I don't like Kansas City.
Sign fastened to the outside of Allstate Arena
Primarily, my dislike of KC comes from an incident back in 2005
that permanently shaped my opinion of this metropolitan area. Extended visits that year
and in 2006
did not improve my opinion. Probably the only redeeming element to Kansas City is that Walt Disney setup his first animation studio
there. But even he knew it was a good idea to get the heck out of there!
C'mon, just look at those baby blue uniforms!
Apparently, someone thought it was a good idea to give Kansas City an Arena Football team
. They're called the Kansas City Brigade
and their logo is a stealth bomber. Yes, the team name and the logo have nothing to do with each other. Such is the mindset of Kansas City. This is a team that runs around on the field looking like the Village People, dressed up in baby blue pajamas.
I hate Kansas City.
During the first game of the 2007 AFL
season, the Chicago Rush
traveled to KC to take on the Brigade... and lost. Since Kansas City is in our division, we play them twice a season. Over the weekend, the Rush got their revenge as they played at home in Allstate Arena
Can you tell it was Free Hat Night?
It was Free Hat Night, sponsored by Amino Vital
, the official
nutritional supplement of the Chicago Rush. The hats were actually pretty high quality, which surprised me... and you know how passionate I am
about Chicago Rush hats
#44 FB/LB Bob McMillen
(Sorry for the fuzziness... he was kinda far away
The night was also spent paying tribute to #44, FB/LB Bob McMillen, in his last regular season game before retirement. Bob has played in the AFL for 13 seasons, 5 with the Chicago Rush, and is sort of a hometown hero of the team, having attended college at Illinois Benedictine. Last year, McMillen broke the AFL's all-time leading rushing record
(which unfortunately this season was eclipsed by another player -- but I personally don't count that due to major rule changes in the AFL -- it would be like comparing the stats of someone who was a designated hitter in baseball vs. someone who isn't. Blame John Elway
Advertising signboard for Bob
Bob even had an advertising sideboard dedicated to him during this final regular season game. And thanks to our analysis of advertising sideboards
performed during previous games, we know that Allstate was the sponsor that gave up their space for the tribute to #44. Thanks Allstate
The game was pretty evenly matched during the first half. Unfortunately, the Rush lost the coin toss at the beginning of the game, which often prompts me to say "well, that's it... we lost the game!" While the coin toss might not seem like a big deal, it is in the AFL. If you win, teams tend to defer possession until the 2nd half. Since defensive stops are very difficult in Arena Football, you tend to score and then have your opponent score in reply. It's hard to get ahead.
Humorous fan sign
The only way to really take a substantial lead tends to be via turnovers... or via possession before and after halftime. Let's say you have the ball at the end of the 1st half and score, then you return in the 2nd half -- and because of the coin toss -- have possession of the ball and score again. That's a back-to-back score that helps push you ahead against your opponent. It's a big advantage. However, this is where Kansas City fell apart. Then were unable to score at the end of the 1st half, and at the start of the 2nd half they threw an interception. From that point forward the Rush took over... scoring, injuring KC's quarterback (who used to play for the Rush), and just outright beating the pants off the Brigade.
We sat next to a father who was there with a large group of kids for his son's birthday party -- their first game -- and they loved it. I always enjoy watching folks be sold on the game by attending. It's really the only way to "get" Arena Football, no matter how hard ESPN unsuccessfully forces the sport
down the nation's throats.
With the 48-21 win in front of 16,391 people (reported attendance, but totally a lie), the Rush locked up the Central Division title, earned a 1st Round bye in the playoffs, and landed at least 1 home game.
It's the "Pepsi Pass for Cash"!
One final thing that has been driving me nuts all season long... the Rush do a promotion called the "Pepsi Pass for Cash". Basically, a fan comes onto the field and picks 3 randomized numbers from the cheerleaders. This creates a dollar figure that he wins if he succeeds in his task. The task itself? Throw a football from the 25 yard line (midfield) through the goal post uprights (only 8 feet wide vs. NFL's 15 feet wide).
Pepsi Twist: R.I.P.
It's a challenging promotion and typically fun to watch. But this year, the promotions department added a new wrinkle. They call it the "Pepsi Twist". If the fan choses to back up 5 more yards, he can double his earnings by making a successful throw. The promotions team makes a big deal about the phrase "Pepsi Twist", obviously trying to tie into the beverage of the same name
. There's only one problem with this...
Pepsi Twist was discontinued in 2006
Try doing your homework next time!
Other than that, it was a good game experience! We'll be back on Monday, July 9!