Sippio brings success to Rush
How rapidly circumstances change -- for both him and the Chicago Rush.
In many ways, Sippio' recent progress, emergence and success mirrors that of the team that he joined a month ago. For both, the first two-thirds of the 2006 season was filled with little more than dashed aspirations and frustration.
Then his release from the Tampa Bay Storm brought him to Chicago. He -- and the Rush -- haven't been the same since.
"I signed another year," Sippio said. "That lets you know how comfortable I feel (in Chicago) and how first class and wonderful the coaches and players are. Hopefully I'll be there for many more."
So far, so good -- for both. The Rush is 6-2 since Sippio took the field for the first time in blue and silver during a 61-42 loss at Arizona on April 15, and he has five 100-yard receiving games in his eight with the Rush while averaging 124.5 receiving yards per game.
His per-game pass-catching averages with the Rush? 8.6 receptions,
124.5 yards, 3.0 touchdowns. Of such numbers are All-AFL selections, team leaders and championship-worthy efforts made. The scariest part of that equation for Chicago's Central Division rivals is that Sippio doesn't even know all of his new team's offense.
"I'm not 100 percent there," he said. "It'll take probably another year."
If what he’s done these past eight weeks isn’t 100 percent, what is? Perhaps his efforts are the result of the change of venue from the palm trees of Tampa to the urban sprawl of Chicago – or simply from the Storm locker room to that of the Rush.
"It's 100 times different," Sippio admitted.
No, what’s 100 times different is where Sippio and the Rush find themselves from when he first donned the uniform. They were 4-7 when he debuted at Arizona. They are 10-9 now and just 60 minutes away from the franchise’s first championship.
And it’s doubtful the Rush or Sippio could have made it to this point without each other.
Andrew Mason was at the Tampa Bay Storm`s first home game on June 1, 1991 and has followed the game ever since. While in college, he served as content editor and co-founder of The Storm Shelter, a Web site which covered the Tampa Bay Storm on the Internet from 1996-99. He also volunteered with the team`s media relations department in 1998 and currently contributes to ColoradoCrush.com. He's covered the NFL for various on-line outlets since 1999.