Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Anyone who's been around me for any length of time knows about my rabid devotion to the Chicago Cubs. My Grandfather was a Cubs fan. My Father was a Cubs fan. I am proud to say I'm a Cubs fan. A photo of me at one of my first Cubs games, when I was 4 years old, hangs on my office wall, with the program I was holding in the picture hung next to it. I proudly carry the cards of the early 1980's "Die Hard Cubs Fan Club" and the new "Cubs Club" in my Chicago Cubs wallet and I'm happy to flaunt them, even in the "enemy territory" of St. Louis.
The Cubs have had a miraculous season, winning 97 games and the National League Central championship for the second year in a row. They start the playoffs this afternoon against the Dodgers at my favorite place on the planet, Wrigley Field. I was at the one game the Cubs played in the postseason last year, a rout by the DBacks, and in the dozens, maybe hundreds of games I've seen in that ballpark, I've never seen it be such a sad place. I'm counting on the results and spirits to be better this year. Of course, I've yet to score tickets to any games, although I was offered the chance to go to this afternoon's first game, which I can't do due to work. That pesky work getting in the way of baseball again....
There's a tremendous song this year that has become the unofficial rally song for the Cubs. Its not "Hey Hey Holy Mackerel" from the 1969 season, its called "All The Way" by Chicago's very own Eddie Vedder. Some very enterprising fan made a nice video out of the song, which is available for purchase at www.pearljam.com. Its worth a peek even if you aren't a Cubs fan.
Add to the incredible Cubs run the fact that the Chicago White Sox made it into the postseason and there is the possibility, however rare, that there could (and I say COULD) be a "Red Line Series" with the two Chicago teams meeting in the Fall Classic. For those unfamiliar with the public transit system in Chicago, the Red Line serves both Wrigley and "The Cell".
Picture this. Wednesday, Cubtober 22nd, 7:20PM. World Series game one at US Cellular Field. Cubs ace Ryan Dempster is on the mound to throw the first pitch. He winds up and lets loose with a 98 mile an hour fastball. Between the time the pitch leaves his hand and lands in catcher Geovany Soto's glove, the ground opens up and the entire ballpark is swallowed into the earth. Yes, the first pitch in a Cubs/Sox World Series would be THE END OF THE WORLD.
What can I say? No matter how joyful a Cubs fan is, there is always a black cloud with that silver lining.