Chicago and Nashville are the titans of the central United States with a long and storied history, just like our professional counterparts in Australia, the Sydney Swans and the North Melbourne Kangaroos. Both USAFL Clubs have been an integral part of the growth of Football in the Central region, and in 2012, that rivalry is set to continue in a big way with the inaugural Wayne Schwass Cup on August 11.
Since 1998 Chicago and Nashville have played at least once every year, with Chicago holding the advantage of 9 wins to Nashville’s 8. Of the 12 MAAFL Championships, Chicago holds 4 titles and Nashville holds 3. Chicago is 6-0 in Chicago, Nashville is 5-1 in Nashville. The remaining games are on neutral grounds (such as the national championship tournaments).
This week the Roos travel north to continue that rivalry, but this time the stakes are very different. With both clubs strengthening their relationship with their professional namesakes back home, 2012 marks the inaugural Wayne Schwass Cup which Chicago and Nashville will now battle it out for every time they meet.
Wayne Schwass played 282 games for North Melbourne and Sydney from 1988-2002 and averaged over 21 possessions per game throughout his stellar career. Playing on the Wing, he was known for his blistering place and courage. His record speaks for itself, winning Best and Fairest Awards at both clubs, representing the State of Victoria 3 times and being named to the All Australian Team in 1999. He is a Premiership player with the Roos in 1996 (against the Swans) and was named to North Melbourne’s Team of the Century. Not only does this make him a great candidate to not only honor this Cup after and continue the Swans/Roos rivalry here and in the States, it’s his work since then that is just as impressive.
“Schwatta” was born in New Zealand, making him one of the very few who were born overseas to succeed at the highest level in Aussie Rules Football. He has since forged a name for himself as a highly respected Australian AFL media identity on TV, radio and in print with Triple M, Fox Sports and the Herald Sun. He commentated the International Cup in 2005 (NZ took the title that year), and helped found the Sunrise Foundation which supports those suffering from depression after his own experiences as a professional athlete.
So as the Swans/Roos rivalry grows here in the US, we’re proud to honor Wayne Schwass and his contribution to the sport of Australian Rules, to North Melbourne and Sydney respectively, and to the great work he performs through his foundation.
Chicago will be unveiling its brand new jumpers this weekend, at which time the Chicago United name is being retired, and the Chicago Swans will rise like a phoenix. With jumpers donated by North Melbourne being worn by Nashville, it’s the Swannies taking on the Roos USAFL style.
So with Nashville in strong form, and Chicago always strong on home turf rest assured it’ll be a tough match and the footy will do the talking. Stay tuned for the result as both Clubs look to add more silverware to their trophy room.