METRO GRAND FINAL – SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 18 – 2-4pm – WAVELAND FIELD ON THE LAKEFRONT
Lincoln Square Tigers vs Lincoln Park Piranhas
CHICAGO, IL- The two best teams in the Chicago Metro Competition meet this saturday at Waveland in what will be a magnificent culmination to a magnificent metro season. With three competitive teams fighting it out throughout the season, it all boils down to this one shot at glory for both the Tigers of Lincoln Square and the Piranhas of Lincoln Park.
The Tigers have long been the measuring stick of the Metro Competition and with the their fearless leader in Frank ‘Poncho/fruit and salads’ Bradley back to 100% (relative for him anyway, in fact, according to the Tiger captain, 50% of his body is at 40%, 25% is at 50% and the shoulder is at 10%… add it up people…. that’s 100%, trust me, I am a teacher… and I had Hoyt do the math for me anyway so I must be right!) it augers well for the boys in the famous ‘yellow and black’ to repeat as masters of the field formerly known as Burgmann (has anyone seen him?). Bradley, the heart and soul of the Tigers and a favorite amongst the Tiger Army will be ably supported by United big guns in the Flying Peanut Billy Uhlmann, the equally talented Crackers Brennan, the Brothers Grimm in the Dhoorys, David ‘the leg’ Fitzgerald and Knick Knack Patty Whack McHale. The murderers row of Australian talent is immense with the recently married (hence, this will be a big outing for him) and goal kicking master in Oscar Meyer coming off a bag last outing, the Big Lebowski in Leibowitz (lets hope Yom Kippur doesn’t get in the way) and the streaky Bradshaw making up a threesome of talent not seen since Al’s friend Debbie did Dallas all those years ago (giggity). If the Piranhas can control these talents, there is one name that will have Hayse, MacGlashan and Gambaro shaking in their boots, that of the mercurial Brian Hoyt. On his day he can win a game of his own boot but if the ‘tude’ isn’t there, he can go missing quicker than Whitey in Nashville when a free kick is about to be paid against the Roo Boys. Hoyt could be the key to this game as the Piranhas are sure to put their best back on Meyer leaving the great man a forward line more open to exploitation than a 21 year old lovely at Brownstone with a Matt Palmer or Gordon Ambrosino circling.
The Tigers also boast a ruck trio of the likes not seen on the lakefront since MacGlashan and Spider teamed up for the swans (only to get well beaten by a rampaging Shark outfit lead by spearhead Drake who kicked a lazy 6 that memorable day… and by memorable, I mean I remember it, couldn’t care less if no one else does) but will they show? Jason Wilhelm is the best thing that has happened to football since Nathan Buckley retired and with EP and Trimberger a chance to show, the big boys from the Square will rule the air!! The Tiger runners also prove to be a handful. Led by Tommy Gunn and featuring names such as Harper, Junius, Ortiz, Harris and Grisoni, these guys are the unheralded players that keep the ball rolling for the Tigers and provide that important link when moving the ball forward and stopping opposition backs. Grisoni especially has been a pain in the arse to both Rhino and Piranha forwards as his evolution into an Australian Footballer of quality continues and he has carved out a nice little niche for himself behind the power of Poncho and the Tiger half backs.
The underdog card has been hung around the Piranha neck for a long time. For too long the laughing stock of the Metro Competition in Chicago, MacGlashan and Hayse have put together a fine team using Paddy power to fuel the engine and surprise opposition teams. Their win over the Rhinos where half of Dublin turned up to play for them was a memorable one but this is a grand final and those shenanigans wont fly with Meyer and Bradley (not that Oscar is beyond a bit of slight of hand!). The arguments prior to this game could feature more wheeling and dealing than Vincent Jackson and the Chargers (yep, I picked him in my fantasy league… phark!) and could provide some pre game entertainment for the massive crowd that is expected.
The Piranhas will live and die on the form of their big gun, one Roofy Ward. The boy has not set the world alight this season after his barnstorming heroics of last year and after a guest appearance on the Oprah show its hard to judge where his brain is at. Will Oprah and Stedman be in attendance to worship the ground that becomes freshly hallowed every time he takes a step on it with those size 13 hooves of his? Or will the glitz and glamor be to much for him to handle and he’ll become the next Reggie Bush? MacGlashan had his glimpse of the highlife featuring in GQ and living it up with Hef and the bunnies at Playboy and didn’t get a kick for three months afterwards (he got plenty of kicks that night though!!). MacGlashan will be tutoring his younger protege through the limelight and steering him from the pitfalls that threatened to railroad his career seasons ago. The girls, the drugs, the hangers on like Jay Z, Clooney and Jolie almost led to MacGlashan losing his career, marriage and even life after a drug fuelled bender with Robert Downey Jr. Lets hope the Roof top can handle the pressures of superstardom with more poise and kick a tonne this week against the Tigers who will struggle to match up on him.
The Piranhas Australian talent is impressive with Ward, MacGlashan and Hayse leading the way but their homegrown talent and Irish imports are where the win will come from. Gambaro is amongst the best of the old breed of American footballer. Talented, skillful and exceptionally good looking, he can be the Twins to Hoyts White Sox, the any oppostion team to the Cubs. Eric Zukowski is a raw talent along the Uhlmann lines and will be a star United player for a long time to come. With a mentor that is mentioned along names like Parkin and Barassi, Hendrie has his brother in law playing some quality football. Kastilahn, Fresh, Ehlers, Cisco, Palmer, Morgan, Sweeney are all top quality players but the ace in the Piranha sleeve will be the little Paddy in McKeegan. He constantly kicks goals and his relationship with Roofy (while strained of late as Oprah muscles in) playing the ‘one up, one down’ role to perfection has led to many a Piranha victory. Look for him to have a massive impact on this game.
Who will win this game then and why? My pick is the undefeated Tigers. Too many good players and a backline that will strangle the life out of you. Nothing gets passed Bradley and now with Hoyt and Meyer getting amongst the goals, it looks hard to stop them. Stace Elmore has a massive task ahead of him in the ruck for the Piranhas but the Piranha big boys are more than capable to dominate the airways with Stace, Gambaro, Ward and Big Al providing viable targets all over. But how do you stop Brennan, Uhlmann, Gunn, the Dhoorys and Fitzgerald? I am actually asking… anyone? I tried but couldn’t, Hayse has tried and hasn’t been able to shut them all down at once either. That’s why my pick begrudgingly goes to the Tigers (though would love to see the Piranhas beat the bastards just quietly) and I am going with an 8 point win.
WHO: Lincoln Square v Lincoln Park
WHEN: Saturday, September 18th at 2pm
WHAT: The Metro Grand Final BABY!
PLAYERS TO WATCH: LP: Ward, Gambaro, Zukowski, Elmore, Palmer. LS: Bradley, Brennan, Dhoorys 1 and 2, Gunn, Meyer, Uhlmann
BIG MATCH UPS: Hayse v Uhlmann, Elmore v Wilhelm, Bradley v Ward, MacGlashan v his own hammys, Palmer v Hoyt
VEGAS ODDS: Tigers 3-1, Piranhas 7-1
WHAT ELSE: Rhinos are to supply umpires (I’ll do central). Bring as many of your mates, girlfriends, wives and hangerson as possible and make this a great annual event. We will be all heading to the Brownstone at the end of festivities and watching Rocky push to inevitable glory as he looks to secure the Runaway train with a good 3 hour jump start on the rest of the team as he sits on the sidelines sucking tinnies.