Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Happy Christmas to you all! PEACE TO EVERYONE!

May you all make many friends and no enemies in the new year. Best wishes and happy kicking!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Battle of Republic

I work in Chicago about a block away from the Republic Window and Door factory. In fact, the company I work for leases a corner of the Republic facility for some extra storage space. I have keys to the Republic building, and I’ve spent a lot of hours inside of it. I’ve met some of the workers, and I know the Chief Operating Officer.

If you’ve never heard of Republic Window and Door, pull your head out of the sand and pay attention to the world you live in. On December 2nd, they announced that they would shut their doors at the end of the week and that all of its employees were effectively out of a job. Not only that, but the company announced that there was no money in the pipeline to cover their employee’s last paychecks, their earned vacation time, their pension funds, and their health insurance. Bank of America, who was a major creditor for Republic, had decided to cut all lines of credit with the company, thereby killing any hopes of the employees to receive the monies owed to them by law. Oh, and then there’s the little thing about a law called the WARN Act that requires companies to either provide a 60-day notice of an impending shut-down or compensation for the differential period should a shut-down occur before the 60 days are up. At the time of the shut-down on Friday, December 5th, Republic Window and Door employed almost 250 people. They received a 3-day notice.

I know, I know: there have been hundreds of companies shutting their doors and hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost their jobs in the last few months. We’re at least a year into a recession that shows all signs of turning into a depression before it gets any better. The Republic story isn’t new and it really isn’t news. Except for one thing: the employees of Republic Window and Door are mad as hell, and they’re not going to take it anymore! They staged a sit-in at their shop and they will not leave until they get what they have earned and what the law entitles them to. They have made the statement that if Republic can’t give them what they are owed, then Bank of America, as recipients of the Troubled Asset Relief Program of 2008 (aka the $700 billion Bank Bailout), is obligated to use that money to grant Republic the credit it needs to comply with the laws surrounding their shut-down.

The employees of Republic belong to the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers union. They have become a heroic symbol for union employees and blue-collar workers fighting corporate greed all over America. Illinois state and local politicians called for a business freeze with Bank of America. Even President-elect Obama voiced support for the workers. Opponents of the sit-in, however, wonder why any bank should be obligated to grant credit to a company that has proven itself to be unstable and unable to operate in the current economic environment. And they have an incredibly valid point: you wouldn’t loan money to someone if you knew that they would never be able to pay it back. That’s just stupid. So why should Bank of America be forced to make a bad loan?

I don’t have a great answer to that question. Is it Bank of America’s fault that Republic is failing? On the surface, you’d have to say no. The failure of Republic is primarily tied into the fact that they make windows and doors for new homes, and there just aren’t any new homes being built right now. But other window companies are surviving, so there must be more to it than that. The fact of the matter is that Republic Window and Door received over $9 million in Tax-Incremental Funding (TIF) from the city to help build their facility and get their old shop moved into the new one just about 10 years ago. They blew through all of that money, and then they borrowed so much money from Bank of America that the bank has shut off their line of credit. They had to sell their building to just over a year ago and they now lease the space from the Wrigley company. They’ve been continually downsizing their space in order to reduce the amount of rent they’re paying. I have personally seen the reduction of machinery in the shop in the last couple of months. The short story is simple: Republic is not selling enough windows and doors. Whatever they’ve been doing, they’ve been doing it wrong. Not the union employees: the managers. The salespeople. The corporate stiffs. So why are the employees going after Bank of America?

I believe that the Republic employee’s anger is misguided, but I still applaud them and I fully support their sit-in. Why? One reason is because Bank of America can’t sit back and pretend like they didn’t know what was happening to Republic. They knew that Republic blew through their TIF money. They knew that Republic was swimming in debt: they were the creditors! They should have been able to see that Republic was about to default and that they didn’t have the funds to comply with the laws. Was it their responsibility to make sure that Republic saved enough to pay their employees severance packages? Maybe not legally; but morally, they could have and should have done something about it. But far more importantly than that, I support the Republic workers because I see their actions as the first real challenge to the Bailout Bill. Bank of America has already received $15 billion of that money, and they are expected to receive another $10 billion in the next week. Where is the money going to? What are they using the money for? Why is there no oversight on that spending? If our elected officials are going to throw around a huge pile of taxpayer money, shouldn’t someone pay some attention to it? I thought the purpose of the Bailout was to “free up” money for the purpose of granting credit. As their primary creditor, Bank of America essentially owned Republic. Therefore, they should have the power and the responsibility to make sure that the CEO and the upper managers aren’t walking away with money in their pockets while the employees are getting the shaft. The employees of Republic took a stand that was about more than just their personal situation. It’s about time that someone stood up to the recipients of billions of our tax dollars (remember: 25 billion is the same as 25,000 million) and called them out on how they are spending it.

On December 10th, Bank of America agreed to lend Republic $1.7 million. Along with an additional $400,000 loan from JP Morgan Chase, the employees of Republic Window and Door will receive their vacation and severance packages. Their sit-in was a success. I can only hope that employees of other companies that are experiencing a similar situation will have the courage to do what the Republic employees did: stand up for yourself and don’t stop until you’re heard. This is our country, and that $700 billion is our money. We have an obligation to make sure that it gets used properly, and if sit-ins are what it’s going to take, then all of us need to be ready to pull up a chair.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

100 Kicks a Day

Winter is here and there is no better time to get serious about footbag. Working on fundamentals, mechanics, flexibility and stamina is the key to becoming a better player. When the weather is nice and the court is set up, we play game after game. Games are fun, but we all have bad habits that we continue to rely upon in playing these games. Let's take this opportunity to break the bad habits and focus on our weaknesses. The Phoenix open is right around the corner and I am personally using this as motivation to becoming a better player. There is a real possibility of having two teams representing Chicago this year. Over the course of the next six weeks we should seize every moment available to train. Whether it's kicking against a wall, working out or power kicking I am challenging everyone, including myself to break the bad habits with "100 Kicks a Day". Come spring time when the courts are up we will reap the benefits.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sponsorship Proposal for 2009 Windy City Cup

Have you started thinking about the 2009 Windy City Cup at Navy Pier? Here is a sample of the updated 2009 Sponsorship Proposal.

Front Cover

Inside Spread

Back Cover

Chicago Lake Coast Kickers - Logo Sample

Here is a sample of the Chicago Lake Coast Kickers Footbag Net Club logo which I created for Scot Hansen. This design in more of an emblem-style logo combining Zeke's footbag dude artwork and the great Chicago colors.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Chaos has a forum!

Hey we finally got the ball rolling on this.

Come have some fun here

Friday, October 10, 2008

Practice videos

This is all footage from August

This was taken on 8-10-08, after I got that nasty road rash on my left knee. These are my very first attempts at toe flips. This is also the first time I have tried editing video in about 8 years.

More footage from 8-10-08. The swing is feeling more natural so here I'm trying to see how high I can reach and how hard I can hit the target.

Ever since I separated my collar bone a few years back, I've been very tentative about doing crazy things in the air. As you can imagine, it's a big problem for a short net player who wants to get up and spike. I got plenty of great tips from better players and took it step by step. I'm able to hit side axes in games now.

A collection of spikes I've been practicing earlier in the summer.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Second City Cup Results

Results are in!

Singles Net:
1. Cory Current
2. Steve Smith
3. Ted Martin
4. Scot Hansen
5-7. Zeke, Bryan, and Vince, who all decided to scratch from the consolation games in favor of playing more doubles.

Doubles Net:
1. Cory Current/ Scot Hansen
2. Ted Martin/ Steve Smith
3. Greg Grandy/ Bryan Nelson
4. Zeke Ibardaloza/ Vince Pontarelli

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Congratulations Fat Man!

Congratulations are in order for our very own Matt Sweeny today. His wife, Renea, gave birth to a baby boy named River William. Nice work Sweeny family!

Second City Cup- This Weekend!

Hey everyone! I noticed that the blog has been very quiet lately, but that doesn't mean we aren't still kicking! In case you forgot, the Second City Cup is being held THIS WEEKEND at Union Park in Chicago. Saturday will be impromptu net games all day long and Sunday will be the official competition. We'll start at 11:00 AM with a singles bracket and go straight into a standard doubles bracket before we do a little "King of the Court" competition to end the weekend.
No entry fees, no prize money, no bleachers, no frills. Just a great weekend of kick volley! Be there!

By the way, I sent in a formal request to Navy Pier just moments ago to secure our space for the 2nd Annual Windy City Cup to be held June 19-21, 2009. Make sure to block the weekend on your calendars now!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Memphicago Kick Volley Challenge 1

Salem, IL became Memphicago, which became Memphicagorleans with the addition of Rob Creel, who was in town for a wedding and had a day to kill. I'd like to thank Rob for seeing the event on the web and having the audacity to give me a call. He filled out the posse nicely giving us an even 8 players.

The day was perfect as Big Ben and the Hammer made the trip up from Memphis to meet myself, Cory, Tommy, and Zeke from Chicago. Also present was the already mentioned New Orleans native, and Mikey Bellman, the High Planes Breaker. There were a few singles matches to start the day, but for the most part it was doubles net all day with different partners for almost every match.

Like Zeke said, "This was SOOO worth the drive."

Check out some photos here:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Inner Rectangle Blog Publishing

Just wanted to take a minute and address all the contributors of the Inner Rectangle footbag net blog. I have signed up the following blog authors and admins to have this blog's posts emailed directly to your addresses whenever any of us publishes. This includes you: Zeke, Mike B., Carrie C., Yevez, PT & Scot. The idea here is we want you all to contribute more posting content to the Inner Rectangle. So when you want to rant about how you spiked, got hurt, did well or got killed, take a minute and visit the Inner Rectangle blog and tell us all about it! Also if you for some reason do not want the blog posts emailed directly to you, let me know.

Memphicago is ON!

The first-ever Memphicago Kick Volley Challenge will be taking place this Sunday, August 17th, in Salem, Illinois. We've been talking about this idea for almost a year, and now it's actually going to happen!

The idea behind Memphicago is that the boys from Memphis Footworks will get up at 6:00 AM and begin driving North. At the same time, CLCK will fill a car and start heading South. We'll meet in the middle, play net for a few hours, get a good meal and make the drive back home. We will meet at Bryan Memorial Park at 10:30 AM. Word on the street is that there should be ample space there to play, and if not, there is a high school nearby. We're hoping to make this a new tradition: come out and be a part of it!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Love is in the Air

Congratulations to Bryan, who married the love of his life, Bonnie, last weekend in a beautiful ceremony just outside of Galena, IL. Love is in the air all around as we also send out congratulations (early) to Mikey Bellman, who is getting married in a couple of weeks in southern Illinois, and also to Tommy Whitworth, who just got engaged a couple of weeks ago.

What's up Zeke?

Friday, August 1, 2008

The BigBellToe Is Alive!

Nice Try Mike
Could it be? I could be wrong but is "Mikey" really Mike Bellman? If so, great to see that you have joined us Mike B! Miss your ass a ton and hope the wedding goes well in September! We really missed you a ton for years and glad to see your still kickin'. It was great to see the re-emergence of the bigbelltoe at the Windy City Cup too!

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Surge Was a Success?

Did you see the interview last week by Katie Couric with Senator and Presidential-hopeful Barack Obama? It's gotten a lot of press. The right-wing bloggers and the Fox Noise Channel have been blasting Obama for the last 6 days on his answers to Couric's line of questioning on the "success" of the surge. In case you didn't see it, here are the highlights...

Couric: "You raised a lot of eyebrows on this trip saying even knowing what you know now, you still would not have supported the surge. People may be scratching their heads and saying, 'Why?' "

Obama: "What I was referring to, and I've consistently referred to, is the need for a strategy that actually concludes our involvement in Iraq and moves Iraqis to take responsibility for the country. ... What happens is that if we continue to put $10 billion to $12 billion a month into Iraq, if we are willing to send as many troops as we can muster continually into Iraq? There's no doubt that that's gonna have an impact. But it doesn't meet our long-term strategic goal, which is to make the American people safer over the long term."

Couric: "But do you not give the surge any credit for reducing violence in Iraq?"

Obama: "No, no ... of course I have. There is no doubt that the extraordinary work of our U.S. forces has contributed to a lessening of the violence. ... So this, in no way, detracts from the great efforts of our young men and women in uniform. In fact, that's one of the most striking things about visiting Iraq is to see how dedicated they are, what a great job they do."

Couric: "But talking microcosmically, did the surge, the addition of 30,000... additional troops ... help the situation in Iraq?"

Obama: "You've asked me three different times, and I have said repeatedly that there is no doubt that our troops helped to reduce violence. There's no doubt."

Couric: "But yet you're saying ... given what you know now, you still wouldn't support it ... so I'm just trying to understand this."

Obama: "It's pretty straightforward. By us putting $10 billion to $12 billion a month, $200 billion, that's money that could have gone into Afghanistan. Those additional troops could have gone into Afghanistan. That money also could have been used to shore up a declining economic situation in the United States. That money could have been applied to having a serious energy security plan."

Couric: "Do you think the level of security in Iraq ... would exist today without the surge?"

Obama: "Katie, I have no idea what would have happened had we applied my approach, which was to put more pressure on the Iraqis to arrive at a political reconciliation. So this is all hypotheticals. What I can say is that there's no doubt that our U.S. troops have contributed to a reduction of violence in Iraq."

Yo Katie! I thought you were a professional journalist! Let's start with the first question, shall we? "You raised a lot of eyebrows" and "people may be scratching their heads." Did you actually see raised eyebrows? Which people are scratching their heads? Are these made-up people that only exist in the world of failing news anchors or are they real people? Because, you know, I'm not a real journalist. I don't really know the rules here, but usually when I suggest that someone feels a certain way or that a person is physically doing something, that person usually has a name, and my personal integrity suggests to me that it's probably appropriate to back up such statements by applying a name to the person responsible for the feeling or action described. But then again, like I just said, I'm not a real journalist.

I'd move on to the next questions in the interview, but they are all the same question: did the surge reduce the violence in Iraq? And the answer is yes, which Obama agreed to each and every time she reworded it. But does that mean that the surge worked?

Let's think about that for a while. Did the surge work? To truly answer the question, one must first know what the "surge" actually was. The surge, or as it was originally called, "The New Way Forward" was actually a catastrophic failure. Yeah, that's right, it was a FAILURE. As far as I'm concerned, the only mistake Obama made with Katie Couric was that he didn't just flat-out say "listen, bitch, the surge didn't work."

Am I insane? Am I the only one in the whole country that understands the surge? No, I'm not, but I definitely seem to be in the minority. But why? The surge DID NOT work. Here are the facts...

"The New Way Forward" was a specific plan that called for an increase in troops on the ground in Baghdad and the Anbar Province to provide "breathing space" for the Iraqi government to implement 18 specific government, security, and economic benchmarks. The surge began in January 2007, and it was to take just six months. Six months later, when the surge was supposed to be over already, we were told that even more troops would be needed and that another six months would be required in order to meet the benchmarks. Six months after that, one year into the six-month surge, only seven of the 18 benchmarks had been reached. Six months after that, now 18 months into the six-month surge, 12 of the 18 benchmarks have been met. Does that sound like success to you? It's taken three times longer than projected to meet 67% of the goals. Success? When I went to school, 67% was a D, and you couldn't turn in your work a year after it's due date.

Now, it's true that violence has gone down, and part of that decline has to do with the increased number of American troops. But it's even more true to say that violence has gone down largely due to the fact that the Sunnis in Anbar and the Shiites fighting under al Sadr realized that the continued warfare was only serving to ethnically cleanse both sides of the civil war, and that a cease-fire was necessary. Both groups came to these realizations and began their draw-down months before the surge began.

So Barack Obama had to duck around Katie Couric's interview because it was obvious that Couric was trying to get him to disrespect the troops, which he had no reason to do and wouldn't have done even if there was a cause for disrespect. It would have been really nice to see him bitchslap her and tell her to just shut up, but that probably wouldn't have gone over too well either.

The surge has not been successful, and it should have never been necessary to begin with. George W. Bush led the United States military into a soverign country that had not attacked us or any of our allies. After overthrowing the government in Iraq, the United States has continued to occupy Iraq for over five years now. The right-wing attack machine is attempting to show that Obama lacks experience and wisdom, but the truth of the matter is that he wisely opposed the war from the beginning, he understood that the surge was nothing more than a tactic designed to continue the fighting so that the oil barons could reap the benefits of a chaotic situation in the Middle East, and, unlike McCain, Obama understands that every dollar we spend in Iraq is a dollar that we could have spent tracking down the actual terrorists that did attack us or investing into new energy ideas that are absolutely necessary if we plan to continue to be a beacon for the rest of the world.

Feel free to watch the whole Couric/Obama interview here:

And click on this to read a really good article on a similar vein by a much more credible person than myself:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Chicago's very own Cory Current finishes 5th in singles in Montreal

Cory Current just represented Chicago at the 2008 Pro Kicker Montreal Footbag Championships and he did well as he kicked my ass for the 1st time ever in singles to secure a very honorable 5th place.

This tournament was not easy with a lot of depth. Complete results available on this page. Pictures and videos will follow.

btw the doubles finals was crazy. Former Chicagoan PT Lovern and partner Emmanuel Bouchard beat the Windy City Cup Champions JF Lemieux and Gilles Demers 16-14 in the third game.

Yves Archambault
reporting from Montréal

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Green Cup Documentary Released

A twelve-minute documentary made by Steve Dusablon at the Green Cup to commemorate the return of Kenny Schults and Randy Mulder to the rectangle has been released. Go to and click on the video labeled "The Game Goes On".

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The 2008 Second City Cup presented by CLCK

That's right folks! The city of Chicago now hosts not one but TWO annual footbag net tournaments. The Chicago Lake Coast Kickers are proud to announce the 2008 Second City Cup to be held at Union Park in Chicago on September 20-21.

The Second City Cup is the brainchild of Bryan Nelson, who wanted a chance to compete in a friendly tournament before the end of the year. If you've been following this blogspot, then you know that Bryan is an old-school Chicago kicker that just came back on the scene this summer after a 6 to 8 year hiatus. He missed the Windy City Cup due to the fact that he is getting married and had some family obligations to attend to that weekend, but he's back on the court and itching to find out where he stands with the rest of the world (or at least the rest of Illinois).

The Second City Cup is a no-frills net tournament. We are not getting park permits or event insurance. We're doing the whole tournament at our prelims site, and there will be no banners, no bleachers, no PA system, no "special" finals court, no entry fees or prize money, and no big promotions. It will have great people, great players, and a great atmosphere for fun and friendly competition. We will run a single elimination bracket for singles net, and we will most likely do a "King of the Court" format for doubles net. The Windy City Cup requires hours and hours of planning and is designed to increase exposure to the public, while the Second City Cup is strictly for the players. It promises to be a stress-free weekend of great footbag net action. Oh yeah, and we've already received sanctioning from the IFPA, so there's a great potential to increase your World Ranking by competing in the Second City Cup.

Can't wait to see you there! (If you are not from the area but are interested in coming out, post a reply to this thread and we'll find you a place to stay while you're in town.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Zeke Bitches About Net 2008

I've played... uh... most other forms of footbag for 17 years before getting into Net. On Sunday July 14th 2007 I came to a net demo at the Mayors Cup youth soccer tournament. I had played a few pick-up games over the years previous to this but never took it too seriously. I had a good time playing pick-ups and hanging out. Then I went to a net event 2 weeks after and had an absolute blast! After crushing a few big spikes through out the day and getting plenty of encouragement I was completely hooked and there was no turning back.

Now, I'm as determined as ever to get as good as I can even after playing poorly and burning out at Windy City Cup last month. I try to practice solo 2-3 times a week after work and play on the weekends with the newly formed net club. Exactly one year after the demo at the Mayor's cup I finally got some good net shoes with a pair of New Balance 1123's. After one session in these I've already noticed a reduction in shanks. Love these shoes!

So far I feel my sets are improving and not over setting as much. I'm still slowly getting consistent with some basic spikes. My serves are streaky but I can get pretty good power or placement when they're on. I believe strongly in playing good defense. The more I play against someone the better I can anticipate what they might do on a given play. If nothing else, I'm very active on the court and will run down dinks , shanks, try for blocks and even dig a spike or two.

I am still struggling to use my left foot effectively. I can bang with it on rare occasions but not much else. Unless it's an easy lob, I can't return a serve on either side to save my life it seems to get worse the more I play. I'm a pussy when I'm set too close to the net. Since I separated my collar bone a few years ago, I've been reluctant to do really crazy things in the air and it's holding me back with certain spikes. I could probably lose a few pounds to help with my diminishing vertical leap. I could probably use more discipline in my training. I should just train, actually.

I want to get as good as I can just for the satisfaction of being able to do something well that you couldn't do before. At this point in my life I'm not out to prove anything to anyone but myself and am not really interested in traveling to compete. Besides, I hate traveling. It's always a hassle and I like my life simple.

I'll track my progress and post my net related thoughts for the rest of the year. Feel free to leave a comment or give some tips. I appreciate any feedback and help I get.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Chicago Crush or Chicago Lake Coast Kickers

So I heard some smack last week that there was a vote for the new Chicago area footbag net players club and the they were down to two names; Chicago Crush and Chicago Lake Coast Kickers. I know my vote doesn't count but I am down with Chicago Lake Coast Kickers. I guess I am pretty biased though as I created a logo for Scot Hansen with this club name already on it. Well, either way at least we have the club colors down!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Windy City Cup Photos by Zeke

I just had to share with you all these awesome Photos from the Windy City Cupby Zeke on Footbag WorldWide. There are action and candid pics from both the prelims. and finals event. Worth a look for sure!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

CIC B-day Jam

Welles Park, has been our home for the past few years but it will be hosting a music festival this weekend. So it has been decided that Chicago Inner Circle will be celebrating it's eighth year of existence at Revere Park on Irving Park Rd. and Campbell this Sunday at 12pm. You are all invited for BBQ & Footbag all afternoon. We'll be set up with a grill and providing some food, several coolers to store cold drinks, and folding chairs for chillaxing. Guests are encouraged to bring their own food & drinks to help feed the masses (or just yourselves) and anything else to make your afternoon more enjoyable.

Revere Park Overview
Click the image to view a larger size

Revere is just 1/2 mile South of Welles Park on Irving Park rd & Campbell. It's about 2 miles East off the Irving Park exit on 90/94. Notice there a couple other parks in the area. Keep going east right past those 2 parks, cross the bridge over the river and go one block past the stop light (on Rockwell) and make a right turn to head south on Campbell. The parking lot entrance should be on 1/4 block down on your right.

Revere Park Detail
Click the image to view a larger size

1. Parking lot entrance
2. Freestyle will be set up in the tennis courts.
3. Net & 4-Square will be set up between the 2 east baseball fields.
4. There is an Ultimate Frisbee league playing there also. Hopefully, we won't be in each other's way.

Revere Park
2509 W Irving Park Rd
Chicago, IL 60618

Hope to see you all there,

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Windy City Cup Videos?

Does anyone that attended the 2008 Windy City Cup have any video footage they would like to upload? Please do so. I know there is a ton of other stuff from & Chaos on YouTube but I would like to see some footbag net being played in Chicago posted on this Inner-Rectangle site!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

2007 Montreal Championships Videos

The Montreal tournament is coming soon, hope to see some Windy faces. For now I just want to let you know that some real good footage just landed on Pro Kicker. Gilles Demers just finished a pretty darn complete report on doubles semis and finals, for a total of 7 clips. Just follow the link.

Don't forget that Montreal is a 3 days tournament this year so make your plans accordingly.

Singles starts at 4 pm on friday the 18th (direct elimination format)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Kicking Schedule

Hey folks...

We are setting up a regular kick EVERY Sunday at Union Park in Chicago, located at the corner of Lake St and Ashland St. We will play in Grove 4, which is on the west side of the park right along Ashland St. The park is super easy to get to by car (a few blocks north on Ashland from the Eisenhower or a few blocks west on Randolph from the Kennedy), by bus (Ashland, Ogden, or Washington routes), or by CTA Rail (Ashland stop on either the Pink or the Green lines). Our normal times will be from 2 PM to 6 PM. BE THERE!

For kicking schedules during the week please contact one of the following people:
In the city...
Tom (217) 549-6772 or Zeke (773) 919-1558
In the suburbs...
Scot (773) 447-2955 or Cory (630) 890-2298

Freestylers and 4-squarers are welcome, but we're playing Rectangular Kick Volley (also known as footbag net).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Windy City Cup report on Pro Kicker

The first Windy City Cup was a blast, of course it needs improvement in certain areas but overall it was a fun tournament with a potentially great site. This could be built on over time so please Scot don't leave Chicago Scenic Studios.

I published a report page with results and pictures on Pro Kicker, videos will be posted later and I will let the Inner Rectangle know when it's done.

Great job guys and thank you for all your efforts.

I would have loved to win this but unfortunately second place was our fate this time (with PT Lovern, the Chaos Master). I want to congratulate the winners JF Lemieux and Gilles Demers, they played extremely well.

The singles finals was awesome to watch, good job guys and John Leys you rock man, this was solid.

Windy City Cup Final Photos from Enlightener

As many of you are aware, Scott Davison (Enlightener) came out to the Windy City Cup with his family and generously performed a few footbag freestyle demos in the middle of time-outs etc. While he was at the final site at Navy Pier he also snapped a few photographs. Enjoy and thanks Scott D!

Windy City Cup Prelim Bracket Photos

Here are some photos from the June 13, 2008 Windy City Cup preliminary brackets at Union Park. It was a huge treat to see Mike Bellman and Kelsey for sure - back from the old school train!

You can view these photos by Matt Sweeny & Kelsey at

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Windy City Cup Results

I was wondering what was taking Cory so long to post these results until he informed me that I had all of the paperwork. Sorry for the unnecessary delay...

Intermediate Singles Net
1. Ted Fritsch
2. Vince Pontarelli
3. Kyle Marriner
4. Joey Ornberg
5. Josh Penney (s)

Josh hurt his calf in the second match of the day and had to scratch. It was Vince, Kyle, and Joey's first tournament. Joey and Kyle had never even seen the game before, and Vince was able to beat everyone in the pool except the gatekeeper.

Open Singles Net
1. John Leys
2. JF Lemeiux
3. Cory Current
4. Gilles Demers
5. Ben Alston
6. Elliot Johns
7. Walt Houston
8. Ken Hamric (s)
9. Tom Whitworth
10. Mike Bellman
11. Zeke Ibardaloza

A few upsets along the way to a great finals match at Navy Pier. Hammer scratched after a tough match with Cory in the quarterfinals, much to the delight of the rest of the guys from Tennessee. Nice work to Zeke who jumped right into the Open Pool in his first real tournament.

Open Doubles Net
9. Ted Fritsch/ Vince Pontarelli
8. Elliot Johns/ Zeke Ibardaloza
7. Tom Whitworth/ Mike Bellman
6. Cory Current/ Scot Hansen
5. Ben Alston/ Walt Houston
4. Ken Hamric/ Jeremy Mirken
3. John Leys/ Jack Harris
2. PT Lovern/ Yves Archambault
Windy City Cup Champions:
JF Lemeiux and Gilles Demers

1. Larry Doyle
2. Twenty-one way tie

Thank you once again to everyone that came out and made this event a great success. See you next year!

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Windy City Cup was a huge success!

I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to all of those who helped make the Windy City Cup happen over the weekend and to all of the players who made the trip. We had 21 competitors for our event: not bad for a first-year tournament. Cory will post complete results soon (if he can decipher my poorly drawn brackets), but the quick hit headline is this...

The Windy City Cup is on it's way to Montreal. JF Lemeiux and Gilles Demers bested Yves Archambault and PT Lovern in a great three-game match on the coast of Lake Michigan right in front of beautiful Navy Pier to earn the title of the first-ever Windy City Cup Champions. Congratulations to them.

John Leys beat JF Lemeiux in another great three-game nail-biter to take the singles title. Congratulations to John as well, and we thank him for spending his last "quiet" Father's Day with us.

I would like to take a quick second to personally thank the staff here at the Chicago Inner Rectangle for the many hands that made the workload so much more bearable: Zeke Ibardaloza, Vince Pontarelli, Tommy Whitworth, Matt Sweeny, Kelcey Dalton, Mikey Bellman, Carrie Cruz, Scarlet Stever, Maureen Twargowski, Mike Dolan, Eric Reile, Troy Rouse, and of course, Cory Current. You guys and gals were all superheroes all weekend long. Thank you so much for everything!

And a quick shout-out to our sponsors as well: Pro Kicker Footbags (the best in the business! Thanks Yves!), Communications Direct, The Store, Navy Pier, and Chicago Scenic Studios. Thanks to the bad-ass staff at Chicago Scenic for the rapid set-up and tear-down of the bleachers and the entire finals site.

And to the players that couldn't make it: make sure you're there when we do it all over again next year!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Windy City Cup T-shirt design

Well the final artwork is off to Scarlet who will then in turn get us a bunch of T-shirts printed with this artwork. There are lots of hands in this T-shirt pot and I know someone is going to have their toes stepped on with either the artwork on the front or back or T-shirt color, sizes - whatever. Let's just have fun with this super cool and different sport and enjoy our time with each other at the Tourney and don't get mad at me if you don't like the shirt! I am just the messenger man!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Green Cup was the BOMB!

The fifth annual Green Cup presented by Chaos went down over the weekend and it was AWESOME. The level of competition rivaled that of any World Championships I've ever been to. It was the kind of tournament that you would have been happy just to watch, let alone have the chance to compete in. I'm sure that will be publishing full results soon and I can only hope to see some good video footbag at or once it's available. I know that Steve Dusablon was also working on a documentry, so once that's done I'll be sure to post where to find that as well. In the meantime, I'll share a couple of my favorite moments from the weekend...

The best part for me came early on. On the Friday before the competition began, Cory and I found ourselves on the opposite side of the rectangle from none other than Manu Bouchard and Randy Mulder for a pick-up game. I've seen both of these legends play better, but Cory and I were hitting the bag really well and we managed to pull off the upset 11-8. Considering the fact that Randy will not be seen on too many rectangles in the future, this was truly a game to remember for a lifetime for us.
The best tournament match I watched was Randy and Kenny Schults against Walt Houston and Ben Alston. Randy and Kenny were heavily favored, but Walt and Ben brought the lumber with them. After dropping the first game, they stormed out of the gates in game two. After being up 10-4 at one point, Randy and Kenny mounted a comeback to bring the game to 10-10. As Kenny went up for a spike, Big Ben went up and COMPLETELY stuffed him for the side out. On the very next play, Big Ben found himself stuffing Randy in the exact same fashion. Two HUGE blocks on two back-to-back plays. It was unbelievable. Big Ben got up and yelled "This is my court!" Two plays later, for game point, Walt got some air and stuffed Randy once more. Everyone that saw it went nuts. Kenny and Randy were able to pull it out in game three, but you have to take your hats off to the boys from Memphis for making one of the most dramatic matches I've seen in the game. They followed it up with a loss to Pat Keehan and Jack Harris before dropping another one in an absolute nail-biter to Yves Archambault and Ulli Hasse 17-15 to finish in 12th place.

And if the battle for 11th place was that good, you can only imagine how great the top 10 were.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Going Green

Cory and I will fly to Oakland on Thursday to compete as the first ever Chicago Inner Rectangle team entered in a net tournament. The Chaos Footbag Club is hosting the 5th annual Green Cup, and it is sure to be the biggest footbag tournament on this side of the pond all year. With Worlds in Prague this summer and American currency tanking all over the globe, all the players that can't afford the airfare to Europe are instead investing in tickets to the Bay Area for Memorial Day weekend. (I'm one of those guys.) Not only is there going to be top-notch competitors from all over the US and Canada, but MANY international players are making the trip this year as well. In addition, we will be witnesses to the return of Kenny and Randy to the rectangle. I can only hope that we draw them in our pool and have the chance to make them think twice about the decision to come back.

I absolutely cannot wait to make the trip. Hopefully I'll see you there!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Get on the Rectangle this weekend!

We're setting up the rectangles this weekend at Welles Park (Montrose and Western) at 2:30 PM Sunday afternoon. Rain is the only thing that might stop us! See you there...

Windy City Cup Handout Flyers

Scot asked me to create these flyers which you can hand out when you are out and about and have someone who you would like to tell more about the Windy City Cup tourney.

You can also download the new 2009 Windy City Cup 4-up flyer too!

There are 2 files for the handout/flyer:

A letter size larger flyer [PDF] and...

Another of the same flyer 4-up on 1 sheet [PDF] which you can cut out and pass around and is intended as a smaller flyer.

Updated Windy City Cup Logos

Well, after working with Scot we have make some final alterations to the Windy City Cup logo, moving things around slightly but keeping the same look and feel. I have posted High Resolution versions of the artwork which you can download as a JPEG, AI (Adobe Illustrator version CS2), EPS (Vector .eps file from Adobe Illustrator) or just grab all three files in the ZIP download.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Triumphant Return

He hasn't played net in about 5 years, but I am pleased to announce that I personally witnessed the triumphant return of Bryan Nelson to the rectangle. Bryan joined Cory and I last night for a light session of singles vs doubles rallies. He looked really good, especially considering that he hasn't played in a lifetime. He served well, set as well as to be expected, and he even started connecting on some spikes later in the evening. Welcome back buddy! It's great to see you back on the court.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hillary Clinton Wins Pennsylvania. Time for the Parade?

The Chicago Bears have a guy on their team by the name of Devon Hester. He is, without a doubt, the best thing that ever happened to kick returns in the history of the sport of football. I mean, the guy is magical. The only way to stop him is to not kick it to him. As a result of this guy's abilities, the Bears had the best kick return game out of all 32 teams in the league.

It's funny, because I live in Chicago, and I pay close attention to professional football, but I just can't seem to remember the parade that celebrated the big victory. They won! They were the best team in the league in kick returns. Where was the parade?

Oh yeah, now I remember: they finished the season with seven wins and nine losses; not even good enough for the playoffs. They were the best in one specific category, but their defense chronically underacheived, they had no quarterback, and their coach made too many bad decisions. If you want to win the Super Bowl, you can't just have the best kick return team; you need all the components of your team to be top-tier.

Enough about the Bears. Let's talk about the Democratic Primaries. Since the field has dwindled to just Clinton and Obama, I must say that both candidates have been impressive at times. I can finally understand why some people like Senator Clinton: she's intelligent, quick on her toes, and she knows her material better than her opponents. In other words, she's on top of her shit. Senator Obama, on the other hand, is even more impressive. He's insightful, eloquent, and he has the perfect mix of intelligence and naivete: a strong enough resume to show that he can handle whatever comes his way, but just enough inexperience to follow his own path and buck the status quo. He's grown on me a lot. By the time the Illinois Primary rolled around, I was excited to give him my vote.

Hillary Clinton won the battle in Pennsylvania yesterday. I can admit it. I wish it didn't happen that way, but I didn't have the opportunity to make it happen any other way. There's no way to spin it: Clinton took Pennsylvania by 10 points. Good for her. But Obama still leads in popular vote, he still leads in super-delegates, and he has an almost unsurmountable lead in pledged delegates. Unfortunately for Clinton, winning one contest late in the game by 10 points isn't going to be enough. Clinton will need to win each of the remaining primaries by a score of 68-32 in order to overcome the lead that Obama has on her. To date, she has not won a single primary by numbers anywhere near that figure. The chances of her winning the whole thing are slim to none.

So why are she and her supporters celebrating? Squeaking by in a state where you had previously held a 25 point margin and gaining about 8 delegates when you're down over 150 is no cause for a parade. It may have made the game a little more interesting, like when Devon Hester runs one back for a quick six; but in the end, if you can't come out of it all with a winning record, what difference does it make? If she wants to bask in her temporary glory, be my guest. But at the end of the season, it's Barack Obama that will be in the parade.

Training Tracker

Good training is the key to success!

It's impossible to play any better than you practice. I'm committed to training harder this season than I ever have in the past. The practices will help my physical game, but the mental game is just as important. With my mind in mind, I decided to start tracking some things. I will use this thread all season to record stats from each practice. When I'm down in Game 3, and I need a win to get out of my pool, I'm going to think about the numbers on this thread and know that I have run more hills and spent more time on practice than my opponent, and I will remind myself of that fact as I pull it together in my head to get my body to do what's necessary to overcome and win the match.

So, here's where I'm at so far:
3/29/08 2 hour practice in Aurora, all fundamentals. Did we play any games? I don't recall.
4/13/08 2 hours inside at Navy Pier, all fundaments with 4 people! No room for a net.
4/15/08 1.25 hours in Aurora. All fundamentals. I played like shit.
4/18/08 2 hours at The Hill. 31 hills (ouch). One game (CC 11-9). GREAT workout.
4/19/08 1.25 hours at a yoga class.
4/21/08 Ran a little less than a mile in the morning before work.
4/22/08 2 hours at The Hill. 16 hills. Two games (CC 11-2, 11-9). Another great one.

10.5 hours so far.
46 hills so far.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Practice days and times

It looks like our schedules are working themselves out for the season. Zeke said earlier that he will be at Welles Park for training on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I can only assume that Carrie, Tommy and Vince will be there when they can. Cory and I will be training on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in the western suburbs. Bryan Nelson says he's going to start getting back into it too, so maybe we'll see him out on the court as well.

Hopefully we'll all be able to start getting together on most Sundays either at Welles or downtown at Jane Addams Memorial Park near Navy Pier. I will be more than happy to come out to Welles on Wednesdays when Cory is busy.

Cory and I worked on a lot of fundamentals last Friday, and we ran sprints up the hill no less than 30 times. I've been sore all weekend. Can't wait for more next week.

Hope you are enjoying the High Holiday today!


Thursday, April 17, 2008

2008 Windy City Cup Net :: Sponsorship Proposal

I figured it might be a good idea to post the logo for this year's tournament and the Sponsorship Proposal PDFs 11x17 (ledger size) & 8.5x11 (letter size) so that you all might have easy access to these files. Like Scot (or Willie Winston) said earlier: "...Talk to anyone you know that might be down with helping out...When you are talking to potential sponsors, remember that no amount of money is too small, and don't think for a second that you have to stick to the various sponsorship levels on the proposals.  If someone is going to give us money, take it! Print out the proposal and see what you can do..."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

June 13-15th: 2008 Windy City Cup Net Footbag Championships

Originally announced on Mar 17, 2008, on the Footbag net forum.


Hey Footbag Friends!

The Net players of the greater Chicago-Land area are proud to formally announce and cordially invite YOU to the "The 2008 Windy City Cup" Net Footbag Championships, to be held June 13-15th in the beautiful city of Chicago, IL.

We are very honored to team up with the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, who will host our finals site (Sunday, June 15th) at Navy Pier, the premiere tourist attraction in Chicago. Navy Pier boasts over 1,000,000 visitors EVERY weekend in the Chicago summer. (Some of you may recall that the Freestyle Finals for the 1999 World Footbag Championships were held on Skyline Stage @ Navy Pier. Our Finals Net court this year will be right @ the Front (and only) entrance of the Pier.)

Bleacher style seating will surround our finals court to seat a minimum of 300 spectators, and we expect HUGE crowds all day long. Our site is situated @ the only entrance of Navy Pier, and the sheer volume of expected foot traffic should place this tournament in an area of unheard of promotion for our sport. (In other words, if you want to showcase your skills in front of large crowds, this tournament will exceed the standards proposed in this forum.) We will also offer food and beer vendors on-site.

Our event will feature competition for all levels; amateur, professional, and women net events will be offered. Our IFPA sanctioning has been approved. This will be a Prize Money Event.

Plan your vacation time and buy your airfare now! We are working on host hotel arrangements. You may never have the chance to play in front of this many people again in your life!!

More details will follow here, so check back frequently...

-Cory Current, Scot Hansen,
& CIR (Chicago Inner Rectangle)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Ken Hamric had a revenge this past week-end beating Chicago local player Cory Current and his partner Yves Archambault in the semi-finals of the Southeastern Championships in Memphis, Tn. We just wanted to remind him that it was not always the case

Ken Hamric is a former World Footbag Champion on the come back trail

The Chicago Inner Rectangle Footbag Net Club was born today

Yes it's official after 50 years of existence the club finally has a name. The Inner Rectangle. Footbag Net after all is played on a 20 by 44 badminton court. Footbag freestyle's club The Inner Circle inspired us for a good laugh, sorry guys.