2016 Chicago Men’s – CHAMPIONSHIP Monday (Aug. 8)

Updated: August 11, 2016

On Monday Night the Chicago Men’s League #CROWNED its Champion for the 6th time.. and for the very first time in League history, is was the same Team that won it last year!  That’s right, a gigantic Congratulations goes out to Team Zimmerman for becoming the first Team to ever go Back2Back in the Chicago Men’s League!  We started the night with our Final4 Teams who battled it out in Softball to earn a spot in the Championship Flag Football Game.  We’ll break down all the action below and review just how Team Zimmerman went Back2Back!

Here’s a Link to the Weekly Highlight Video! 

Here’s a Link to the final 2016 Playoff Bracket!

One more thing before we get to the Power Rankings, our MVP Sponsor for the Chicago Summer Leagues is none other than Live Clean Chicago! They are the best Cleaning Service in Chicago bar none and more importantly you can trust them to clean your place (even if you aren’t home). Myself and my family (Holden) use them frequently!  One more brief mention as it’s likely you will want to know..   The Cubs are officially BACK and  Wrigley View Rooftop has you covered! There is no better experience for getting Cubs action while enjoying the perks of all you can eat/drink!

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Playoff Review

Final4 – Softball

3. Team Hakimian (Hakimian Imports) v. 15. Team Cohen (Crystal Lake CDJ) 

Two original staples of the Chicago Men’s League and All Sports Series in general.. Team Hakimian and Team Cohen. These squads are incredibly familiar with each other and on Monday Night they battled it out in Softball to determine who would get a spot in the Championship Game. It’s no secret that Team Hakimian’s All Sports Series trophy room is larger than any other Franchise in history.. Team Cohen, while they have had a ton of success, entered this Game looking for their first Championship Game appearance..

Neither Team would consider Softball their best sport and the W was truly up for grabs.. Team Hakimian would eventually strike first..  They grabbed a 3-0 lead through the middle innings.. Brandon Lathon had himself a day at the plate.. Michael Morrissey and Max Guggenheim also had a couple hits a piece.. Still up 3-0 and in the later stages of the Game.. Team Hakimian was up to bat and a “might-have-been” chop at the plate was ruled a legitimate swing, this kept the inning alive for Mark Reding who came up and hit a 3-Run HR to open up the lead for Team Hakimian by a score of 6-0.. Team Cohen had not fought this hard all Summer to go away quietly though.. They started mounting a comeback.. Kyle Daniels was a beast at the dish.. He’d wind up 4 for 4 with a couple RBI.. Eventually Team Cohen would get the lead to 6-4 with a couple outs in the last frame.. They just couldn’t get across a couple more runs. 3. Team Hakimian would advance to their 3rd Chicago Men’s Championship Game!

For Team Cohen, they exit after a phenomenal Final4 run.  They were extremely close to making the Championship and as a #15 seed.. That’s no accident.. They also become the lowest seeded team to ever make a Chicago Men’s League Final4.   They will leave with a sour taste as they really were in this one until the very end. On another night, they may have taken this Game.. With time they will move on and Team Cohen will continue to be a staple in All Sports Series.  You’ll see them next in the Chicago Hoops League starting this October! Thanks for playing!


4. Team Valvassori (StudentCity) v. 9. Team Zimmerman (STATE) 

Defending Champs v. New Kids on the Block.  This one basically writes itself.. Team Zimmerman, even with the #9 seed, entered the Playoffs among the favorites to take the Crown. They did so a year ago and their Team has only gained more chemistry since then.. Team Valvassori had a very strong Regular Season and followed it up with a fantastic night in the Opening Round of the Playoffs. This group is extremely talented and has a very very bright future in the Chicago Men’s League.

As for the Game itself, Team Zimmerman got on the board early and their bats wouldn’t die down anytime soon.. They’d eventually break out to a 12-0 lead and that is where the Game would end.. 9. Team Zimmerman would advance to their 3rd consecutive Chicago Men’s League Championship Game.. A first in League history.. Could they follow-up with the first Back2Back this League has seen?

For Team Valvassori, it was a disappointing end to the season but they are way ahead of schedule. If you look at the Final4, you’ll see three Teams who have played in the League for 5+ years each.. This was Team Valvassori’s first real spin in the Chicago Men’s League and they already have a Final4 to their name.. They’ll be back and likely have a Crown in their future. Many will play in the Champaign League this Fall as well. Thanks for playing!


Championship – Flag Football

3. Team Hakimian (Hakimian Imports) v. 9. Team Zimmerman (STATE)

In many ways this is as fitting an end to the Season as we could ask for.. At this point in time, no two Franchises have had more success in the history of All Sports Series than Teams Hakimian and Zimmerman.  Team Hakimian (Lalez/Dorfman) hold 4 total Crowns and have numerous Championship appearances.. Their Resume is longer than any other. Hands Down.  However, in the “what have you done for me lately?” category.. Team Zimmerman would have them edged out.. Two Summers ago,  Team Zimmerman got to their first Chicago Men’s League Championship. Then last Summer, they got back their again and won the whole thing.. This year makes it 3x in a row in the biggest Game of the Summer.. They also were Runners-Up in the 2015-16 Chicago Hoops League.. The run they are on cannot really be matched.. So this Game was for more than a Crown.  This was a Legacy Game in every sense of the word.

The Championship Game was all we could have asked for and in many ways is just how we expected it to be.. As we’ve seen in the past few Championship Games, the Defenses were way ahead of the Offenses and that was for both Teams.. Jon Nickow for Team Zimmerman and Max Guggenheim were ballhawks all night.. There was also exception pass-rushers out there.. Mark Weingarten was tearing it up on the D-Line.. There were a ton of great athletes on the field and with Defense being more instinctual and Offense being more about timing, it’s no secret why there were a handful of INTs early..  Eventually, Brian Harris would connect with Mark Weingarten to get a 7-0 lead for Team Zimmerman.  Brandon Lathon, playing QB for Team Zimmerman would hit Bob Engel in the corner of the end zone and then repeat it on the very next play for the PAT.. We were all tied up at 7 as we headed into the final stages of the Game.. Both Teams would have opportunities but none resulted in points.. Eventually with about a minute to play Team Hakimian would punt from their own goal line to Team Zimmerman.. The Ball would fly to Team Zimmerman territory.. Jon Nickow was back to receive and he as soon as he touched the ball, he began skating through the Team Hakimian punt coverage team.. He went left.. He went right.. He got up the sideline and he was OFF… Eventually his flag was ripped off at the Team Hakimian one yard line.. This play along with Judd Barron’s half-court Buzzer Beater in the Sweet16 are the two plays of the Summer. Without question. It was a Championship Winning play..  A few ticks later, Brian Harris would dump it down to Captain Jack for the Championship-clinching TD and 9. Team Zimmerman would become Back2Back Chicago Men’s League Champions! More on them below.

To the Runners-Up, Team Hakimian, while they will be upset missing out on their 5th total Crown.. They need to be proud of the resurgence we’ve seen from them this Summer.. They’ve overcome so many Roster re-configurations through the years and it really is a testament to their core who have been together all this time. They were a few plays away from winning Championship in 2010 and in 2016. That’s pretty incredible.  Great run. Thanks for playing!

To the 2x 2x Champs, another incredible season.  This group defeated the #8, #1, #4 and #3 seeds en route to this year’s Crown.  That’s about as tough as it can possibly get.. They found ways to Win even when they didn’t have their best or didn’t play their best.. They overcame some adversity early in the Regular Season when they dropped a few close ones.. Getting to 3x Championship Games is a remarkable feat.. To think of the stretch they are on over the last 24 months in All Sports Series.. Well, it’s unparalleled.  They are also the current favorites to win the very first Chicago 16″ Summer League.  They are the IT Team right now. No ifs, ands, or buts.. Congrats to the Champs! Well deserved!


This wraps-up another fantastic season of the Chicago Men’s League! Thanks to all for playing! See you soon!