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Old May 10th, 2006, 10:21 PM
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AFL 2006: Week 15: Chicago Rush vs Utah Blaze
Let's forget about the fact that the Chicago Rush destroyed the expansion Utah Blaze last Saturday night by the score of 84-48. Let's forget that the team set a personal record for most posts scored in a game (surpassing 76, set in 2003).


Our view from the West Endzone

Let's forget that there was a packed crowd of 16,154 at Allstate Arena for another exciting game of Arena Football. Oh, and let's forget that the Tanner's were part of a 14-person group of folks that we brought to the event (a personal best for Amy and I). None of that matters. For there is only one thing that will always be remembered about this game...

...Amy got a free shirt.


The white ball is pretty important!

For the past 6 seasons, I've heard the same thing from Amy at every game we've attended. "Why can't I catch a free shirt?" You see, during timeouts and such, the Rush promotional staff throw bundled shirts into the crowd, via manual throwing, slingshots, or air cannon. And to date, we've never caught one.


Yes, we watch the game through a net

A lot of that has to do with the fact that we tend to sit in the cheap seats, behind the endzones, which are sort of blocked by these large rebound nets. And even though the shirt is probably some crappy, low-quality promotional item, she wanted one. Heck, I offered to buy here a nice Rush shirt, but nooooooo, that wouldn't do!


Erin, Erin's Friend, Catherine, James, & Shannon


John ("Dad"), John ("Cracker"), John ("Amy's boss"), Amy, & Margie


Tricia, Parker, & Keith
(Not pictured... um, me!)

However, I guess if you bring enough people with you to an AFL game, your odds of getting a shirt increase substantially! For the final home game of the season, Amy and I gathered 12 friends to join us for the game. Some were returning. Some were experiencing Arena Football for the first time. Some we had never even met!


Sibling Fun!

But it definitely was a fun time to have everyone there! And because Amy's coworker James was a super-nice guy and gave Amy the t-shirt he caught, hopefully this quest for the freebie will end! (What, was free pizza not enough?)


Yellow arrow denotes Beth;
Red arrow denotes Shannon

Speaking of free pizza, at our last game I mentioned how we were joined by our friend Shannon, who I nicknamed the "Beth Magnet". It seems that every time we attend a game with him, we somehow interact with Beth, the Rush Promotions Emcee.


Yellow arrow denotes Beth;
Blue arrow denotes Parker;
Green arrow denotes Tricia

Last season it was free pizza from her. At our last game, it was a photo with Nick. And sure enough, this time around, she once again was right next to us... moving the folks across the aisle to upgraded seats. We think Beth has a secret crush on Shannon and can't get enough of his presence!


Dancin' Homer
(Source: "The Simpsons" Season 2 DVD)



Dancin' Steve

Another person we got to see again (for the first time this season... we must have been sitting in the wrong section) was "Dancin' Steve", a character we first mentioned last year. He's a guy who moves around the stadium and dances in the aisles. His antics are obviously inspired by Homer Simpson, who portrayed "Dancin' Homer" in an episode of The Simpsons by the same name during their second season.


Grabowski runs for a TD

Halftime entertainment consisted of a football game between mascots of teams found in the Chicagoland area. (A similar event took place at a game we attended in 2004.) This is typically goofy and fun. The first couple of times the Rush did this, it made no sense, given that we didn't actually have a mascot of our own. That changed this year with the introduction of our creepy, bad luck mascot, Grabowski. Maybe folks are right. He's the real reason the Rush haven't been doing well this season!


#94 is Skates the Wolf

It was funny to see that out of all the mascots at the game, including the high profile ones from the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks, the one that drew the most cheers and feedback from the crowd was "Skates", the mascot for the AHL Chicago Wolves. The Wolves play at the Allstate Arena as well. And frankly, having seen this mascot in action during a hockey game, I can see why he's popular. Grabowski is pretty lame in comparison.

The final Rush game of the season is away in Grand Rapids this coming weekend. If we win, we are in the playoffs for the sixth straight season. Here's hoping for success!

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Old May 11th, 2006, 08:16 AM
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FriarTuck FriarTuck is offline
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IMHO, the best part of the mascot game was Mike Adamle taking it way too seriously.

Then again, the guy used to host American Gladiators, so he's used to taking that sort of thing way too seriously.

(I know it's a violation of the Purple Code to snark on a fellow NU alum. Sosumi.)
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Old May 12th, 2006, 06:54 AM
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Free T-shirt
Amy, I try every game I go to with T-shirts to get one, so I totally understand. Congrats on your shirt.

Also, who were those cute kids with you guys? They are so adorable. :-)

Sorry I missed the game. My back is better now. Seems like it was a bunch of fun. Wish I could have seen Dancing Steve. Oh Well, Maybe next season.

Talk to you all later, Melissa
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