I admit that I am still in a euphoric haze over the Blackhawks' second Stanley Cup in four years. Who wouldn't be?
However, now that the victory lap has been run, the Cup touched, the parades and celebrations over....every sports fan in Chicago is asking the same question:
Whom can we cheer for now? Who's winning in this town?
It sure ain't baseball, formerly America's favorite pastime. In our town, the Cubs and the White Sox are suffering through at 15 and 15 1/2 games out of their respective Central Divisions. Neither are headed anywhere in the postseason, barring an Armageddon-sized miracle after the All-Star Game in Citi Field (NY), home of the Mets.
Itching to do something different this holiday? For your Fourth of July celebration, it's worth your time and family dollars to celebrate with the Chicago Bandits, the Sky, the Red Stars, and the Force. Something fresh, new, inviting, exciting, and most importantly, WINNING!!
And if you don't believe me...these are Monday's Headlines:
The Chicago Bandits , Two-time NPF Champs:
The Bandits maintained sole ownership of first place after completing a three-game sweep of Akron this weekend. Their record now stands at 12-3.
Veteran Monica Abbott is the Bandits' most dominant pitcher. She picked up her fifth shutout of the season as well as her fifth victory, improving her record to 5-1. Abbott's also tossed 13 more strikeouts during the game, improving her season total to 69.
She continues to lead the league in ERA with 0.18. Can any White Sox or Cubs pitcher improve on that?
The NY/NJ Comets are coming in to town for a Wednesday-Sunday series at the resplendent Ballpark at Rosemont. Formerly known as the Carolina Diamonds, they are currently in last place with a 2-14 record. That said, one of those wins WAS against the Bandits.
July Fourth, the Bandits are giving potential fans a bonus. If you “like” the Bandits' Facebook page, you can receive one free ticket with a purchased ticket to the July 4th or July 5th game. Call the office at 877-722-6348 to redeem.
Chicago is also home to the most dominant rookie on the planet. Leaving the Bulls' Jimmy Butler behind, the Sky's Elena Delle Donne has been named the Rookie of the Month for June, after leading all rookies in scoring and minutes.
Delle Donne, who was picked second in the 2013 WNBA Draft, had an outstanding week as the Sky faced the New York Liberty and the Los Angeles Sparks at home. Against the Liberty, Delle Donne set a career high with 26 points. She also brought down seven rebounds and offered six assists. The rookie’s six assists in the Sky’s 87-74 victory over the Liberty were a personal best and team high.
On June 29, Delle Donne hit her sixth twenty-plus point game when she totaled 20 points to help the Sky capture the win 94-82. She also tied her career high of eight rebounds and shot 100% from the free throw line.
Over the season, she's averaging 19.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.1 blocks in the Sky’s first ten games, and has helped the Sky match the franchise’s best home start (5-0) which was set in 2009.
Highlights of Delle Donne’s month included:
• June 16 vs. Atlanta: 25 points on 11-11 from the free-throw in an 88-74 loss.
• June 26 vs. New York: Career-highs in assists (six) and points (26) on 10-17 shooting in an 87-74 win
• June 29 vs. Los Angeles: Tied a career-high eight rebounds along with 20 points in a 94-82 win
Games are always followed by autograph sessions with the players. The Sky will host the Seattle Storm on Tuesday, July 2 at the Allstate Arena. For more information, check the Sky's webpage, http://www.wnba.com/sky/index_main.html
The third time appears to be the charm for the women's professional soccer league. Fireworks were certainly erupt on Thursday July 4, at Benedictine University in Lisle, when the Chicago Red Stars will host the Western NY Flash at 1:00 pm.
Red Stars midfielder Lori Chalupny, a National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Player of the Week, and the Red Stars will take on several of the US Women's National Team Stars, including Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd (a former Red Star). The eight-team league has the Red Stars in sixth position at 3-3-6, and the Flash in fourth position at 6-4-2.
Tickets for the matches range from $10-50, and are available through the Red Stars website, http://chicagoredstars.com
Forget the laughable LFL (c'mon, Legends Football League? Gimme a break!) ....this is REAL football, baby!
After that, 10 Chicago Force players were selected to represent the National Conference of the Women's Football Alliance (WFA) in the All-American game on August 3rd. They include:
First Team Selections:
QB Sami Grisafe
LB Darcy Leslie
WR Jeanette Gray
WR Ashley Berggren
OL Dawn Pederson
DL Kim Marks
OL Tami Engelman
Second Team Selections:
DE Angel Smith
RB Brandy Hatcher
OL Elizabeth Okey
For tickets and more information, visit chicagoforcefootball.com or call the Force hotline at (872) 222-5078.
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