Do I lose my die-hard fan status if I move away from my team?
How many die-hard fans don’t live in the city where our favorite team plays? I know there has to be thousands of us out there….aimlessly logging on to MLB.com to get status of our team, trying to figure out what time they play if we’re in different time zones. It’s like juggling a long distance relationship that you know will never end unless you compromise and move to them.
I lived in Chicago for 10 years and was blessed by the Red Line train to Wrigleyfield after a day’s work, to catch a night game, then go home slightly tipsy and catch another day at work and do it all over again. I was so spoiled living in that city and being able to go see the Cubs anytime at home. I remember when it would be around 3:00 on a Tuesday, the Cubs playing at home at 7:05pm, and I’d say to my other Cubs game soul mate Lissette – “hey…should we go to the game?” And it would be as easy as that. We’d finish up work, catch the El at 6:00pm and have a beer in our hands by the time the national anthem was sung. And the best part about living in the same city your team is – seeing it live, seeing the plays, the memorable wins, losses and inning by inning biting on your nails tied games that would end in celebration..hopefully. The best part – talking about seeing Derek Lee hit a grand slam to the bleachers against the White Sox, when he just stepped off the bench in ’07. Or seeing Aramis hit an HR to sweep the Brewers. There’s nothing like being there to see it, to live it, and to talk about it for days, weeks, even years after.
And now it’s all changed for me. I’m still struggling with my new routine and how to be a die-hard Cubs fan. There is no doubt I’m still a die-hard fan, but it’s just more difficult. I live in LA, 1700 miles away from Wrigleyfield. I’m 2 hours behind Chicago. They usually are playing when I’m at work. And unless they are on WGN I can’t see them on TV because of course they show the Dodgers here. And so I have to get MLB TV, which is fine….it’s just not being able to easily see them. To hear that they played an amazing 9th inning at home and hear about it at 5:00pm while I’m at work from a friend back in Chicago. Knowing I missed a great play, a great win, or just plainly…a great day at Wrigley.
Even worse is living in a city that isn’t sports minded, well except for the NBA really. In Chicago any sports bar would be playing the Cubs, even one on the Southside. Now I have to call ahead to see if they’ll show it on even on TV.
I know I chose to leave the windy city for a better job, better weather and well….a better lifestyle here in Cali by my opinion. But it’s often frustrating, and depressing for me to love them from so far away. Long distance relationships don’t often last, but this one is a bit different.
Coming back for home opener made me realize how much I still love my Cubs. And they won, for me I believe. My only hope is that like Haray Caray, I am forever there in spirit at the game, if not physically able to be there.
This entry is for all of those die-hard fans who share long distance relationships with their own teams like I do. Here’s to hoping that I’ll be back in Chicago in October…maybe, just maybe watching them win a WS.