Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



by Ross Forman, Windy City Times

This article shared 2250 times since Mon Sep 24, 2018
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.

This article shared 2250 times since Mon Sep 24, 2018
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.


Gay News

SPORTS Chicago White Sox clinch playoff spot
For the first time in 13 years, the Chicago White Sox are the American League Central champions. The team defeated Cleveland 7-2 on Sept. 23 as it split a doubleheader that officially eliminated the Guardians (formerly ...

Gay News

SPORTS Chicago Sky win playoff game against Dallas Wings
In WNBA action, the Chicago Sky defeated the Dallas Wings 81-64 in the first round of the 2021 playoffs, at Wintrust Arena on Sept. 23. Under current head coach and general manager James Wade, the team ...

Gay News

Proceeds from 30th Annual AIDS Run & Walk Chicago to help 26 HIV/AIDS organizations
--From a press release - CHICAGO — On Saturday, Oct. 2, at 9:30 a.m., more than 1,700 advocates and supporters will gather safely at Soldier Field to participate in the 30th annual AIDS Run & Walk Chicago (ARWC) to support individuals ...

Gay News

RECREATION Metropolitan Club's BigShots Golf Lounge
BigShots Golf Lounge is part of the Metropolitan Club's rebranding. Despite the perceived exclusivity of the Metropolitan, the lounge—on the 67th floor of Willis Tower, 233 S. Wacker Dr.—is a state-of-the-art area that is accessible to ...

Gay News

SOCCER U.S. women win big over Paraguay again
Five days after Carli Lloyd scored five goals against Paraguay, Alex Morgan scored a hat trick (three goals) as the U.S. women's national soccer team (USWNT) downed the same country 8-0 on Sept. 21 in Cincinnati, ...

Gay News

OPALGA+ Scholarship Gala taking place Oct. 23
The 2021 OPALGA+ (Oak Park Area Lesbian & Gay Association+) Scholarship Gala will take place Saturday, Oct. 23, at Nineteenth Century Club, 178 Forest Ave., Oak Park. Cocktails will begin at 6 p.m., with the program/dinner ...

Gay News

SPORTS Sky end regular season with win, get ready for playoffs
The Chicago Sky ended their regular season on a positive note, beating the Indiana Fever 98-87 at Chicago's Wintrust Arena on Sept. 19. Diamond DeShields tied her career-high point total, scoring 30 while shooting 61.5% from ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Carl Bean dies, LGBT History Month, military events, Dykes on Bikes
Archbishop Carl Bean—an openly gay former Motown singer, longtime AIDS activist and leader in the LGBTQ church movement—died at age 77, The New York Daily News reported. In a statement entitled "The Giant Sleeps," the Unity ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Genera+ion' axed, sports items, Wilson Cruz, k.d. lang, Lil Nas X
HBO Max did now renew Genera+ion, its OC-high-school-set dramedy, noted. "We will not be moving forward with a second season of Genera+ion," a spokesperson for HBO Max said in a statement. "We are very proud ...

Gay News

WORLD Germany's compensation, Lyra McKee, LGBTQ Afghans, tennis player
Germany has compensated almost 250 people who were prosecuted or investigated under a Nazi-era law criminalizing homosexuality, according to euronews. By September, 317 people had applied for compensation for their ...

Gay News

SPORTS Aces rout Sky 103-70
In WNBA action, the Las Vegas Aces routed the Chicago Sky 103-70 at Wintrust Arena on Sept. 17. A day after Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared Sept. 16 to be "Candace Parker Day," the Sky forward ...

Gay News

SOCCER Lloyd scores five goals as U.S. women rout Paraguay
Scoring five goals in a soccer match can be called a glut or even a "repoker." Whatever it's called, Carli Lloyd accomplished that incredible feat as the U.S. women's national team routed Paraguay 9-0 in Cleveland ...

Gay News

Gay Games XI postponed because of pandemic
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the upcoming Gay Games XI have been moved from November 2022 to November 2023, Outsports reported. "Given the ongoing uncertainty regarding the state of travel restrictions internationally and in Hong Kong, ...

Gay News

USWNT national soccer team slams contract offer
The United States Women's National Team Players Association (USWNTPA) is calling the U.S. Soccer Federation's offer of identical contracts for its women's and men's national teams a publicity stunt, according to Yahoo! Sports. On S ...

Gay News

'Homophile' organization New Gay Liberation Front launches
The New Gay Liberation Front—which described itself in a press release as a "homophile organization"—has launched. "Homophile" is a term that was used by some gay and lesbian groups in the 1950s. According to the University ...


Copyright © 2021 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.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

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.