Chicago, IL- A new coach, a sleu of new talent and a renewed desire to hit the 4-peat drives Chicago United down the I 65 in their season opener against the little big man in Scott Matheson and his Jackaroos, the surprise packet of 2009.
The Jacks brought a strong team to Chicago in 09 where after hanging on for a half, they were eventually worn down with the experience, size and skill that oozes from this Chicago team. But the Jacks have a year of playing with the big boys in the MAAFL under them and according to Matheson a strong recruiting class that is ready and raring to take on the best in the Midwest. The little mans size is belied by the size of his mouth but everyone is expecting a cracker of a game this saturday at Tuttle Field with no favors asked, nor given.
Columbus come into the game on the heels of a good old fashoined schellacking by the Nashville Kangas who it seems have not forgotten nor forgiven the Jacks for their upset against them last season. One can only imagine the ‘Roo boys winter long frustrations simmering and churning in their bellys after the shenanigans pulled by a certain team positioned slightly north of Chicago in the Nationals (would love to be at that game when those two meet again!). But I digress. Columbus have a healthy metro comp brewing (even a girls team… which apparently Matheson is allowed to play in as well!!! I heard that from Chet if anyone talks to the little man!) and are looking to this game as a baromteter on how far they have come in their short life.
On the other side of the football is the might of the Chicago United Football Club. Hendrie leads a strong side into the wilds of Ohio with a team that has its eyes set on the 4 peat and cracking the Nationals hoodoo that plagues this team. Led by Rohan Ward, the United bring with them new guns Stenger, Wilhelm, Hattery, Jiminez, Harper and Nate Ward, all of whom have shown plenty in early metro rounds. Look for Wilhelm to play a particularly big role in this game as he will definitely be the best looking chap out there if not the biggest bastard as well. His first up effort against the Rhinos had Drake and Bradley comparing him to a young Drew Wolfe.
This team will, however, be missing big guns in Leibowitz, MacGlashan, Allen, Drake, Forte and the brothers Dhoory but there should be enough talent in there to win this. Uhlmann is one of the best American footballers to ever play in Chicago (or the US for that matter) and he’ll be alongside arguably the best player in the entire competition in BJ Gambaro who, like a bottle of fine wine, just gets better and better. David Fitzgerald, Frank Bradley and Brain Hoyt complete this murderers row of backmen that will be harder for the Jackaroos to penetrate than a cheapskate on Michigan Ave in December.
The on ball brigade will feature the aforementioned Wilhelm (so expect a large female crowd to be in attendance… Hoyt, eyes on the ball son!) who will be feeding Hayse, Brennan, Blundell, Rocky Deehan (if allowed back into Ohio of course) and 5 fingers Betty Palmer with better quality balls than Secretariat ever had. Look for Hayse to dominate as he loves the open expanses and the lad looks fitter than Miranda Kerr right now it must be said.
The only weakness this team may have is the forward line although any line that boasts big Roofy can’t be too bloody bad can it? McKeegan will always be good for 3 or 4 too.. the little bastard. The Jackaroos had quite the answer for Roofy last time (he still kicked a lazy 6 though) but Chet and the boys must remember Oscar and the OBK will need some close checking too.
All up, a great way to start the season with a hard trip to Columbus. I’m picking the United by 5 goals in a close one. I’m also picking Rocky Deehan to be a tad quieter which will leave a vacuum of sorts that needs to be filled. Will Hoyt step up or is he really off the beer? Is it time for Betty Palmer to put his hand up for the Runaway train award that seemed to be his last year before Rockys Ohio shenanigans? Maybe one of the new lads? Hattery is a good Kansas boy and they are drunk all the time down there, just look at the Royals! My pick thoough is Sam Blundell. He has the eye of the tiger on him that boy and hates a beer. With Rocky and Betty egging him on, I predict big things from the Rhino speedster, maybe not stolen mannequins across state lines big but I am picking he’ll at least come back a pound of two lighter then when he went.