Monday, June 12, 2006

Rush Brings It Home

Hey, Chicago, you are the proud owner of another world champ. You can add to the beloved White Sox the Rush, who beat Orlando 69-61 in Arena Bowl XX yesterday. So when can we expect the ticker tape parade doen LaSalle Avenue? Or the party in Grant Park?

OK, how about an ice cream party?

I only sporadically watched the Rush this season, but perhaps I should have watched more, and will in the future. What an incredibly likable bunch, starting with coach Mike Hohensee, who had lost in the conferece title game three of the past four years before finally breaking through this season. He's sort of the AFL's version of Bill Cowher.

Eerily, the Steelers comparisons don't end there. After sneaking into the playoffs with a 7-9 record, the Rush reeled off three straight road wins in the playoffs just as the Steeelers had done in January. And much like the Steelers, they then won the Arena Bowl with relative ease. Hey, as far as I know, an 8-point victory is a virtual blowout in the AFL - and that included a garbage touchdown by Orlando in the final seconds.

The best moment had to come as the Rush was running out the clock at the end. I guess there's a rule in the AFL that prevents you from taking a knee. You have to advance the ball on the ground or attempt a pass. If not, the clock stops.

So for two straight plays, quaterback Matt D'Orazio took a few steps back, wasted as much time as he could, and then lofted a pass straight into the crowd, making sure to hit a bunch or rowdy fans in Rush uniforms who were going nutty directly behind the Rush bench. Then he smiled as if to confirm that he knew exactly what he was doing. That just seems so AFL.

Of course, it was nice to see Da Coach strutting around postgame soaking in the glory. Mike Ditka has now brought Super Bowl XX and Arena Bowl XX back to Chicago. The man is a god. A god!

But we already knew that.


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