2015 Chicago Men’s – Week 5 (July 13)

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Updated: July 17, 2015

Believe it or not, we are just 2 Weeks out from the best time of the year!  The #PlayoffPush is in full swing and while the Standings show a crowded field, you can start to prognosticate where Teams may fall in terms of Seeding.  Next Monday Night, each Team will finish up their non-volleyball Games and then, the following Monday will be the Volleyball Tournament which serves as the Regular Season finale.  Tons of points are still out there to be won.. Before the Rankings, here’s the Weekly Highlight Video! OK Let’s Rank ’em!

1. Team Sternberg (Kelly Parker Home Collective) – Currently in 3rd with 59 points.

There should be no surprise this week with the #1 spot.  Team Sternberg went into the Game of the Week on Monday Night powered by Lawyer Stephen Le Brocq and took down former #2 Team Cruse.  There was never really a doubt in this one as Team Sternberg once again showed they are the real deal and especially on the Hoops court. Tyler Max led the way with 18.  They’ll take on Team Palmer in Softball next week.. There’s a lot on the line for them there. A win should all but ensure them a top seed come Playoff time and it may spring them into the #1 spot in the Standings as well.

2. Team Zimmerman (AMPY) – Currently in 1st with 71 points.

While the “new breed” has sort of taken over these past few weeks, several Teams in the “old guard” are doing work as well.. The 2014 Runners-Up, Team Zimmerman, are looking as good as they ever have and have now positioned themselves to really control a lot of what is in front of them.. They are alone in 1st place in the Standings through 5 weeks.  That’s the place all other 19 Teams want to be.  They won’t have an easy road to finish the season as Team Cohen is much improved and specifically in Hoops.. They also have a tough Team Watts group to deal with in their VBall Pool.. That being said, they hold the cards right now.. If they take care of business in the next two weeks, they’ll be making important Hoops/Hockey decisions that will send ripples throughout the League.

3. Team Watts (VIP Express Limo) – Currently tied for 12th with 46 points.

The Defending Champs had the biggest Win of the Week.. Bar none. No doubt about it.  Before having to call it due to the sky lighting up, the Game was all but over anyways.. The Defending Champs took it to the Dynasty aka Team Hakimian on the gridiron 31-0.  Once again, they showcased to the entire League.. To be the man, you have to beat the man.. Know this, if you allow for Team Watts to make it to the Championship Game, which is again Flag Football.. You’ll be looking at the first Back2Back Champions in the Chicago Men’s League.  Someone needs to take care of them before hand.. They are just too good at football. Period.

4. Team Shlofrock (Crystal Lake CDJ) – Currently tied for 4th with 58 points.

3 in a row now for Team Shlofrock and against some extremely tough competition.. They are getting on a roll just in time for the Playoffs which is very similar to 2014.  Last year, in their first season of the Chicago Men’s League they had an early exit and much of that was due to some back luck with the Bracket.. This year, they seemed primed to make an extended run. They’ve proven in the past few weeks that they are as tough as it gets with Softball/Football.. They are also beasts in Hoops and if they can secure a top seed in the next couple of weeks to stay away from Floor Hockey they have as good a shot as any..

5. Team Maione (Dr. Jacob D.D.S.) – Currently tied for 7th with 53 points.

As the Weeks move on we are starting to see some familiar faces re-gain their normal form and jump back up to their regular spots in the Rankings. Team Maione had an uncharacteristically slow start this Summer but they’ve know gotten points in 3 of 4 weeks and will head into next week’s Game of the Week with Defending Champs Team Watts in Hoops.. An Elite8 Rematch from 2014 that was one of the Playoff’s best Games.. Can’t wait for this one.

6. Team Cruse (Sandusky Cabinets) – Currently tied for 7th with 53 points. 

Extremely eager to see how Team Cruse bounces back next Week after taking their first real L of the Season this past Monday. Obviously, no shame in dropping one to the #1 Team. Great Teams put Losses behind them in a hurry and it’s safe to say this is is the expectation they’ve set for themselves in the League’s opening weeks.  They have an important Game with Team Gross in Softball next week.. Both Teams are entrenched in the middle of the Standings right now..  The Winner will jump a bunch of Teams while the Loser will have to really jockey for position during the Regular Season finale.

7. Team Hadelman (Theory) – Currently in 2nd with 63.5 points.

Housekeeping note for Team Hadelman this week..  The Flag Football Games were called midway through the 2nd Half due to severe lightning.. While the other two Flag Football Games were already “decided” before the Lightning, Team Hadelman v. Team Maione was certainly not over.. Team Maione was leading 7-0 over Team Hadelman who was in possession of the ball at this point.. We did a point split between the Two Teams and will leave the score as “Team Maione 7-0 RS” for Rain Shortened. Anyways, Team Hadelman stays in the same spot in the Rankings from last week to this week.. Not only did a few Teams lose that were ahead of them.. It’s just tough to penalize them for a “non-loss” against a top squad like Team Maione.  They will have their work cut out for them next week as well.. #4 Team Shlofrock awaits..

8. Team Bemoras (popchips) – Currently tied for 4th with 58 points. 

Very quietly this group has won 3 of 4 and are now tied for 4th.. That also means they are just a point behind 3rd and 12 out of first.. Not many would have seen this coming from Team Bemoras in the pre-season but they’ve really come together as a unit and if Teams continue to overlook them, they are going to keep gathering the Ws.  Key factor for them and the rest of the League.. This is one of the better Floor Hockey Teams in the League.. As evidenced by Graham Conatser’s 5 Goals on Monday Night and Captain Bemo’s stellar play in net.. If they can grab a few more points and snag a top seed.. They could likely “skate” on through with Hockey in the Sweet16 and potentially the Elite8.. Truly a contender for the Crown.

9. Team Cohen (Manny’s Deli) – Currently tied for 7th with 53 points.

Hate to break it to everyone.. Team Cohen is the best they’ve been since 2012.  It’s not even close really.. They are making a habit of impressing people and rather quickly they find themselves in the race for grabbing a top seed.  They took it to Team Fallows on Monday Night before the Lightning ended it early.. They have Rivals and current #2 Team Zimmerman in Hoops on Monday Night.  A few weeks ago many would have chalked up Team Zimmerman for another dub.. However, Team Cohen has proven over the past month, that counting them out is totally foolish.

10. Team Fallows (Bekin’s Lake County) – Currently tied for 4th with 58 points.

Before anyone hits the PANIC button, can we just take a step back for a second?  This is the same group that bolted out of the gate and were in first place of the Standings just days ago.. This also the same group that is tied for 4th, is a point out of 3rd, and a Win out from first.. They’ve hit a rough patch, but in case you haven’t noticed.. This League is so, so deep and everyone has/will at one point.. Better now than in August.. They have Rivals Team Apuli in Hoops next Monday Night in a huge Game.  They’ll be ready.

11. Team Palmer (Danley’s Garage World) – Currently tied for 7th with 53 points.

Team Palmer is still a question mark to most in the League.. Here’s a little insight.. They’ve excelled thus far in non-Hoops Games.. They are now through with Hoops for at least the Regular Season and are right on the verge of leaping a bunch of Teams to stay near the top of the Standings.  They will have their toughest test to date with #1 Team Sternberg on the schedule but Softball is the right sport to get them in.. It should be an interesting Game that will shed a light on both Teams..

12. Team Gross (Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co.) – Currently tied for 12th with 46 points.

They’ll head into Softball next week with Team Cruse coming off a big Hoops W and just a few points behind Team Cruse and many others in the top half of the Standings.  Historically, Team Gross fared well in the Champaign League when it came to softball.. Obviously it’s a different beast in Chicago though.. We’ve mentioned this a couple of times but there are a few groups making up the new wave of Teams in the Chicago Men’s League.. This group is quietly going about their business and although they are doing it without the headlines.. They are extremely capable of making a name for themselves in August.  They are a deeply talented bunch and are getting better as we go on..

13. Team Apuli (Biaggi’s) – Currently tied for 7th with 53 points.

Much of what was said about Team Fallows above can be echoed here.. Hot start. Check.  Current rough patch. Check.  Facing one another next Monday Night in a crucial Game with several Playoff implications. Check. Here’s the deal, Captain Justin and co. are full of All Sports Series veterans and they know that the Playoffs are totally about match-ups.. They realize maintaining a top seed and having options are vital.. Next Monday is big, they know it, and will be ready.

14. Team Kornblatt (Camp Ojibwa) – Currently tied for 15th with 33 points.

What a difference a week makes (and a change of playing surfaces).. For several summers now, Team Kornblatt’s bread and butter has been Floor Hockey. Some will say it’s their previous experience with the Game at Camp Ojibwa. Others will say it’s that they just want it more (TWTW). Personally, I think it’s a bit of Column A, Column B combined with actual talent.. Guys like Derek Reinglass who tied for the League Lead in Goals and Matt Emer between the pipes just know how to get the job done.. The Bros. Weisberg and Captain Kornblatt are also fairly scary with sticks in their hands..  Maybe most importantly of all, their backs have been up against the wall and Hockey has usually been their saving grace.. 2015 is no different. Big W last week.. To secure their Playoff spot they’ll need another W next week in Flag Football.. #15 awaits..

15. Team Sharrin (Sunset Foods) – Currently in 14th with 43.5 points.

Lost a tough one Monday Night. The positives are evident though.. Many of them were competing in their first Floor Hockey Game ever in All Sports Series.. They performed very well against one of the League’s best.. Josh Katlin was a monster and tied for the League Lead in Goals.. They are only going to get better at Hockey as well as time moves on.. Based on how the seeds are shaping up they very likely can be staring at a Playoff Floor Hockey Game and they’ll be ready.. Next week they have the intense Team Kornblatt on the gridiron.

Rest of the Pack (Alphabetical Order) 

Team Goldman (Dr. Jacob D.D.S. Orange) – Currently tied for 19th with 0 points.

Hung tough in Softball this past Monday Night just couldn’t come out with the W.  When we look back at the Regular Season.. Team Goldman’s schedule is going to look like a Murder’s Row and it’s just unfortunate luck for this group.. Week after week it’s top squad after top squad.. They’ve played Defending Champs Team Watts, 2014 Runner’s Up and current #2 Team Zimmerman, 2013 Champs Team Maione and current #4 Team Shlofrock so far this Season.. Just brutal.  They are going to be a legit volleyball contender though and they aren’t done by a long shot.. If they can get in, they will be as Playoff-tested as any…

Team Hakimian (Dr. Jacob D.D.S. Navy) – Currently tied for 17th with 26 points.

This just feels weird.  If the Playoffs started today, Team Hakimian would be on the outside looking in.. They are perennial favorites who have just not played their best so far.. They are reigning defending 2x Chicago Hoops League Champs. They are former Champs of this League (2012) and they won the first ever All Sports Series (2010).  This is THE Dynasty we are talking about.. Unfortunately, the loss of former MVP Eytan Azaria has hurt them more than some may have expected and it’s taking them maybe longer than expected to adjust.. The top Teams in the Standings are undoubtedly rooting for these Guys to finish outside of the Sweet16 Playoff Teams.. Here’s the thing.. Team Hakimian is making the Playoffs. It’s not an “IF.”  They have Hoops on Monday Night, where they are 2-0 this Summer.  They also are going to be among the best in the VBall Tourney.. Done deal.

Team Kaplan (Weil Foot & Ankle) – Currently tied for 19th with 0 points.

Here’s the deal.. They have an extremely winnable Game next week.. Flag Football is theirs for the taking. If they win that, it’s 20 points for them in the Standings and then they are knocking on the Playoff door with a solid VBall performance. They are not done. Not by a long shot.

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

Another hard-fought Game for this crew. This week they wound up on the short-end of it.. If the Playoffs started today.. They’d be in.. They still have a lot of work to do as there are Groups ready to leap them in the next couple of weeks.. If they can get a W in softball they will have a really great shot of not just making the Playoffs but getting out of the bottom and avoiding the top few seeds.

Team Manilow (SLA Insurance) – Currently in 18th with 13 points.

They took down Team Palmer for their first W of the year and it came just in time! The first W is always the hardest to grab and this crew can now focus on getting on a run over the next couple of weeks in order to sneak into the Playoffs. They have Team Lehrman in Softball next week. Team Lehrman currently holds a Playoff spot.. With a Softball W, they could leap them in the Standings!  They are right there!

 

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend and see you next Monday Night!

– Holden