Boylan revives football dreams with Cardinals

From the St. Charles Republican (St. Charles, IL):

Word of mouth can be the best way to search for a new job in the business world.

It turns out the same is true in athletics. At least it was for John Boylan.

A little more than two years removed from his last competitive game of football, Boylan found a way to rekindle the fire by trying out for the Chicago Cardinals of the Continental Indoor Football League.

“One of my friends (Jaran Rutledge, now on the Cardinals), we played together in college,” the 23-year-old St. Charles resident said. “He played for the Milwaukee Bone Crushers in the CIFL, and when they folded he got picked up by the Cardinals. He told me there was going to be some tryouts.

“There were three different tryouts and I didn’t find out about them until seven days before the last one.”

Fortunately for Boylan, he made the team. Unfortunately, an ACL injury in the April 3 opener will sideline him for the rest of the season. But simply making the final cut was a reward in itself.

Even though Boylan had just a week to prepare for his shot at a roster spot, he had a plan of attack.

His time playing at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., and preparing for seasons with the Prairie Fire gave him an edge.

“I was aware of what the tryout process was going to be like,” Boylan said. “Running 40s, doing bench presses, broad jumps and agility drills on the field.”

Still, with only a week to get ready he had to be precise. Go too hard in preparation and he’d have nothing left at the tryout. Go too easily and there would be no guarantee that he would be in good enough physical shape to make the team.