Pitchers and catchers aren't the only athletes reporting for work right now. The Arena Football League season is right around the corner, and the Chicago Rush have championship aspirations again this year.
The Rush have started practicing in suburban Palatine, led by second year head coach (and former Rush standout) Bob McMillen. McMillen was the runner-up for the AFL Coach of the Year Award last year after leading Chicago into the postseason with a franchise-record 13 wins.
Last year was the tenth season for the Rush, who have advanced to a conference championship game six times and won one ArenaBowl Championship. The 2012 season is the Silver Anniversary for the AFL.
Returning to the Rush lineup is receiver Reggie Gray, who now owns most of the Chicago record book. He finished last year with the most catches (130) and receiving yards (1,969) in franchise history, and tied the franchise record with 53 total touchdowns. He'll be catching passes from the Rush's all-time leading passer, quarterback Russ Michna.
Eight players on the Rush roster, including Gray and Michna (Western Illinois), played college football in Illinois.
Fans are treated to a fantastic experience at Rush home games at the Allstate Arena. Beyond the exciting, high-scoring style of play in the AFL, there is always great talent performing during the National Anthem and halftime of each game.
For groups of 20 or more, there are Party Deck packages available, which include game programs, Pepsi products and additional giveaways. Luxury suites, which have a 10-ticket minimum, are also a great place to host a corporate event or party.
The Rush will play one preseason game this year, facing McMillen's predecessor, Mike Hohensee, and the Iowa Barnstormers Saturday, Feb. 25 at the iWireless center in Moline, Ill. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.
Chicago kicks off their 2012 season by hosting the Tampa Bay Storm at the Allstate Arena on March 10. For a complete schedule of Rush games, click here.
Tickets to Rush home games run between $10-100 each. For tickets to Chicago Rush games, call (855)787-4946 or click here.