Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Chicago Rush owner on past felony convictions: ‘My past is my past’ ]]> Lead story image

The convicted thief who bought the Chicago Rush three months ago says he never expected his criminal background to be a big problem in owning the Arena Football League’s premier franchise. And David Staral Jr. says his shady past had nothing to do with what he says was his decision to “walk away” from the team last week. ]]> Sun, 09 Jun 2013 06:28:16 -0600 <![CDATA[ Ex-coach: Chicago Rush has folded ]]> Lead story image

The Arena Football League has spent nearly a year trying to find stable ownership for the Chicago Rush, including once selling the team to convicted felon David Staral Jr. ]]> Tue, 29 Oct 2013 23:39:45 -0600 <![CDATA[ Arena football team owner’s record: convictions, lawsuits, financial trouble ]]> Lead story image

He’s a convicted thief, currently on probation. He filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy just months ago. He’s been trailed by lawsuits, liens and allegations he’s ripped other people off, even his neighbor. Meet the new owner of the Chicago Rush, the man proclaimed as the savior of the Arena Football League’s most prominent franchise. David Staral Jr. was unveiled as the new owner of the Rush in February. The 34-year-old West Town resident announced at the time, “This is the new regime, it’s a whole new ball game.” ]]> Sat, 08 Jun 2013 06:26:44 -0600 <![CDATA[ Miscues on routine plays doom Rush as winning streak ends at four ]]>

The Rush’s penchant for making spectacular plays will help the team win games, but its players shouldn’t be foolish enough to think that allows them the luxury of botching routine tasks. When the Rush hosted the Philadelphia Soul Saturday at Allstate Arena, it made as many highlight-worthy catches as routine mistakes in a 72-41 loss. The defeat ends a four-game winning streak for the Rush (4-3). Trailing by 10 with 40 seconds left in the first half, the Rush had a chance to gain momentum on a fourth-and-goal play from the five-yard line. But quarterback Carson Coffman overthrew an open … ]]> Thu, 06 Jun 2013 07:25:58 -0600 <![CDATA[ Rush coach points finger at porous defense after defeat ]]>

Arena-league rules favor the offense, but that doesn’t mean defenses are absolved of making an impact. So after the Rush’s 76-61 loss Sunday against the Spokane Shock at Allstate Arena in which the Shock scored on every possession except its last when it ran out the clock, Rush coach Bob McMillen put his defense on notice. “On our defensive line, we can’t have just one guy getting the pressure all the time,” McMillen said. “We got to have all three of them, and we’ll go to practice this week and continue to work with those guys, and if not, we’ll … ]]> Thu, 02 May 2013 06:35:05 -0600 <![CDATA[ Rush opens with a clunker at home ]]>

The Rush’s 2013 season opener featured a lot of new things: new owner, new logo, new uniforms and a new theme of “redemption” after failing to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history in 2012. That “redemption” directive didn’t get off to a good start during a 63-41 loss to the Iowa Barnstormers before a crowd of 6,026 on Saturday at Allstate Arena. Iowa, coached by former Rush coach Mike Hohensee, jumped to a 12-0 lead and never looked back. It was Hohensee’s first win over his former team in three tries. “Redemption is about making the … ]]> Thu, 25 Apr 2013 07:29:32 -0600 <![CDATA[ Rush owner, AFL split ways; Allstate says ‘impossible’ for team to play full schedule ]]> Lead story image

The Arena Football League has terminated its relationship with Rush owner Julee White less than three months after she purchased the team from the league. According to a news release, the Rush will play a full schedule of games in 2013, though Pat Nagle, the general manager of Allstate Arena, where the Rush has played its home games since 2001, said that’s ‘‘impossible’’ because the arena has other events scheduled on the dates the Rush plans home games. ‘‘While the ownership was new to our league, we still have expectations that must be met,’’ AFL commissioner Jerry B. Kurz said … ]]> Wed, 13 Feb 2013 17:36:51 -0600 <![CDATA[ Rush back in business with new owner ]]>

Having owned the Rush for only about five weeks, ­David Staral Jr. had little to do with the franchise’s turmoil this offseason. But while he was looking forward when he addressed the media for the first time Monday, he acknowledged the challenges the Rush will face this season. The Arena Football League had sold the franchise to Julee B. White this offseason, but White had her relationship with the league terminated less than three months into her ownership because of logistical and ­financial reasons. Staral ­became owner days later. During White’s ownership, fans were unable to get in touch with … ]]> Mon, 18 Mar 2013 23:34:46 -0600 <![CDATA[ Rush falls out of last playoff spot ]]>

The Rush won’t need a magnifying glass to dissect its game Saturday against the San Jose SaberCats at Allstate Arena. The team made glaring mistakes throughout, resulting in a 75-61 loss, its first home defeat this season. The Rush (9-6), which fell a half-game behind the SaberCats (10-6) for the fourth and final playoff spot in the National Conference, fumbled twice, muffed a kick return and allowed a fourth-quarter kick return for a touchdown. The SaberCats turned two Rush miscues in the first half into touchdowns, helping them take a 21-point lead at halftime. Reggie Gray fumbled a kickoff on … ]]> Thu, 02 Aug 2012 10:38:50 -0600 <![CDATA[ Rush offense gets rolling again in rout of Force ]]>

Just a week removed from calling Rush quarterback Russ Michna the hottest signal-caller in the Arena Football League, coach Bob McMillen might have found himself biting his tongue when the team suffered the worst loss in franchise history June 9 at Utah. But Michna vindicated his coach Saturday. The Rush (8-5) scored on all but two of its possessions in a 62-27 victory over the Georgia Force (7-7) at Allstate Arena. “This is a crazy game. Momentum plays a key role in this game,” said Michna, who threw for 217 yards and six touchdowns. “We started off slow last week, … ]]> Wed, 18 Jul 2012 06:49:12 -0600 <![CDATA[ Rush QB Russ Michna throws nine TD passes on record day ]]>

Facing the Spokane Shock and the Arena Football League’s worst defense Sunday at Allstate Arena was enough to whet the appetite of Rush quarterback Russ Michna. But the veteran signal-caller couldn’t have been prepared for the feast that would come. Michna set single-game franchise records in completions (32), passing yards (412) and touchdown passes (nine) in the Rush’s 73-62 victory over the Shock (6-5). While a porous defense provided the stage for Michna, he credited his receivers for the historic day. “It’s amazing to me what we’re able to do with them, the things we do on the fly, what … ]]> Sat, 07 Jul 2012 08:20:48 -0600 <![CDATA[ Reggie Gray sets Rush touchdown record in win over Barnstormers ]]>

Reggie Gray caught two touchdown passes and set a franchise record for career touchdowns with 74 in the Rush’s 61-50 victory over the Iowa Barnstormers on Sunday at Allstate Arena. Gray’s 70 career touchdown catches tie him with Bobby Sippio atop the franchise list. “It was great, especially doing it in front of my hometown,” said Gray, who led Morgan Park to the 2001 city championship. “I preach that a lot. There’s nothing like playing in front of your hometown and breaking a record.” Gray and fellow receiver Jared Perry had their way with the Barnstormers’ secondary. Gray had five … ]]> Fri, 08 Jun 2012 08:16:35 -0600 <![CDATA[ Rush stays unbeaten with 69-40 victory against Command ]]>

Rush receiver Jared Perry on Saturday notified the rest of the Arena Football League that defenses no longer can focus only on Reggie Gray. Perry had 10 receptions for 175 yards and five touchdowns in the Rush’s 69-40 victory against the Kansas City Command at Allstate Arena. Gray has drawn an overwhelming amount of attention from opposing defenses early this season after setting franchise records for points scored (322), receptions (130) and receiving yards (1,969) in 2011. Gray added seven receptions for 125 yards and three touchdowns for the Rush, which is the only undefeated team in the AFL at … ]]> Wed, 09 May 2012 09:52:27 -0600 <![CDATA[ Rush rebound after slow start, beat Predators ]]>

Typically, a bad offensive start in an Arena Football League game is crippling. So when the Rush failed to score on its first three possessions Thursday against the Orlando Predators at Allstate Arena, the outcome looked ominous for the home team. But as it did much of last season, the Rush defense came to the rescue, holding the Predators scoreless on three of their first four possessions. The Rush then put enough offense together for a 51-49 victory. “Hats off to the defense,” wide receiver Reggie Gray said. “Offense, we came out struggling, and that’s what a team is for. … ]]> Tue, 24 Apr 2012 08:21:45 -0600 <![CDATA[ Rush back to work, beats Storm in season opener ]]>

Under the cloud of a work stoppage, Rush players might have questioned whether their season would start on time. Most Orlando and Pittsburgh regulars sat out the league opener Friday in a game played with replacements. But the AFL players union had its members return to work Saturday, when the Rush opened its season with a 70-48 victory against the Tampa Bay Storm at Allstate Arena. Starting quarterbacks earn a weekly stipend of $1,200 while all other players make $400 per week. Housing and two meals per day are included. “It’s not necessarily anyone is looking for a contract increase,” … ]]> Thu, 12 Apr 2012 10:11:04 -0600 <![CDATA[ Rush’s success starts on defense ]]>

Last year, the Rush was the kind of team that probably left Arena Football League executives scratching their heads. In a league built for offense, the Rush set the AFL record with 56 takeaways and allowed a league-low 46 points per game. It won a franchise-record 13 regular-season games largely because of its defense. That shouldn’t change this season considering the Rush re-signed defensive back Vic Hall and jack linebacker Kelvin Morris, two of the league’s top defensive players in 2011. “We put a lot of hard work into it, and we’re not going to accept the fact that it’s … ]]> Tue, 10 Apr 2012 10:23:47 -0600