By Backseat Coach • TwitterFacebook

Wisconsin Dragons (D2) @ Madison Blaze (D3)
My featured matchup this week has nothing to do with a longtime rivalry, playoff positioning, or even a historical first-time matchup, but to remember our own who have been lost. In their last home game of the 2018 season, the Madison Blaze will pay tribute to Andrew Thorland, who died on April 1.

I never met face-to-face with Andy, but in the virtual spaces he and I regularly occupied together, he was always a swell guy. Kind, helpful, professional, and genuine. His discovery and love of women’s football is akin to my own experience. It was something we shared.

If you have had the pleasure of reading The Blazin’ Times — the Madison Blaze’s official newsletter — you will know Andrew was a dedicated and excellent writer. In a sport with too few writers and advocates in the media, Andy will be sorely missed.

It comes with great sadness to hear of the violent end to his life. A sadness resurgent following the news yesterday of another life lost to gunfire, Latasha “Kyng” Dailey of the Columbus Comets.

Though I have strong opinions, I don’t want to pontificate here about the merits of second amendment or debate about stemming the proliferation of guns throughout the nation. But I will say it is increasingly clear that our women’s football community is not immune or sheltered from the tragedy and injustice of gun violence. It is something we must live with, and apparently die for. Or is it?

#ForAndy #ForKyng #CoryStrong

Here are my picks for Week 8:

New England Nightmare (D3) @ CONNECTICUT HAWKS (D3)
Pittsburgh Passion (D1) @ DC DIVAS (D1)
TOLEDO REIGN (D3) @ Cleveland Fusion (D2)
COLUMBUS VANGUARDS (D3) @ Knoxville Lightning (D3)
Grand Rapids Tidal Waves (D3) @ DETROIT DARK ANGELS (D2)
DERBY CITY DYNAMITE (D3) @ Cincinnati Sizzle (D3)
South Carolina Smash (D3) @ RICHMOND BLACK WIDOWS (D3)
Alabama Fire (D3) @ ARKANSAS WILDCATS (D3)
ORLANDO ANARCHY (D3) @ Daytona Waverunners (D3)
WISCONSIN DRAGONS (D2) @ Madison Blaze (D3)
Austin Outlaws (D3) @ DALLAS ELITE (D1)
ARLINGTON IMPACT (D1) @ Acadiana Zydeco (D3)
EVERETT REIGN (D2) @ Tacoma Trauma (D2)
La Muerte Las Cruces (D3) @ COLORADO FREEZE (D3)
Inland Empire Ravens (D3) @ VENTURA WOLF-PACK (D3)
Sin City Trojans (D3) @ LOS ANGELES WARRIORS (D1)