Ok so last year is over. We didn’t have the dream sports story of winning it all in 100 years. After all, worlds would collide, hell would freeze over and goats everywhere would, well get free tickets to attend a Cubs game at Wrigley if that had happened…ok well who knows what would have happened. We’ll never know because it didn’t happen. And as we draw closer to yet another season, another home opener at Wrigley (2 weeks away to be exact), do we even tease ourselves with asking that forever loathed, dreaded, nerve-wracking question – is this THE year? My thoughts are below, but please tell me what you think, even if you are a Cubs-hater, all baseball lovers’ opinions count!
Is this the Cubs year?
I don’t know.
And I’m sticking to it.
My rationale, is simple and to the point. We all need to get over it, get over all of it. The curses, the bad bats, the injuries, the Cubs haters – everything! If the Cubs were meant to win the World Series, it’s going to happen, and it won’t matter if they have the best record in baseball in October (we all know that didn’t help us before) or if a black cat runs around the bases and attacks Milton Bradley in the outfield this season. It doesn’t matter if some crazed obsessed fan tries to catch a foul ball or if we bring in a herd of goats to run freely on the newly manicured Wrigley grass. It doesn’t matter if we bring the Pope onto the field to bless it before the home opener (ok but that coudn’t hurt mind you). It doesn’t matter that it’s been 101 years or how close we’ve gotten before. It simply doesn’t matter. No curse, no Cubs hating fan is going to stop the Cubs from doing anything, whether it’s winning or losing. They are going to do what they are MEANT to do this season. If it’s win it all, then it will be 101 years, and it will still be just as special as if it were 100.
I am going to take this season one game at a time, one series at a time, I will not look at October until, well…October – period. So, the answer to the question – is this THE year for the Cubs? I won’t have that answer until after the season is over. I won’t know even if it’s the 7th game of the World Series and the Cubs are up by 12 runs in the top of the 9th. I still won’t know. Maybe this season for a Cubs fan will mean what it’s supposed to - actually not hoping that this is the year that ends the endless drought of heartbreaks, utter sadness and “in your face” to every single Cubs hater and doubter. This season will mean remembering what it’s like to be a Cubs fan, to be a baseball fan. To go back to why we became Cubs fans in the first place, whether it was the ambience of Wrigleyfield as it whispers to you in the summer breeze or the fans during the 7th inning stretch. Or it was that one player that you became attached to that brought you to truly love the game and the Cubs, or remembering the first time you stepped foot in Wrigley and who you shared it with. That’s what this season is all about.
It’s time for baseball baby, and what a long, glorious season it will be. GO CUBS!
April 13th is the Cubs home opener against the Rockies. Same date for the Dodgers against the Giants. I only know that because a guy I used to date loves the Dodgers. You can see why that didn’t last.
What does 27 days to home opener mean? It’s the first round of preparation for me. Of couse it takes a bit more for me because I am flying 1700 miles to see my beloved team open up at home. Every die-hard fan around this country prepares for their team’s home opener. Here’s my first round of preparation, or what I recommend others do. Feel free to add things I’ve missed. Praying, building up a tolerance, watching last year’s season over again (are you kidding me?! Well at least not the playoffs..):
At less than a month before home opener here is what you should be doing:
- if you don’t have your plane ticket booked (if you have to take a plane) you are pretty SOL at this point. Find a friend with a private jet. Or ask the heads of the finance companies to use theirs. They don’t seem to mind using them for whatever reason.
- you should start to plan your home opener day out strategically; best bet is a hearty breakfast if it’s an all day drink-a-thon in semi-winter weather (i.e. Chicago/Boston/Milwaukee/St.Louis). It’s important to get nutrients in. Trust me..we’ve all made that brutal mistake before. Ok at least I have.
- Try to locate your flask if you don’t partake in the beer vendors at the park. I myself just moved and need to find my Playboy bunny flask to sneak my Captain Morgan in.
- Start thinking about who you really want to spend pre-game with and post-game. This is important as you are in an entirely different state of mind for these two time periods.Pre-game = excitement, sobriety, happiness. Post-game can mean excitement, happiness…maybe not sobiety but it can also mean anger, being cold to the bone from sitting in freezing weather, or sad if your team loses…well usually that’s anger or just annoyance this early into the season. Be careful you hang out with those who understand your many changing moods in the pre/post state of a home opener game.
- Already know who you are going to the game with. This is ESSENTIAL. Very important. On home opener it is CRUCIAL that you only bring experienced baseball home openers, and ones who love the game. You can hang out with non-experienced home opener people pre and post game, but AT the game is an entirely different situation. First of all, pick someone who understands that going to the bathroom really isn’t important, either that or they only have to go when you do. Standing in line for some specialty item like pizza or nachos is a waste of time. Buy whatever the vendors are selling. Compromise and get a hotdog, pretzel or a bag of peanut. Someone who knows how to dress, and is as prepared as you are. One time I brought my dear friend Rayne (bless her heart) who wore designer heels to the opener when it was about 25 degrees. She’s a White Sox fan who can’t name one player on her team..go figure.
- Start thinking about wardrobe. I know, it’s still 4 weeks away, but if you are attending in a climate like I am where you don’t know if it will be a warm front of 65 degrees or a blizzard with -2 windchill, you’ve got to start thinking about it. Should I wear my Cubs jersey or Cubs scarf and layered jacket? Do I bring them all? It’s a tough call, best saved for the night before the game. In my case I’ll have to just put everything in my suitcase to be fully prepared. This is the time when you usually order something new from your team website. It’s a new season..to heck with that lucky Cubs shirt you wore last year (yeah a lot of good mine did me).
- Where will we have pre-game at? Do we plant ourselves in one location or are we going bar hopping? Essential to plan this out now because meeting your friends out can be a pain when you aren’t staying in one place for more than one drink. Start mapping out your home opener trail. In my case do we start on Clark and Addison post-game and work our way north to the Gold Coast or towards downtown bars? It’s a tough call.
- Last, but not least, probably the most important. Keep on eye on your team at spring training. What’s the mood? Is there a feeling you get from your team right now? Do they seem excited? Are they winning? Are they getting along? Get to know your new roster, it’s like going to a family reunion on home opener. You haven’t seen them in awhile and you want to catch up a little before you actually see them in action on the field. What are the new ones like? Any history you need to know about before you immediately welcome them in with open arms (i.e. Milton Bradley)?
Once you’ve accomplished these tasks for preparation, you are ready for the 2 week countdown (list #2) which will have a whole other set of preparation guidelines, This is my bible for a perfect home opener day. Learn it love it and most of all, have fun. It’s baseball season baby!
Some day I’ll be able to erase these pictures because we will win it all.
I hate the Dodgers….
2003…2007…2008…anytime we made the playoffs this is us post-season…oh except for 1908.
W T F is a black cat doing in a ballpark?! I still never got this…
I have a dream…quoting Martin Luther King Jr. of course:
that some day, the Chicago Cubs will win the World Series, and it won’t be easy, there won’t be a sweep, it will be in game 7 down to the very last out playing at home in beautiful Wrigleyfield, with the ivy already changing to it’s lustrous fall colors, and the fall breeze gently cascading through the bleacher bum fans. I have a dream that the Cubs will win the World Series, and no goat, no black cat, no Bartman/fan interference will make an appearance during our rise to the top. I have a dream that Haray Caray will send his spirit down from heaven to say “Hey hey whatta you say, the Cubs are gonna win today” and all of the Cubs spirits of the past, players and fans will look down upon the field and watch as the Cubs finally give the city, it’s fans, everyone the moment we’ve been waiting for. One World Series WIN. I have a dream….what’s yours?
March 11, 2009: Since it’s still 33 days until my own Cubs home opener..I’m just preparing my blog entry. For some fans it’s a ritual, it’s a series of preparations, that one fateful day when you can start over. It’s kind of like New Year’s Day. Everything is fresh and new…the year is right in front of you, shiny, crystal clear, untainted. That’s how the start of a new baseball season feels. The fresh grass, the newly cleaned stadium, that had remnants of last year’s season completely erased. The past doesn’t matter. Only THIS year does. Only the present. There is NOTHING like your own home opener; nothing. I mentally start preparing 30 days out. My countdown starts on March 14th. When does yours?
“Baseball is what gets inside you. It’s what lights you up, you can’t deny that.” – Tom Hanks, “A League of Their Own”
Although the movie wasn’t one of the greatest baseball movies of all time, it was certainly a memorable quote. As a die-hard Cubs fan and general all around baseball fan, I remember quotes like these when I get bitter about my team never having won a WS, or the steroid coverage most recently. I want to know your favorite quote about baseball from any movie..I’m sure there will be many from “Field of Dreams,” “The Natural,” “For Love of the Game,” “Fever Pitch,” and the ever great “Bull Durham.” Please write back and let me know, and also tell me why it’s your favorite quote.
We’ve all been there, gotten in a “healthy debate” with a fan from another team, or even with someone who has NO idea what they are talking about. I’ve had my share of arguments and debates with White Sox fans, Dodger fans (oh goodness that wasn’t fun), even Red Sox fans (hey they should be on our side!). I even got a White Sox fan kicked out of Sluggers across from Wrigleyfield after a game. He was wearing a Sox jersey and the Cubs weren’t even playing them..DUMB.
Tell me your best story or argument with another MLB fan; I want to know what team you represent, who they were a fan of and anything that escalated from the argument (if anything).
I bet there will be a number of you who have fights with the same fans over and over. I’m thinking NY Yankees? Who will be the winner…write me back and tell me!
I knew that Milton had a history of being a little short with the fuse and a bit sensitive, but after reading his last replies to going 1 for 3 after missing 5 days at spring training, I think he simply may have a bad attitude. That’s the last thing the Cubs need. I guess I just have to hope that Lou and Hendry made the right decision to sign up for $30 million 3 yr contract.
Le’ts refresh our memories on his past, shall we:
Milton Bradley, your blowout history in MLB:
* Spitting gum at an umpire while with the Montreal Expos
* Dugout altercation with Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge
* Throwing a bag of baseballs onto the field at Dodger Stadium after an ejection
* Throwing a water bottle in the direction of a fan
* Three incidents of domestic violence complaints in 2005 (no arrests were made)
* Altercation with Los Angeles Dodgers teammate Jeff Kent
* Public altercations with Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane
* Attempt to confront Kansas City Royals announcer Ryan Lefebvre, whom Bradley felt had made derogatory remarks about him during a broadcast
I think I blogged about my experience at Dodger stadium last summer when the Dodgers played the Cubs; the 12 year old girl who threw her soda at me and swore at my Cubs jersey? Oh her mother must have been proud.
And yet again, everyone I talk to that’s experienced Dodger stadium says the same thing to me – GHET- TO.
I ran into a friend this weekend who said he’ll never go to Dodger stadium ever again. Not only is it about 1 hour in traffic to get there, but it’s in the worst possible neighborhood – you could literally get shot if you stop your car at the wrong intersection. My friend (let’s call him Pete) who went to a game last season told me that he was waiting in line for beer (again, no beer vendors at ghetto stadium) and a few Dodger fans shoved him, because; well he was wearing his Cubs jersey. I’m sorry but isn’t it considered approved baseball etiquette to wear your team’s jersey to a game that they are playing at? DUH. I could definitely understand if someone wore a White Sox jersey to Wrigleyfield when the Sox weren’t even playing..that’s understandable.
The Dodgers may have swept the Cubs for the pennant and may have just beaten them in spring training, but at least Cubs fans don’t shove or throw things or scream profanity at other fans. I’m proud I’m a Cubs fan – at least we don’t act like belong in a trailer park.
Ok I even I have to admit I can’t follow every spring training game, but I just noticed the Cubs lost to Texas, Milwaukee, Los Angeles (ugh) AND our rival Chicago southsiders? Um…not so much.
I know we’re still working on who some of our starting pitchers will be, I know Lou is moving the outfield around, but let’s at least get our act together people. Home opener is 35 days away, and while spring training doesn’t mean everything, it does set the stage for how at least the first part of the regular season will pan out.
Why do I even worry so much? Really they should come out with some special anti-anxiety drug just for Cubs fans.