to hit and be hit. Get complete details here.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Outfit is looking to add to their roster of roller derby girls with tryouts/practice sessions at the Fleetwood Roller Rink in Summit, Ill. The Outfit finished their recent season with a perfect 10-0 record. You can get more Outfit info here.

Ken Green

Force Tue Jul 14 2009

Forced Out

logo_force_white_medium.jpg(The Chicago Force fell short in their bid to return to the championship game in the Independent Women's Football League, falling 40-16 to the Kansas City Tribe. Force PR chief George Howe gives the sad details.)

KANSAS CITY - The Chicago Force post season travel odyssey and the 2009 campaign came to an end last Saturday night, falling to the Kansas City Tribe 40-16 in the Western Conference Championship game. After a successful first round win over the Majestics in Seattle Washington two weeks earlier, the Tribe denied the Force a second straight trip to the National Championship game.

Heart, emotion, and effort, although never questioned and certainly vital, can only carry a team so far. The Force just never seemed to get over the hump. A lack of execution, missed tackles, and not capitalizing on opportunities played a key role in this outcome.

Continue reading this entry »

Ken Green

Force Fri Jun 26 2009

A Force to Contend With

Entering the field four across and hands clasped, the Chicago Force mean business. In their 26-6 win over the Detroit Demolition in the last regular season game on June 13, the Force had their eyes set on victory. Now for the second year in a row, they have successfully made it to the playoffs. The team will now head to the West Coast to face the #1 seeded Seattle Majestics in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs on Saturday, June 27.

With last years' heartbreaking overtime loss in the finals to the Dallas Diamonds still in the their minds, the players are hoping to redeem themselves this year. They are looking to finally succeed in winning the Independent Women's Football League (IWFL) Championships. The Force has one of the strongest teams in the league, evident from the thirteen Chicago players named as all-stars this year. Among those selected are Kim Marks, Dawn Pederson, and Amanda Malsch, all veteran players that bring leadership, experience, and stability to the team. And with their intimidating offensive line, which helped them reach a 6-2 winning season, and 25 strong, young rookies, the Force has a real shot at the title.

Seattle is ranked first in the Western Conference and has gone unbeaten this season. While the Majestics will be a difficult team to beat, the Force have the drive, passion, and talent to bring home a win. If the Force beat Seattle on Saturday, they have the chance to host the 2nd round on their own turf at Holmgren Athletic Complex at North Park University against the winner of the Kansas City/Los Angeles playoff game.

Vanessa Day

Football Fri Jun 12 2009

Force, Slaughter Eye Playoffs

While the rest of the football world spends their time worrying if the Bears have bitten off more (or not enough) than they can chew with new QB Jay Cutler, Chicago gridiron fans can turn their attention to the exploits of two of Chicago's other squad, both of whom making a strong push toward the post-season.

First, Tailgate's personal favorites (OK, maybe mine), the Chicago Force will close out their regular season with a 3 p.m. home game this Saturday against the Detroit Demolition at the Holmgren Athletic Complex of North Park University, Foster Ave. and Albany. The Force are looking to return to the postseason, after falling just short of winning the league championship last season, and they are in a good postion to make a return engagement. They're 5-2 this season, but fell to the K.C. Tribe 30-14 on May 30. The Force will also be looking to gain a measure of revenge after losing to the Demolition in a close 21-19 defeat.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Slaughter are enjoying as well-deserved rest after finishing with a perfect 12-0 record in the Continential Indoor Football following their 49-14 win over the Wisconsin Wolfpack (take that, cheeseheads!). The Slaughter, under third year head coach Steve McMichael, can further stick it to the boys from Up North when the two teams meet again at the Sears Centre on June 20 in the divisional playoff game. The winner will play in the CIFL Championship game the following weekend.


Ken Green

News Thu May 07 2009

Short Hops

  • It's do or (almost) die time tonight for the Blackhawks in their playoff series against the (boo) Vancouver Canucks.
  • Now that he's back in the fold, the White Sox' Scottie Pods wants his old number back. Meanwhile, manager Ozzie Guillen thinks the team has more pressing needs.
  • Speaking of the Sox, they hold their first Volunteer Day this Saturday. It's not too late to sign up for the event, inspired by their No. 1 fan.
  • Derrick Rose? Jay Cutler? Patrick Kane? Who's Chicago's most marketable athlete?
  • Handball fanatics, the place to be this weekend is Elgin. Yes, Elgin.
  • The Bulls' playoff run been berry berry good to Comcast Sports.
  • As if the Chicago Rush didn't have enough problems, what with their entire league collapsing, now they're accused of sticking it to one of their fans.
  • Yet another tribute to venerable Wrigley Field.
  • A website called "Ride The City" needs your help in mapping out Chicago's cycling routes.
  • From Lemont, Illinois to Venice, Italy: cyclist Christian Vande Velde has come a long way.
  • Walk with a purpose. The 10th Annual Breast Cancer Walk comes to the Beverly neighborhood.
  • Look out Robert Morris College: Roosevelt University is getting back into the intercollegiate athletics action.
  • Fresh off their victory over Kansas City, the Chicago Force take their undefeated record to Detroit to take on the Demolition in Women's Tackle Football action.
  • The equally unbeaten Chicago Fire, meanwhile, face the New England Revolution at Toyota Park.

Ken Green

Force Mon Apr 20 2009

Force Field A Winner

With a 2-0 record the Chicago Force (2008 Eastern Conference Champions) are moving in the right direction when it comes to challenging for the 2009 Western Conference title after making the switch in the offseason. They took another step forward when they knocked off the Wisconsin Warriors 38-20 on Alumni Night at North Park University's Holmgren Athletic Complex in the home opener of their Independent Womens Tackle Football League season. The Force's PR chief, George Howe, gives the details:

Chicago, IL. - In front of former coaches, players and an enthusiastic crowd, the Force went to 2-0 with a 38-20 win over the Wisconsin Warriors. Offensive player of the game running back Karyn Silvestri had another stellar performance, rushing for 251 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown. On Chicago's first possession Silvestri burst through the Warrior line for 11 yards to the Force 33. On the next play, QB Sami Grisafe hit WR Martha Dantuma on a slant pattern for the games first score. Carolyn Lee's extra point made it 7-0.

Dynamo Silvestri.JPG
Photo of Karyn Silvestri by Scott Renshaw

Continue reading this entry »

Ken Green

News Fri Mar 20 2009

Short Hops

  • There may not be a casino in Chicago (yet), but there is definitely some gambling going on. The city is now on the hook for $500 million to host the Olympics, part of the state's $750 million guarantee.
  • The Cubs want a new spring training facility in Mesa, or else they're walking. And Cubs fans want to end 100 years of misery or...they'll be back next year.
  • They may have been so-so as a team last season, but as humanitarians, the Bears might belong in the Super Bowl.
  • A unique local soccer tourney will pit the 10 best ethnic teams against each other.
  • Two coaches from the Chicago Force are probably glad the temperatures are going to be a bit warmer this weekend. They're getting their heads shaved for charity tomorrow. Meanwhile, the women'd pro full contact football team released their 2009 schedule.
  • The Windy City Rollers' home teams throw elbows in their next match this Saturday night at the UIC Pavillion.
  • Meanwhile, if you're up for a road trip, Chicago's other roller derby queens, The Outfit, have a bout-on-wheels near Grand Rapid, MIchigan.


Ken Green

News Fri Jan 16 2009

Short Hops

  • Remember when the Chicago Cardinals were the toast of the town? Neither do we. Here's some footage to show you what the big deal was.
  • Barack Obama is a continuation in a long like of athletically-active presidents, although we're pretty sure that list doesn't include Taft. Wait, we take that back.
  • Albert Belle, Dennis Rodman, A.J. Pierzinski... we're fast becoming the home for athletes that rub everyone else the wrong way. So why NOT Terrell Owens?
  • Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija is getting used to sudden fame...
  • ...while fellow Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano nearly breaks a water cooler over the CTA fare increase (OK, not really).
  • Sox fans, the Twins are retooling for an AL Central title and just might used Joe Crede to do it.
  • Study of Sports analyzes the Sox-Bartolo Colon deal and raises the issue of the "S" word ("S" being steroids).
  • Bleacher Report lists the 10 most annoying type of fans. Did you make the cut?
  • Despite a struggling economy, the Chicago Red Stars have sold 1,000 season tickets for their inaugural women's professional soccer season. Granted, season tickets are only $99, but still...
  • Martin Luther Knig Holiday Weekend prep hoops action includes the High School Hoops Showdown and the MLK Dream Classic at Whitney Young, where you just might see some of the top 40 area players.
  • Winter cornhole league play kicks off at Joe's on Weeds Street, with proceeds benefitting the Chicago Cornhole Charity Initiatitve. Yeah, you read it right.
  • Like father, like... daughter? Brittney Payton, daughter of Walter, tries out for the Chicago Force.

Ken Green

Force Tue Jul 29 2008

Force Falls Short

In case you were wondering, the Chicago Force were unable to make it a picture perfect season, falling to the Dallas Diamonds 35-29 in overtime in the IWFL Championship game this past Saturday at North Park University. The loss left the Force with a 10-1 overall record (including the playoffs). The Force were done in by the stellar ball carrying of Dallas' RB Jessica Springer, who rush for nearly 240 yards, including 42 yards on the game-winning drive.

The Force scored on two touchdowns by Melissa Smith, who ran it in on runs of one and 11 yards, and a three-yard run, an eight-yard pass and a two point conversion, all by Sami Grisafe.

Ken Green

News Thu Jul 24 2008

Short Hops

  • In case you’ve forgotten, the Chicago Force are going for the IWFL title this Saturday at North Park University’s Holmgren Athletic Complex. Cheer them on.
  • The White Sox’ Juan Uribe to the Red Sox? It might make a lot of people happy.
  • Cook County Commissioner Mike Quinn got a lot of Detroit Red Wings fans ticked off when he managed to skewer the team in his resolution celebrating the outdoor game against the Blackhawks at Wrigley Field...
  • ...But here’s guessing he’ll have an easier time getting tickets to the game than you do.
  • A half-game lead (as of Thursday afternoon)? Are the Cubs done for? One writer seems to think so (though he admits he’s a Sox fan but insists that has nothing to do with it… right.)...
  • ...But never fear Cubs fans, there are enough pro-Cubby blogs to ease the pain. In fact, there’s a whole army.
  • The need for (man-powered) speed: The Chicago Criterium is this weekend.
  • A Chicago hospital offers a free women’s sports injury prevention pamphlet
  • ...Which you might need if you attend tryouts for the Grand All Star League (GALS, get it?) women’s basketball tryouts for females 50 and over.

Ken Green

Force Mon Jul 14 2008

Force Advance to Title Game

They're not making it easy on their fans, but the scrappy Chicago Force are title-bound.

Posting another narrow, nail-biting victory, the Force advanced to the Independent Women's Football League Championship game with a slim 8-7 victory over the Pittsburgh Passion over the weekend at North Park University to win the Eastern Conference Championship. The victory propels the Force to their first IWFL title game, where they'll face the Dallas Diamonds on Saturday, July 26. You can read about the game here.

The win kept the Force's perfect record intact as they improved to 10-0 on the season. But Dallas may present them with their toughest challenge yet. The Diamonds defeated the Seattle Majestics by a whopping 38-6 to gain a berth in the title game.

One big advantage for the Force is the location of the championship game: North Park University's Holmgren Athletic Complex, the Force's home field.

Ken Green

News Thu Jul 10 2008

Short Hops

  • The Chicago Force take another step toward the Independent Women’s Football League title when they take on the Pittsburgh Passion in a playoff contest this Saturday, 3 p.m. The Force are also getting national exposure thanks to a segement on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric tonight at 5:30 p.m. A related Force segment may also run on The CBS Early Show this Friday morning.
  • Pro beach volleyball hits North Avenue Beach this weekend. See it on television or in person.
  • The Chicago Bandits kick off a four-game series against the Washington Glory at Judson University in Elgin.
  • Got the need for speed? NASCAR comes to the Chicagoland Motor Speedway this Friday and Saturday. The city already has a fan in racer Kurt Busch.
  • Ultimate fighting in Chicago that DOESN’T involve the City Council? It could happen.
  • The Windy City Rollers hit the hardwood against the Tuscon Saddle Tramps in Cicero on Saturday
  • Yet another Chicago Olympic rally/celebration has been slated, this time for Monday at Millennium Park.
  • Peyton. Butkus. Dent. … and now cornhole? The new drinking man’s favorite (ahem) sport has its second tournament at Soldier Field.

Ken Green

Force Mon Jun 30 2008

A Force To Be Reckoned With

While the rest of the city was focused on a bunch of guys meeting up in a South Side park, another local team was moving one step closer to a championship on the other side of town.

Surviving a scare, the Chicago Force narrowly defeated the Detroit Demolition 8-7 Saturday to advance in the Independent Women's Football League. You can read the recap here. The victory not only improved the Force to a perfect 9-0 record, but propelled them into the Eastern Conference title game against the Pittsburgh Passion (also undefeated), set for July 12. The Force, who clinched homefield advantage for the entire playoffs, will host the Passion at North Park University’s Holmgren Athletic Complex, 3225 W. Foster Ave.

The Force used a gutsy move at the end to clinch the victory, opting for the two-point conversion attempt rather than a field goal, with less than three minutes left.

Should the Force advance to the IWFL title game, they won't have far to travel to participate. That game was already slated to be held at Holmgren Complex as well.

Ken Green

News Thu Jun 26 2008

Short Hops

  • Championship football in Chicago? In June? Yup, when the Chicago Force take on the Detroit Demolition in an Independent Women’s Football League playoff game this Saturday, 3 p.m., at North Park University’s Holmgren Athletic Complex, 3225 W. Foster Ave. Incidentially, two members of the Force also compete in the Chicago Gems Women’s Baseball League
  • …who are also involved in a playoff of sorts of its own, as they compete in the Can-Am Spirit of Sportsmanship Tournament in South Bend, Indiana, this Friday-Sunday. In addition to the Gems, women’s baseball teams from Canada and Australia, as well as elsewhere in the U.S., will compete. Meanwhile, action in the CWBL’s own league is on hold and will resume in Bedford Park, Ill. on July 12.
  • And speaking of Canada, the Chicago Bandits women’s fastpitch softball team (5-7) fell to the Great White North, posting a 1-3 record in their recent four-game series. The Bandits will try to do better against a southern foe, the Venezuelan National Team, in a similar four-game set beginning today (Thurday) at Bandits Stadium at Judson University in Elgin. Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano is slated to throw out the first pitch in today’s matchup and all games begin at 7:05 p.m.
  • Oil up those skates. The Windy City Rollers will hold tryouts this Saturday and Sunday, July 13. You need only attend one tryout. For exact time and location, contact the WCR. Also, the league will host their next All-Star Match-up on July 12 at The Stadium, 1909 S. Laramie in Cicero. This time, they take on the Tuscon Saddle Tramps.
  • Finally, North Avenue Beach Sports will host a one-day Dodgeball Tournament on July 12 at (where else?) North Avenue Beach. Go out and pound someone in the face with a.. I mean, go out and enjoy some fun, healthy competition. Contact NABS for details.

Ken Green

Force Wed Jun 04 2008

Force Clinch Their Division

The Chicago Force clinched the division title in a 40-0 victory over the Clarksville Fox. From the recap:

The Force kicked off and established their defensive domination on Clarksville’s first possession. Crisp tackling by S, Linda Bache, DE, Amanda Malsch, and a crunching hit by LB, Darcy Leslie set the tone that the Fox had no answer for. The Force didn’t waste any time when they touched the ball for the first time at the Fox 42 yard line. RB sensation Melissa Smith, who the Fox defense found out in a hurry that one player can’t bring her down, ran the ball 4 straight times highlighted by a 28 yard sweeping run from the left side, that proved to be the winning score. Carolyn Lee whose been almost perfect since taking over the extra point duties two weeks ago, made the score 7-0. Lee followed with a kick off deep into Fox territory at their 10 yard line. Swarming defense by LB’s Jessica McPeake, Tricia Charbonneau, Leslie, and Bache, resulted in four and out. Smith, named game day MVP, ran the ball on three consecutive calls, and bulldozed her way through from 1 yard out for her second TD on the day. All told, Smith finished with 89 yards on 14 carries. Lee made the score 14-0 with just under 6 minutes to go in the first quarter.

QB, Sami Grisafe who seems to be finding her rhythm, made the score 20-0 when she made a great fake inside that froze the Fox defense. Allowing her to roll out right and hit a wide open TE, Kim Marks in the end zone. Bache named defensive game day MVP, got her first of two interceptions on the day, at the Force 28. Two big pass completions from Grisafe to WR, Brandi Srda of 30 and 21 yards, set up a beautiful 21 yard TD strike to WR, Albi Zhubi to make the score 28-0 at halftime. Fullback Bridget Fahrner got into the scoring column at 6:13 of the third after 4 straight runs of 9, 13, 5 and right up the middle from two yards out thanks to a good block by offensive tackle Keesha Brooks. The final tally of the game was one for the highlight reel. With 2:38 to go and the Fox pinned back in their zone McPeake despite a broken finger blocked the punt attempt at the three. Leslie picked it up and dove into the end zone to the delight of the screaming capacity home crowd. “I wasn’t thinking about the injury, explained McPeake. “I just try to go hard on every play. I was fortunate to get my hand on the ball.”

The Force play the last game of the regular season on June 14, taking on the Wisconsin Wolves. They hope to maintain their perfect record heading into the divisional playoffs. The IWFL championships will take place in Chicago at North Park University in July, which would give the Force home crowd advantage should they make it all the way.

Andrew Huff

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