Milwaukee (PERNS) – This past Labour Day weekend was the annual North American-Croatian Soccer Tournament held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The tournament has now had it’s 38th birthday, although the decision on Hamilton being a part of the 39th is yet to be known. Here’s a recap of what you may have missed, and an explanation of some of the rumours you may have heard (Times are all approximate).
Friday, August 31st1:00AM – 54 passengers depart for Milwaukee by bus from Eastgate Square 3:00AM – Sweeper Frank Sudac pukes 3:06AM – Fullback Joe Skaljin reeks 3:35AM – Sarnia Duty Free becomes reminiscent of Chernobyl as Hamilton Croatia loads up for the weekend 2:00PM – Passengers check-in to Days Inn, West Allis 4:11PM – Joe Zeleznak sh*ts solid for the last time in the next three weeks
Saturday, September 1st9:00AM – Hamilton Croatia faces Windsor Croatia in their first match of the day 9:36AM – Stopper Mike Giannini scores the only goal in Hamilton’s 1-0 victory 10:41AM – Cleveland Croatia submits form stating they will play their game versus Hamilton under protest 10:56AM – Hamilton respectfully decline and walk off the field 10:57AM – Heavy drinking and chanting begins 11:30AM – Hamilton kicks Cleveland game-ball into 3-foot high soy bean field…it takes numerous Cleveland volunteers 20 minutes to find the ball 12:22PM – Franklin Police Department is called 12:30PM – Three squad cars arrive 12:33PM – Officer #1 asks, “Who’s in charge here?” to which Frank Perin responds, “Nobody.” 12:34PM – Officer #1 explains about a fight he was told about to which Darko Peric responds, “Drinking and chanting yes. Soccer, fighting, and any sort of physical activity here is not happening.” 12:36PM – Officer #1 then says, “Sorry to bother you – carry on”, to which 50 enthused onlookers respond, “WE LIKE THE COPS … WE LIKE THE COPS … WE LIKE THE COPS!” – Police leave smiling. 1:37PM – Rob Biturajac wins the ‘First Annual Flip-Flop/Sandal Kick’ with a distance of 22.6 feet 1:44PM – Ivica Katkic pukes 3:15PM – Hamilton Croatia hosts the First Annual $5 Penalty Shot Competition 3:21PM – The competition attracts more fans than the most games in progress and earns $95, spent promtly on beer for contestants 4:55PM – Ante Culina wins the shoot-out, “Markie” from Detroit does the running-man 5:49PM – Drunk Cleveland fans want to fight Hamilton, sixty-year-old man spits at Joe Skaljin 10:27PM – Crazy Al drives golf cart through packed dance floor at the banquet – no injuries reported
Sunday, September 2nd12:00PM – Drinking starts in the parking lot of the Days Inn – worlds collide 6:00PM – Bus Driver Harry is found cleaning up the parking lot 7:20PM – Arrive at the awards banquet 7:35PM – Obtain six bottles of rye, two bottles of cognac, and two cases of beer for a paltry $800 8:00PM – Chanting begins – London Croatia, Croatia Norval, Dalmacija Streetsville and Toronto Zagreb join in festivities 9:00PM – 350 Canadians pose for a group photo in front of the head table 9:39PM – Hamilton Croatia approach head table to receive trophy – they do not leave until they are given the microphone 9:53PM – Franklin Police Department is called 9:55PM – Mike Giannini says his now infamous ‘Thank You For Ruining Our Weekend’ speech 10:03PM – 11 squad cars, one police van, and two police dogs arrive 10:05PM – Hamilton Croatia leaves the banquet without the use of force 10:12PM – Hamilton Croatia and Franklin Police Department become good friends posing for numerous photos together 10:30PM – The earliest a bus has ever left a banquet
Monday, September 3rd9:00AM – Bus departs for Canada 9:02AM – Hamilton proclaims a “banquet championship” for the eighth straight year 9:03AM – Skaljin still reeks Of the 350 soccer players in tournament attendance annually, it is relatively known that many teams carry ineligible players. Some of these are players that do not have official papers to be in the United States, let alone registration booklets with their soccer clubs. Of the 21 teams in Milwaukee this past weekend, Hamilton was the only team that was asked to show their cards. The executive of the CNSF tournament decided to re-write their ‘pencil-written’ rulebook again. When Hamilton refused to play under protest they undoubtedly put their future as part of the North American-Croatian Federation in question. They most likely will be fined, although they remain steadfast in the fact that they will not pay. Rumours were rampant that this was supposed to be George Andric’s final farewell for Hamilton Croatia, and his teammates guaranteed him he would go out on top. If it was in fact his last tournament, he may not have left a champion, but everyone will remember this retirement. But nobody ever pictured the whole Club retiring with him. UNDEFEATED. Thanks for the memories.