I have been a fan of the Chicago Rush arena football team since the team debuted in 2001. Scheduling conflicts somehow kept me away from attending a game this season, but that changed last Saturday night and I had a blast!
We got to the game early and watched the Rush run through a few drills. I felt my interest starting to stir as I watched the Rush and the San Jose SaberCats run through some drills. It is so fast-paced and you are so close to the action. It immediately draws in the crowd.
We headed back outside to get a taste of their well-known tailgaters. Despite us arriving empty-handed, Ben Sanders of the tailgating crew, a part of the Rush fan club, welcomed us with open arms and delicious Greek chicken.
We quickly realized this was no ordinary tailgating. Sanders, who started tailgating here in 2001, the debut year of the Rush, stated that it is the best tailgating in the Arena Football League and I cannot disagree. Next time I will be bringing something to that party.
The Rush returned that fandom by dedicating a large area in the parking lot for the tailgaters. Their numbers have grown steadily and I plan on joining the fun again. This is just one example of how the team treats their fans well.
The game itself was a battle, which the Rush lost 75-61. The SaberCats jumped to an early lead. The Rush hung tight, but were always playing catch-up. Head coach Bob McMillen summed it up perfectly when he said, “We just couldn’t come through with one more big play to turn the game in our favor.”
Throughout the game, there were various activities involving fans. The Rush organization really puts an emphasis on fan interaction and connection. I really felt like the team actually appreciated every fan! How cool is that?
After the night, I realized just how much I had missed attending Rush games. Their next home game is this Sunday, July 8 against the first place San Antonio Talons. With only three games left, every game is important to the playoff hopes of the second place Rush.
I am really hoping the Rush makes the playoffs. It will be great for the team, the fans, the city and me! I would love to head out to the Allstate Arena to watch some playoff action!