We Actually Do Have a Decent Sports Team

Baseball season is here appallingly early, as per usual. I personally believe that baseball should not be played when there is a chance of snow falling anywhere in the continental US. If they could just hold off until May, and then maybe get the World Series wrapped up by the end of September, that would be great with me. Otherwise it just distracts from more important things, like football.

Our teams got off to fairly typical starts: The White Sox split their first four games and are floating comfortably in the middle of their division, while the Cubs dove straight into last place. It is, however, only the beginning of the season. I mean, Kerry Wood hasn’t even gone on the DL yet, so there’s time.

Frankly, I’m more interested in Chicago’s Arena Football League franchise, the Rush. With a 4-1 start to the season they’re way ahead in the Central Division. Have you guys watched this game? It amazes me just how different it is from NFL-style American football, while still maintaining the spirit of the game. The confined playing space has its down side: The scoring happens so often that touchdowns stop being impressive — it’s more noteworthy when a team fails to cap a drive with a score. But the flipside is that the smaller field calls for players to display a very different kind of athleticism than the wide-open space of the NFL. Receivers and running backs (or “offensive specialists”) are called on to make more intricate cuts and moves. Quarterbacks have less protection because there are only eight players on the field rather than eleven.

The plays themselves are unlike anything you might have seen, unless maybe you watched the ill-fated XFL. Things like forward motion before the snap, playing kicks off of rebounds, no punting… and most of the players play offense and defense. It’s football like you played with your friends on the street in front of your house when you were eight. Kinda awesome.

For those of you who are interested, Wikipedia has a pretty good article explaining the rules of the game, and you can check out the Chicago Rush website for game times.

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