Chicago Rush

Years of Existence: 2001-2008, 2010-
Venue: Allstate Arena (Rosemont, IL)
2001 - Quarterfinal appearance
2002 - Central Division champions, semifinal appearance
2003 - Playoff appearance
2004 - Central Division champions, semifinal appearance
2005 - Semifinal appearance
2006 - AFL Champions
2007 - Central Division champions, semifinal appearance
2008 - Central Division champions, quarterfinal appearance
2010 - Playoff appearance
2011 - Central Division champions, semifinal appearance
2012 -
2013 - Central Division champions, playoff appearance
Lifetime Record: 127-87
Home: 68-30
Away: 56-56
Neutral: 3-1
Playoffs: 10-10
Average Attendance: 11,402

The Chicago Rush finished their first season at 7-7. After defeating Orlando the week before, the Rush headed to Orlando for the first round of the postseason. They defeated the Predators again to advance to the semifinals. They lost, 51-23, at Grand Rapids. The next year, the team wnet to the semifinals, winning five of their final six games. They defeated Dallas in the quarterfinals and then lsot to Arizona, 46-35. The Rush returned to mediocrity in 2003, finishing 8-8 and losing in the first round of the playoffs to the New York Dragons. 2004 brought an 11-5 record and another loss in the semifinals, this time to San Jose. In 2005, the Rush once again made the semifinals, but lost to the Colorado Crush in overtime. Colorado went on to win the Arena Bowl. The 2006 season was a wild one. Despite two separate three game losing streaks, the Rush managed to finish at 7-9 and sneak into the playoffs. After splitting a regular season series with Nashville by one point in each game, the Rush won, 55-42. Their next road stop was at the defending Champion Colorado Crush. The Rush lost both regular season games to the Crush, but the third time was the charm: a 63-46 victory. Then the Rush stopped San Jose's seven game winning streak with a 59-56 victory. After a 27-55 defeat in the regular season, Chicago completed their improbable run with a 69-61 victory, earning their first AFL Championship. The Rush picked up steam in the 2007 season, using an eight game winning streak to propel themselves to a 12-4 regular season and Central division title. After holding Los Angeles to a playoff record low twenty points, the Rush and SaberCats met in the semifinals for the third time in four years. San Jose took revenge on Chicago for ending their season a year ago. Mark Grieb led the SaberCats to a 61-49 victory. Sherdrick Bonner began the 2008 season at quarterback for the Rush. He gave way to Ross Michna, who threw for almost 3,000 yards and 57 touchdowns. Despite winning the division title, the Rush lost three of their final five games. The team hosted a 7-10 Grand Rapids team in the quarterfinals after a bye week. Despite defeating the Rampage twice in the regular season, Grand Rapids dominated the second half and advanced to the American Conference championship game. The Rush returned to the revamped AFL in 2010. Quarterback Russ Michna threw for 70 touchdowns and 11 picks before being replaced by JJ Raterink late in the year. Raterink threw for 14 touchdowns and two picks. Sammie Parker and Alan Turner were two of the team's top four receivers on a squad with no clear leader. The Rush defense picked 26 passes, led by Josh Ferguson, who picked eight passes. The team got out to a 9-3 start before losing three of its final four games. Milwaukee took the Midwest Division crown by a game over Chicago, and Chicago would travel to the Iron in the playoffs. The two teams split their regular season series, but it was Milwaukee who came out on top against the struggling Rush, 64-54. The team returned in 2011, led for most of the year by Russ Michna, before J.J. Raterink took over again. Michna threw for 2,895 yards, 65 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, while Raterink played in five games, throwing for 888 yards, 16 touchdowns and two picks. Reggie Gray amassed 1,969 yards and caught 49 touchdowns. Charles Dillon caught 96 balls for 1,201 yards and 24 scores. On defense, the Rush made an astounding 42 interceptions, with Vic Hall making 15 of them. The team allowed opponents to convert on third down just 39% of the time, but the offense only converted on 43% of their own. The team won four games in the final seconds, including three by one point. These included a 50-49 victory over top-ranked Arizona in Phoenix in May. The Rush went 4-1 in games against playoff opponents and was able to secure a division crown. A twenty point fourth quarter lifted the Rush past division rival Dallas at home. The team headed back to Phoenix for a rematch with the Rattlers. This time, the Rush turned the ball over five times and suffered a 22 minute scoring drought. After falling behind 41-19, however, Chicago rebounded to cut the deficit to 41-34. After exchanging scores, the score was 54-48 and Chicago had an onside kick chance. With no Rattlers deep, the Rush kicked deep off the iron and nearly recovered the ball for a touchdown. However, the ball hit the sidewall and Arizona advanced to Arena Bowl XXIV. The Rush returned in 2012, led by Russ Michna, who threw for 4,470 yards, 89 touchdowns and ten picks. He gave way to Luke Drone later in the season. Drone passed for 1,149 yards, 18 touchdowns and six interceptions. Reggie Gray led all receivers with 1,937 yards and 48 scores. Jared Perry amassed 1,811 yards and 31 touchdowns. On defense, Kelvin Morris returned four interceptions for touchdowns. Four of the team's eight losses came by seven points or less, however, only two of its ten wins came against playoff teams. The Rush lost an overtime game in San Jose, 84-77 and in the final week of the regular season, lost on a one handed touchdown catch off of the rebound nets to Cleveland as time expired. The team returned for the 2013 season, but encountered financial difficulties and after five home games averaging 4,500 fans in attendance, the team lost its lease with Allstate Arena. The final game of the season was moved to San Jose, while three home games were played at a neutral site at BMO Harris Center in Rockford, Illinois. Carson Coffman quarterbacked the division champions for the majority of the season, throwing for 3,583 yards, 73 touchdowns and 17 picks. Reggie Gray caught 140 balls for 1,978 yards and 46 scores. Jared Jenkins added 936 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns. The team actually went 6-3 after the financial woes began. Three of the team's losses came by seven points or less, with two coming at the buzzer. One of the best wins for the team was a 45-14 victory over Pittsburgh, along with an overtime 64-63 win at Iowa. The Rush won the Central Divison again, ending the one year playoff hiatus. However, due to the arena trouble, Chicago went on the road at Spokane. The Rush trailed 48-47 with seven minutes left, but three interceptions in the final three minutes, including two pick-sixes, gave the Shock a 69-47 victory. Luke Drone quarterbacked Chicago for this contest.