2015 Chicago Men’s – Week 3 (June 29)

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Updated: July 3, 2015

Not one, not two, but now three weeks have come and gone in the Chicago Men’s League.  Obviously still a ton of time left but the Standings are at least sort of starting to take shape and with that comes the realization for many Teams that they have a lot of work left to do to claw into the Playoffs.  That includes a few expected Favorites. More on that in a minute. Here’s the Weekly Highlight Video! Make sure to take a peak as you just might see yourself in there!  Enough of the precursor let’s get to the Power Rankings powered by Lawyer Stephen Le Brocq.

Power Rankings 

1. Team Fallows (Bekins Lake County Movers) – Currently in 1st with 58 points.

Let’s recap how Team Fallows took the leap to the top of the mountain after Week 3… In week 1 they knocked off Team Shlofrock who was a top 4 seed a year ago in their best sport (Hoops).  Then they followed that up with a Week 2 thrashing of the Defending Champs Team Watts in Softball.. Most recently they took down perennial Favorites Team Maione in Floor Hockey. Jono Matasar led the way with 4 Goals in this one.  That’s 3 top contenders taken down in 3 consecutive weeks in 3 different sports.. What’s that say? They are for real. This bunch which started as Team Glass in 2011 and then morphed into a hybrid between this group and Team Kozin’s Hoops League Team has it firing on all cylinders right now and it’s scary to see them when they are this good.  They have the inside track at a top seed and the all important choice between Hoops/Floor Hockey in the first couple Rounds of the Playoffs.

2. Team Hadelman (Theory) – Currently in 3rd with 51.5 points.

Little known fact.. The Defending Champs Team Watts who are not known for their Floor Hockey prowess had actually been unbeaten in All Sports Series in the sport dating back to 2011..  That was until Monday Night when Team Hadelman won 9-7 in a crucial Floor Hockey Game.. In the Spring Mike Kowalczyk captained the first Championship squad for our Floor Hockey League. The guy just knows how to get Ws and he was anchored by several capable players on Monday Night.  Team Hadelman is known as a Hoops juggernaut but if they wind up with a top seed they’ll need to really give Floor Hockey some consideration come Playoff time.. Stay tuned.

3. Team Apuli (Biaggi’s) – Currently in 2nd with 53 points.

3-0. Alone in 2nd place in the Standings.  Coming off a 21-0 W in Flag Football..  Safe to say, Team Apuli, is feeling pretty good right about now and rightfully so! They are off to their best start in Franchise history and if they can keep up this pace they are going to be looking at a top seed come August.  To stay on this pace though they’ll have to topple some of the League’s best.. In the next 3 Weeks they’ll face Defending Champs Team Watts in Hoops, then last year’s Runners-Up Team Zimmerman in Softball and then current #1 Team Fallows in Hoops.  They are going to be Playoff-tested for sure come August.

4. Team Watts (VIP Express Limo) – Currently tied for 13th with 13 points. 

Before everyone gets heated about how a Team currently tied for 13th in the Standings and coming off of two straight Ls can be Ranked #4 when they are so many deserving Teams right now.. These are the Defending Champs and not all Ws are created equal.. The Wins this Team gathered last August on their road to winning the Crown just holds a bit more weight.. Also, this is really doing everyone a favor.. Remember, a year ago, Team Watts had a sluggish Regular Season before coming into the Playoffs with a double digit seed and a sluggish Power Ranking.  Historically they’ve played better with doubters.. Basically, to the rest of the League.. You are welcome.

5. Team Cruse (Sandusky Cabinets) – Currently tied for 4th with 33 points.

Last week much was made about the “New Generation” of Teams who are young and hungry to make names for themselves.. Team Cruse is certainly apart of that crowd and they are the highest Ranked Team among them.. They have been incredibly impressive thus far and have shown real depth.. That’s the most exciting part with Team Cruse, they are getting real impact from several different contributors. They aren’t going to live and die with one great player’s performance. True Team here and that should be scary for the rest of you.

6. Team Sternberg (Kelly Parker Home Collective) – Currently in 10th with 26 points.

The calendar is just turning to July and so much will happen between now and the Championship Game.. That being said, these are the dark horses to take the whole thing.. We touted their incredible championship resume last week and there’s no need to deep dive into it again.. Just know this, their age is not indicative of the All Sports Series experience and success they’ve gathered.  This group knows that they are on the verge of being one of those “Legacy” Teams that are on All Sports Series’ Mount Rushmore.. They have what it takes and everyone should be aware of it before it’s too late.

7. Team Zimmerman (AMPY) – Currently tied for 4th with 33 points.

Team Zimmerman waited almost a full year to get back on the All Sports Series gridiron to try and wash the taste out of their mouths from last season’s heartbreaking 3OT Championship Game L in Flag Football.. They are clearly among the League’s elite but even the Elite have their weaknesses and Team Zimmerman is going to have wait a bit longer to get rid of the “flag football monkey” on their backs.  They lost a tough Game to one of the League’s top Teams.. Nothing to worry about, they just need to really believe that before it becomes a bigger deal than necessary.  No time to dwell.. They have a date with current #1 Team Fallows in Hoops next week!

8. Team Shlofrock (Cyrstal Lake CDJ) – Currently in 12th with 20 points.

Team Shlofrock had as tough a start to the Season as any Team in the Chicago Men’s League.. They lost in the final seconds during Week 1 Hoops with current #1 Team Fallows and then compounded that with a last second Loss in Week 2 Floor Hockey to current #2 Team Apuli.  (Note, that you can see that wins over Team Shlofrock mean a lot as those Ws have helped catapult those Teams to the top..)  They knew that Monday was a big one.. Even if it was still June.  They didn’t panic and got what could be the biggest Win of the young season thus far.  They were down early to Team Zimmerman but their Defense turned up the heat and forced a few turnovers that led to scores.  They can now breathe a sigh of relief as they are back in the Winner’s Column for the first time in 2015 and they can start to get rolling once again.

9. Team Cohen (Manny’s Deli) – Currently tied for 4th with 33 points.

This is the best Team Cohen squad we’ve seen for a few years.  Easily. No hesitation.  They just took it to the Dynasty aka Team Hakimian this past Monday Night and gained a key Floor Hockey W.. A sport they have not excelled in over the past few seasons.. Tommy DeGarmo helped with a hat trick. They are a much better Hoops Team than they have been in the past as well.. Most are likely still sleeping on this squad and that’s just fine with them. They have another big one next Monday Night with Team Shlofrock in Hoops.. If they can snag a W in that, they won’t be under the radar anymore, that’s for sure.

10. Team Maione (SportsLock) – Currently in 11th with 25 points. (below in #11)

11. Team Hakimian (Dr. Jacob D.D.S. Navy) – Currently tied for 13th with 13 points.

We’re going to take these two All Sports Series’ titans together this week.. No Teams have competed (and won) more Championships than these two squads.. So we’re not going to worry about their slow starts that included rough Floor Hockey Ls this past Monday Night for both groups.. What is worrisome.. They both excel in Hoops but are running out of time to secure top seeds come August to ensure themselves playing Hoops rather than another Floor Hockey battle..  Teams rightfully target these Two groups as “Big Games” every week.. They always see their opponent’s best and with the talent surge it’s becoming a tougher task for them to just run through everyone.. Should we doubt them though over the long-haul?  Nope.  Not for a second.

12. Team Palmer (Danley’s Garage World) – Currently tied for 4th with 33 points.

A Team that many are unfamiliar with.. In the meantime they keep Winning. Captain Mike and Co. are a stellar group that has real depth. They’ve gotten big performances from several different Players over the first few weeks of the Season. Always an encouraging sign and indicator of Playoff success. They have real size as well which is always at premium in All Sports Series. They have a Flag Football Game with real Playoff implications next Monday Night with a Team they are currently tied with in the Standings and happens to be Ranked #13…

13. Team Gross (Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co.) – Currently tied for 4th with 33 points.

Took a bit of a tumble this Week down the Rankings after getting knocked off by Team Sternberg.. As many will learn soon enough, no shame in losing in Hoops to Team Sternberg.. These guys have everything it takes to have future success in the Chicago Men’s League.. This is their first season in Chicago after a couple in Champaign and being tied for 4th in the Standings through 3 weeks is simply awesome.. They had 4 Players in double figures on Monday Night and if they can keep getting help from multiple people each week, they are going to be in great shape.

14. Team Sharrin (Sunset Foods) – Currently in 12th with 18.5 points.

Got their first true W of the Season on Monday Night against Rivals Team Manilow in a Hoops contest that came down to the final ticks on the clock. It was a low scoring affair with both Teams giving every ounce of energy they had on Defense.  The W sprung them into the middle of the Standings and let’s them sort of breathe for the next few weeks knowing they are in great shape Playoffs wise.. Now the question is can they string together another W against Team Kaplan in softball next week?

15. Team Lehrman (Muchacha Salsa) – Currently tied for 4th with 33 points.

The youngest Team in the field is going to push some buttons when competing with the older veteran squads at times.. It’s just the way it goes.. In fact, they will likely use it to their advantage more often than not.. They understand that they are playing with house money as there are literally no expectations for them this year.  That care-free attitude may come across as brash at times.. The truth is, they have some real athletes and are talented.. It’s an interesting dynamic that’s going to lead to more Ws this year..  They have a real test with fellow youngsters Team Cruse next Monday Night in Flag Football.

Rest of the Pack (Alphabetical Order)

Team Bemoras (popchips) – Currently tied for 13th with 13 points.

They let one slip through their fingers a bit on Monday Night.. They held the lead in their Hoops Game with Team Palmer through the first 30 minutes or so and just couldn’t close it out.. The ball just stopped going in.. That will happen from time to time. Just need to shake it off.  They don’t have to wait long to get back “up” for a Game as a Softball showdown with Rivals Team Kornblatt is on deck for Monday Night.

Team Goldman (Dr. Jacob D.D.S. Orange) – Currently teid for 18th with 0 points.

As is often the case with smaller groups who are merging together, they are off to a slower start than they’d like.. That said, they have talent and eventually they will “click.”  It’s just a matter of time.. There are still a ton of points out there for them to earn.. Don’t sleep on them.

Team Kaplan (Weil Foot & Ankle) – Currently tied for 18th with 0 points.

No use in looking backwards.. Still PLENtY of time to get off the schnide. They are heading into Softball on Monday Night with a fantastic opportunity to not just get their first W but jump right into the middle of the Standings as so many Teams are clumped right now..

Team Kornblatt (Camp Ojibwa) – Currently tied 13th with 13 points. 

Reality of the situation.. They got 1 of 3 Hoops Games.. Before the season, they likely would have said, “if we can win at least 1 Hoops Game we’ll be in good shape.”  The rough part of their schedule is in the rear view and they have their 3 strongest sports (basically non-Hoops) coming in 3 consecutive weeks.. It’s set-up nicely for them to get on a real run prior to the VBall Tourney, which they are always a factor in, and be ready to go come August.  Let’s just leave it there.

Team Manilow (SLA Insurance) – Currently tied for 18th with 0 points.

Lost a tough one to Rivals Team Sharrin on Monday Night but are still in fine shape for the Playoffs. They have many newcomers to All Sports Series and it takes a few weeks to get everyone acclimated. Not worried one bit about them.. If Judd Barron can keep up his scoring then that will go a long way as well. On to the next one for them..

 

That’s it for this week. Have a great holiday weekend! See you Monday Night!

– Holden