Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-05-22
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THE SPORTING LIFE Linda Bache
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times
2018-09-24

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


The one-year anniversary of the last game in Chicago Force history on July 8 brought mixed emotions—and certainly a tear or two.

After 15 seasons, the highly successful women's football team ended its run with a playoff loss. Tears of sadness from 2017 have grown into tears of pride for what the Force accomplished, highlighted by its 2013 national championship.

"I really miss it; I miss spending time with my Force family," said Linda Bache, the team owner who also was a standout defensive player for six seasons. "I've been acutely aware of how different things are in my life since football ended. This has been a weird spring and summer. Normally I'd be working on Force stuff daily and attending three or four practices a week. I'm not accustomed to having flexibility of schedule or time on my hands, so it's been a little strange. My wife Yvette and I have been traveling quite a bit, which we love and will continue to do."

Bache, who lives in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood, is a senior account manager for Ferrellgas. She is originally from Farmington Hill, Michigan, and has called Chicago home for 24 years.

"My Force memories are divided into two parts: my six years on the field as a player, and the nine years on the sidelines [after] I stopped playing," Bache said. "My last three years as a player, I also was an owner and general manager, so that was incredibly difficult and all-consuming. [Since] I was so busy, it kind of flew by, [and] we had so much fun. There were so many wonderful people [who] were a part of the team over those 15 years. I'm sure I could have done a lot of different things with my life during that time, but I doubt anything would have been as enjoyable or would have fed my soul as much as the time I spent with the Force."

Nothing was more memorable than the summer of 2013, when the Force dominated opponents and ultimately captured the team's lone national championship. That season was, without question, "the pinnacle of our success," Bache said.

"We were head and shoulders better than every other team during the time when the women's game was at its most competitive. Everyone was completely committed and totally dialed in, and we were unstoppable. I think our 2013 squad was the best women's football team ever. When you look at our roster that year, the stats, the point differential, the complete domination. … I think it's indisputable that we were the best women's team ever assembled."

The Force was dominant in 2013—and many other seasons. It was never uncommon for the Force to win games by 40, 50, 60 or even 70 points.

"We were a dominant team throughout our 15-year existence and that was accomplished through a complete commitment and sheer force of will from the top of the organization on down," Bache said. "It's tough to do because you essentially go through some kind of roster rebuild every three to five years, [but], we kept reinventing ourselves based on each season's roster and our [longtime] head coach John Konecki was always looking for another way to elevate the program, stay a step ahead of the competition, and push the sport forward."

The final Force event was last September—the final team banquet, which Bache tagged as both memorable and emotional, and definitely filled with laughter.

The 2017 banquet also featured the induction of quarterback Sami Grisafe and coach John Konecki into the Chicago Force Hall of Fame, which naturally was met with thunderous applause. After the banquet, they took a group photo, and Becky Thuestad then announced she was pregnant. "It felt like a wonderful way for us all to bid farewell to the past and embrace the future," Bache said.

After the banquet, Bache and Holt went on a two-week vacation and met up with former Force players and owners Amanda Malsch and Tricia Charbonneau. "The four of us have talked many times about what a life-changing experience it was to be a part of the Force," Bache said. "I hear that sentiment expressed repeatedly by former players, coaches and staff. When a team becomes a family, it creates lasting bonds, and the memories and relationships live on. I'm really proud to share in that."

Bache said she still sees many of the former Force players. For instance, Bache and Holt visited Grisafe in California as she worked on a new album and a documentary film. They also attended Cassey Brick's graduation from the Chicago Police Academy this past spring, and Bache recently had dinner with Darcy Leslie who has a summer internship with the New York Jets.

"I still get lots of calls from coaches, players, sponsors and fans," Bache said. "I was especially happy to receive an invite recently to the wedding of a favorite former player ( Emilie Belanger ) that will be held in Canada this October. She was one of our first international players and I'm thrilled for her and honored to attend her wedding."

Many former Force players have had babies and several more are pregnant so there's another generation of potential female football players in the pipeline, Bache said.

"I'm extremely proud of the legacy we created as a powerhouse team and an organization that was always evolving," Bache said. "We became a hub for international players as our reputation for excellence spread throughout the women's worldwide football community. We had players travel here from Finland, Canada, Norway, the Czech Republic, Poland, France, Germany, New Zealand and Australia to play for the Force."

So, will we see another women's football team in Chicago?

"I have not heard of a new women's tackle football team starting here, but I hope one does. I'd like the women of Chicago to have the opportunity to play tackle football," Bache said.

And, yes, the Force will be back, eventually—with a reunion of some sorts.

"I could see myself putting something together in the next year or so," Bache said.

"Our 2017 season ended one game too soon when we lost in the conference championship, but it's not a huge regret for me. We were worthy of being a championship team, but we didn't play well enough for four quarters to win the qualifying game. I've been able to appreciate that last season fully and the Force in its entirety. Having that final season was a gift, really—I appreciated each moment and was very cognizant that the clock was ticking. By stating from the outset [of the 2017 season] that it was the team's final year, it allowed all of us to approach the season with an understanding of its finite commitment. It gave everyone a chance to author their own final chapter of Force football, so I'm glad we did it that way."

Extra Point with … Linda Bache

Favorite pro sport: Football

Favorite pro team: Chicago Cubs

Favorite pro athlete: Serena Williams

One pro athlete you'd like to meet: Billie Jean King

One pro sports event/game you'd like to Attend: "A Cubs' World Series [championship]."

Still in sports: Bache is a member of the Women's Football Alliance ( WFA ) Advisory Council, along with former Force player Liz Okey.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Lesbian CEO speaks on challenges to rural economy 2019-05-24 - Beth Ford, the president/CEO of Arden Hills, Minnesota-based Land O'Lakes, Inc., spoke May 23 at a gathering of the Executives Club of Chicago. ...


Gay News

Second City's Salute to Pride to Bring the Party to UP Comedy Club this June 2019-05-24 - ( CHICAGO, IL - April 3, 2019 ) The Second City is proud to announce the return of The Second City's Salute to ...


Gay News

May 22 celebration of Tracy Baim's 35 years in LGBTQ press benefits Windy City Times 2019-05-24 - A celebration of Tracy Baim's 35 years in LGBTQ press was held May 22 at Sidetrack. She was co-founder of Windy City Times ...


Gay News

Lightfoot signs first executive order 2019-05-21 - In her first hours after being sworn in as the 56th mayor of the City of Chicago, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot signed her ...


Gay News

Lightfoot sworn in as Chicago Mayor 2019-05-20 - Attorney Lori Lightfoot became the 56th mayor of Chicago the morning of May 20. Accompanied by her wife and family, Lightfoot was sworn ...


Gay News

Chicago's Boystown sports rainbow crosswalks 2019-05-19 - Chicago's Boystown neighborhood has added a little color, thanks to rainbow pride crosswalks. Initiated by the Northalsted Business Alliance, the rainbows will adorn ...


Gay News

Van Ness, Gadsby at Chicago Theatre in June 2019-05-18 - LGBT celebrities Jonathan Van Ness and comedian Hannah Gadsby will be performing in separate shows at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., ...


Gay News

Honorary Pride Parade grand marshal named 2019-05-16 - PRIDEChicago has announced that the honorary grand marshal for this year's Chicago 50th Annual Pride Parade will be newly elected Chicago Mayor Lori ...


Gay News

Lightfoot names senior staff, finance positions 2019-05-15 - Mayor-elect Lori E. Lightfoot made the first announcement of key members of her administration's leadership team. The senior staff announced May 15 ...


Gay News

CEO to speak on food distribution issues 2019-05-14 - Beth Ford, president and CEO of Arden Hills, Minnesota-based Land O'Lakes, Inc., will speak on Thursday, May 23 at noon at a meeting ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.