CHICAGO, IL- The Cincinnati Dockers, the nations oldest Australian Football team, head up the I65 this weekend to take on one of the nations best in the Chicago United who are running hot after a tough opener against the Jackaroos of Columbus two weeks ago. In what was the perfect preparation for the long MAAFL season, the United stormed to victory in the last quarter against a vastly improved and energetic Jacks team bragging big guns in Chet Ridenour, Evan Gardiner, John Fisher and the little pop gun in Scoota Matheson who all took it up to their highly fancied opponents.
The Dockers on the other hand are still picking leather out of their behinds after Luke Nemeth and co treated them like a red headed step child when Nashville visited for the John Harrell Memorial cup but the boys in the pretty red, white, purple and green strips held their own against little Scoota and co so this game can not be taken lightly by Hendrie and his Chicago charges who look to dominate the competition and serve notice to their old foes in the music city.
The purple people eaters are the reigning Divvy 4 champions and are looking to build on that success with a good showing against the United who have become the measuring stick in the MAAFL. Past games have been spirited to say the least and this one should be no exception though there hasn’t been a team in a bloody long time come in and beat Chicago in Chicago (New York I think??? Or was it the Gambaro/ Carroll led Blues of St Louis in 2004?) so it’s hard to see how the Docks can win this one but footy is a funny game indeed. A run through the Chicago line up presents Hendrie, Hayse and the other selectors with a wonderful problem that other teams in the US would love to have, an abundance of players that have stepped up in terms of personal commitment and fitness. Hendrie has not skipped a beat after taking over the United reins and the Chicago engine is revving like Ponchos vesper as it zooms up and down Halsted. Hendrie will, however, have the unenviable task of telling stalwarts and new guns alike that they’ve missed the opportunity to play in front of what will be a huge crowd this Saturday. On the small expanse of Waveland Fields, Hendrie will look for plenty of pace from the likes of Hayse, Uhlmann, Dhoory and Brennan who have all been on fire thus far. Dhoory, Brennan and Uhlmann in particular are all class and make up one of the best midfields this side of Punt Rd. The flying peanut, in this scribes opinion, maybe more valuable to this team than the big man in Roofy and his play around the ground will present the Dockers with a huge challenge in stopping him. The backline is just brutal with Gambaro and co ready to have their way with the Docker forwards. Key to this game will be the amount of room Hendrie and Chicago can generate for Roofy to operate in and how good the delivery is to the great man. With his stunning bride in attendance, Roofy will be looking for a bag to go with the 20 odd grabs Hendrie is hoping for from the Matty Richardson like champion.
This should be a great game for a half but the as Hendrie points out, the big men don’t get any smaller and the Chicago skyscrapers will be too big and strong for the Dockers big men who look to have their work cut out for them. Look for another massive game from Jason Wilhelm who has been a sensation this season. The boys love his effort and raw ability, the girls love everything else about him and those roving him are licking their lips at the prospect of ball on tit all day. Oscar, Hoyt, McKeegan and the faltering Chicago forwards should have a break out day on their own dung heap as goals and lots of them become the order of the day.
Chicago to run away with this after half time by a lazy 8 goals. Post match function will be at Brownstone Tavern and all are expected to attend. Bring as many people as you can to both the game and after party as this game will demonstrate the best Chicago footy has to offer. Should be a great day weather wise so if an umpire seems slightly intoxicated, that may very well be the case!