Chicago Force News

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Chicago Force Finale – Team Ends Operations more

Coach Konecki and QB Grisafe Inducted into Chicago Force Hall of Fame more

2017 Calendar Raffle more

2017 FORCE Season Kicks Off! more

Join the 2017 Chicago Force more

Join the 2017 Chicago Force more

[2/5/2016] more

2016 Tryouts Ongoing more

2015 Force Banquet more

2016 Tryouts 2 more

2016 Tryouts 1 more

2015 Calendar Raffle more

2015 Tryouts 2 more

2015 Tryouts 1 more

2014 Force Banquet - A Night of Celebration more

Coach Konecki and Wide Receiver Jeanette Gray Receive WFA Honors more

Chicago Force Inspires Girls in the Game more

2014 National Conference Playoff Bracket more

Congratulations to the 2014 Force All-Americans more

2014 Alumni Day and a Hall of Fame Induction more


This spring the Chicago Force have been busy on and off the field! more

The Swagger of a Star Quarterback more

Two Force Players Honored with Cook County Unsung Heroine Award more

Buy your ticket here to win! more

Chicago Force Receive Championship Rings, City and State Proclamations. more

Buy your 2014 Chicago Force calendar here! more

A Wonderful Night for an Exceptional Season. more

Laura Ricketts Keeps Promise more

QB Sami Grisafe Sings Anthem at Wrigley Field more



TEAM USA WINS GOLD, Defeats Canada in IFAF World Championship more

Team USA Overwhelms Sweden 84-0, Force players Shine more

10 Force Players Receive All-American Honors more

Force Home Opener more

Interview with Down & Dirty radio more

Team USA features 11 Chicago Force Players more

Buy your ticket here to win! more

Future Chicago Force Player more

Chicago Shines at Team USA Tryouts more

[1/10/2013] more

FANS! GEAR UP FOR THE 2013 SEASON at our NEW online store!! more

[12/18/2012] more

Buy your 2013 Chicago Force calendar here! more

Chicago Force holds annual awards banquet more



[8/6/2012] more

[8/5/2012] more

Access to Championship Game Replay: more

Force Look Ahead to Play-offs more

Free Ticket Promo more

Cubs Owner Laura Ricketts Supports Force more

Behind the Scenes with Coach Konecki more

7 Force Players named to All-American Squad more

Lewandowski Guides Force on Defense more

Chicago Force Establish Hall of Fame, Induct Schaffrath & Bache more

Chicago Force Host Alumni for 10 Year Anniversary more

2012 Home Opener more


Intra-Squad Scrimmage Prepares Force more

Force set to open 2012 Season more

Chicago Force Raffle Winners more

Chicago Force Player Calendar more

The Business of Sports more

Berggren Excels In Rookie Season With Force more

Open Try-Outs more

Force Look for Help for 2012 Season more

Force Team Banquet Celebrates 2011 Season more

2012 Tryouts more

GOLF OUTING A SUCCESS - 80 and Sunny more

Chicago Force Serves at Melrose Park Taste more

Chicago All Stars Shine more

Sky Fitness Festival more

Women's Football Alliance Announces All American Teams more

Force to Host Conference Semi-Final more

PLAYOFFS! Not just Chicago storms causing a BLACKOUT in town more

FORCE Players Volunteer at Sheffield/Belmont Festival more

Women’s Football League: a Force to be Reckoned With more

It's a suite deal! more

Crowd comes to their feet at Exhibition more

Chicago Force prepare for Upcoming WFA Season more

Tri-Fitness Featured on WGN News more

Ross Forman more

Vital Injury Prevention Sessions Start more

Individual Tryouts in January more

Chicago Announces Schedule more


Future Force Hopefuls strut their stuff on Boy's teams more

Local Student Wins ESPN Award more


5th Annual Force Golf Outing a Success more

The Force moves forward to help unify Women's Football more


USA Wins Gold Medal at Inaugural IFAF Women's World Championship of American Football more

Team USA Wins to Advance to Gold Medal Game more

USA Records 63-0 Victory over Austria to Open IFAF Women's World Championship more

Alumni Weekend more


Force Players assist NFL with Flag Football Clinic more

Chicago Tribune Series more

USA FOOTBALL ANNOUNCES 45 Member Roster for 2010 Women’s National Team more


Girls in the Game more

Final Raffle Winner: Ricky Marks more

2Guys and a Mic interview Head Coach John Konecki more

Otis Wilson to perform Coin Toss more

Chicago Force Ready for 2010 Season Kickoff more

Force Coaches to lead USA Football's Women's Team more

Girl Scouts Meet the Force more

Force Adds Intern for 2010 more

Chicago Force hold Physicals at AthletiCo more

Season just around the corner more

Head Coach encouraged by what he sees at recent tryouts more

Force Players Stuff the Bus for Charity more

2010 Season Schedule Announced more

2010 Tryouts a Success! more

Force Players Teach Flag Football for Girls more

Warner Bros Pictures invites Force to movie preview more

Force Banquet Celebrates 2009 Season more

Force Golf Outing is a Fall Classic more

Megan Finnegan: A Powerful Person more


Force All-Stars Represent more

Help the Force get the whole team to KC! more

The Force place 13 on the 2009 IWFL All-Star Team!!! more

Force Players "Give Girls Game" more

Chicago Pride interviews Force wide receiver more

Robbie Leeann Topp performs the coin toss more

Force Win Home Opener on Alumni Night more

Force Dominate In Season Opener more

Intra-squad Scrimmage a Success more

St. Baldrick's follow up story more

Intra-Squad Scrimmage and Media Day more

Coaches will shave their heads for charity more

2009 Force Schedule more

Thanks Dr. Weber more

Andersonville AthletiCo hosts Player Physicals more

Win MONEY and support the Force more

A Recap of 2009 Try-outs more

Brittney Payton tries out for Chicago Force more

Force Gears for Another Run more


2008 Team Banquet / Awards more

Force Players Golf for Children's Charity more

Force golf outing a HUGE success more

Force Volunteer at the Taste of Melrose Park more

Chicago Hope Academy more

Force has 15 selected for the 2008 IWFL All-Star Team!!! more

Jon (The Coach) Cohn and the coin toss more

The Chicago Force featured on Nike more


Future Chicago Force player - 2018 more

Undefeated Force Hosting Playoffs this Saturday 6/28 more

Chicago Force helps to "Give Girls Game" more

Chicago Force meet the new head of CPD and former Philly FBI chief Jody Weis more

IWFL Announces 2008 Championship Game Venue more

Chicago Steel meets the Chicago Force more

2008 Scrimmage Game Day more

Media Day Full Contact Game Scrimmage more

2008 Chicago Force Team Captains more

2008 Season Approaches more

Chicago Force kicks off 2008 with first fundraiser more

2008 Contract Signing more

2008 Try-Out press release more

2007 Awards Banquet more

Last Try-out for 2008 Season more

Chicago Force Players chosen for 2007 All Star Squad more

Chicago Cubs suite winner! more

The Force and Chicago's On-Air Local News more

The Force Celebrates Youth Football Day with Under Armour more

Jeannie Tanner to sing National Anthem at Home Opener more

Media Day Full Contact Game Scrimmage more

UPCOMING EVENT: Chicago Force BOWLING Fundraiser more

Chicago finishes the season 6-3 with a hard fought game against the Demolition. more

Chicago Force WIN and advance to PLAYOFFS! more

Chicago Force Finish 6-2 more

Check out our fans at our AWAY Kansas City game! more

Chicago Force wins 42-0 against KC Storm more

The Force on CBS Channel 2 - Thursday, June 15 at 5pm. more

The Force suffer their second loss of the season, now 4-2. more

Chicago Force weekend WIN against Predators 36-8 more

Chicago Force weekend WIN against Iowa Crush 20-6 more

Chicago Force live on WGN TV more

Chicago Force Suffers First Season Loss. Current Record: 2-1 more

Force Dominate in Road win over Predators more

The FORCE on The Score AM 670 Mike North Show more

Chicago Forces WINS Home Opener more


Chicago Force Honored at 100 Champions Event more

Fundraiser at T's Bar and Restaurant more

NEW! Calendar of Events posted on site more

PLAYER NEWS: Directions to Practice Fields more

We are still recruiting more

New Home for the Force..LANE TECH more

Player's Corner Unveiled on Site more

2006 Bowling Fundraiser more

Dec 17th (Sat) Tryout Directions and Details!!! more

2nd Tryout Directions and Details Posted more

Force Banquet and Tryout Photos Posted more

Come Meet our Tryout Rookies more

2005 End of Season Awards Announced! more

Chicago Force Banquet just days away. more

1st Tryout Details and Directions Posted more

15 yr old Girl QB steps in and wins Highschool Varsity Game. more

Chicago Force Management Changes Hands more

Original Force Founder, Lisa Cole, dedicates a mile at the Chicago Marathon more

Unveiling of New Website more

Chicago Force Banquet Scheduled more
Chicago Pride interviews Force wide receiver

ChicagoPride.Com Interviews
April 29, 2009

Interview with Patricia Harper

By PJ Gray

The old expression “you play like a girl” has now become the ultimate compliment thanks to the Chicago Force Women’s Tackle Football team. Founded in 2003, the Force is a Midwest Divisional Tier 1 team of the Independent Women’s Football League (IWFL) and is currently in season until playoffs begin at the end of June 2009. Expect another exciting season of play after their Eastern Conference Championship win last year. Patricia Harper, Wide Receiver and 2008 Offensive Rookie of the Year, took a during half-time at a recent home game to talk with CP about her experience with the Chicago Force.

CP: How did you become involved with the team?

PH: My roommate at the time had read about it online before I moved to Chicago and recommended I join. I moved here and missed try outs the first year. After living with me for a whole year while not having my usual sports outlet, she all but signed the waiver for me.

CP: How many other teams exist in the league and where are your away games played?

PH: There are 41 teams in the IWFL league. They are broken into two different tiers and multiple divisions. This year we will be traveling to Detroit, Kansas City, Minnesota, and Iowa. When we make it to championship again, we will be going to Dallas.

CP: What is the biggest misconception about women’s tackle football?

PH: Where do you even start? There are often only two reactions: “Wow! That’s awesome.” or “HUH?!” People often mistakenly assume that it’s all a bunch of rough and tumble Amazon women
just beating each other up. That’s not the case at all. Take off the helmet and pads and you find
mothers, police officers, consultants, corporate climbers, EMTs, realtors, white collars, blue collars, sheriffs, engineers, teachers, city councilwomen, coaches, soldiers, upper management, carpenters, electricians, musicians, nurses, architects, and doctors, just to name a few. There’s every type of girl out there from every walk of life; but what we do isn’t what stands out, it’s really about women who love a game enough to show up and play every week. We live for the season. We give our weekends, our free time, and our bodies just to play a game that we were told we never would be < able to play. If anyone can wrap their head around passion, then they can wrap their head around women’s tackle football.

CP: Tackle football can be a rough sport. What has been your worst injury?

PH:There’s a big difference between being hurt and being injured. The rule basically is: if you can
walk, you can play. Girls have played with broken hands, broken arms, torn ligaments, you name it. Let’s put it this way, an injured player never “walks” off the field by their own accord.

Personally I can’t say I’ve had a terrible injury. As Wide Receiver I get my fair share of strained ligaments, broken and jammed fingers and have had the wind knocked out of me more times than I’d like to remember. I dislocated my right knee cap in college and that tends to creep up as an issue after a few good hits or jabs into the ground, but it’s nothing that can’t be iced, taped up and gotten back into the game with.

CP: What’s the worst you’ve seen from other players?

PH: Probably when something gets torn or dislocated or severe concussions. I’ve seen arms just
hanging out of the socket from a tackle gone wrong and everyone has seen knees twisted in inconceivable directions. Concussions are probably the worst because there isn’t really anything you can do to fix them; those are normally more season-ending than anything physical.

CP: Now that you’ve played more than one season, have you noticed an increase in the team’s and the sport’s popularity?

PH:I think I was lucky enough to have joined the Force during the perfect storm. Last year seemed
to explode. We really picked up a lot of coverage last year when we went into the playoffs undefeated. Once we were in the Championship game we were getting recognized by local news programs and various papers/columns. We’d always had primarily word-of-mouth type advertising; but it was great to have people answer “Oh, I’ve heard of you guys.” after you told them what you were doing that weekend.

The public’s reaction is normally a blend of confusion and intrigue. Most people initially are shocked to hear that such a league exists and then want to know why they’ve never heard of us
before. Then they feel like they have to see it to believe it. The problem is, you come once and you’re hooked. It’s like nothing you will ever see in your life.

I think the sport overall has nothing but growth potential. The IWFL recently partnered with USA Football to further promote the sport and its immense popularity among female athletes.

Ideally developing an IWFL J-League that would allow for youth teams to form and play as well. Women’s tackle football is every bit as exciting as men’s, if not more. You probably won’t find our Ferraris parked on the side of the highway anytime soon because we don’t get to play for million dollar contracts or compete for who can have the highest jersey sales. We are out there for a pure love of the game and play every down for every inch, the way the game was intended to be played.

CP: What has surprised you most from your experience since joining the team?

PH:It’s hard to say that just one thing has surprised me. I think the growth of interest in the sport and the Force has been phenomenal. People see your shirt, or hat, or advertisement and want to know everything about it. Even on a personal level, my friends, my co-workers, and my family have all been enthralled and encouraging of me, the team, and the sport in general.

Personally, I would have to say that I’ve been surprised at how inspiring it can be: how far I can push myself and how much everyone will give for success. I walked onto the field a complete stranger to the game, the team, everything. In a matter of weeks it was like I couldn’t remember a life before football. There are things that no one but your teammates will ever understand, and this bonds you immediately. There are coaches that give their time to teach such a complicated game to beginners year after year all while continuing to develop veterans. People look at the bruises you eventually become covered with, see the braces, the surgeries, hear about the intensity of it all and question your sanity of devotion. To us, it’s just common. We know it is part of the game and accept that before even taking the first snap. Giving anything less than 110% isn’t an option, ever.

When you see your defense sacrifice their body so the opposing team doesn’t get that one extra yard so you can get back out on the field, you know you have to go out there and give them that right back. When you are completely gassed and sitting on a fourth down with seconds to go in a championship and your quarterback looks at you and tells you that she will give you everything she has if you can give her just one push more and you look at your teammates who are bruised, broken, and covered in makeshift braces, all take that haggard breath in and nod, your eyes ice over, your pain disappears and you live that one play for everything it’s worth, it just makes sense and it surprises me that not everyone will understand or experience that feeling. Force. Family. Win.

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