We never really think about it until they make us mad by something they say during a game, but as I sit here in my LA apartment, watching my beloved Cubs on WGN, I can’t help but be thankful for Len and Bob. Just hearing their familiar voices makes me feel closer to my team, and everyone who is a die-hard for a team knows their announcers and could probably recognize their voices anywhere. This entry is dedicated to the Cubs WGN broadcasters, who not only have given me a shout out twice on TV, but help me to feel as though I’m not really 1700 miles away from Wrigleyfield.
In June of 2008, I was watching the Cubs during the 7th inning on WGN, and it was a pretty hot day southern Cali, and the Cubs were winning at home. I remember exactly what I was doing when it happened. I got up to make some iced tea and I hear Len say, “we want to give a special shout out to a huge Cubs fan in Marina Del Rey, Jessica Nelson who is watching the Cubs right now out in California.” I literally almost dropped my iced tea and wanted to smack myself in the head for not DVRing the game to play it back. My phone immediately rang..first it was my Dad back in WIS, who said “holy crap did they just give you a shout out?!” My Dad, an attorney who’s law firm has MLB for a client and who used to have Bud Selig as an active partner in the firm, was shocked. My Dad’s dream was to be a broadcaster, and like him I share that dream of just being able to do it once. Unfortunately I tried out for ESPN in 2003 with Stuart Scott (ok I didn’t TRY out but I was in the booth at the NFL Experience at 6am and did a mini-try out) and I was told to either not be so hungover for it or not to quit my day job. Ha. At any rate I di-gress. My Dad was impressed with the shout out..and so was I, not to have bragging rights to my friends, but because it was an effort made by my good friend Brian in the Cubs office to have them give me a shout out because he KNEW I’d be watching, and he knew that I missed the Cubs terribly. He didn’t even make sure I’d be watching that day, he simply knew. Next came a few phone calls from back in Chitown who were watching the game who couldn’t believe it. Then came the call from my friend Brian from the Cubs..and I was so thankful and appreciative, because it showed me that the Cubs do care about their fans. In that very moment I felt close to Len and Bob – now I know they give shout outs all the time, but it made ME feel special.
And so as I sit here on Mother’s Day, I am feeling a tad homesick, and the familiar voice of Len and Bob is making me feel at peace and some pure enjoyment on a lazy Sunday afternoon. With out them I would have no connection to the Cubs. There’s something that could be said about watching baseball in the summer on TV, and hearing the announcers make the play by plays and comment on various player stats, injuries and performances. It’s what makes baseball…baseball. There’s a certain ambience and feeling when you are listening to these guys…it really defines what baseball is all about. With out the broadcasters, baseball wouldn’t be baseball.
Look at Haray Caray – he’s a legend, and he always will be. And look at Ron Santo, although he tends to miss some plays on the radio or gets behind (sorry Ron), you still have to love him, and identify with him. He keeps us connected..they all do. I remember Chip and Steve with fondness, and honestly am still sad that they both left several years ago. Steve Stone loved the city of Chicago from what I could tell, and I am a pretty firm believer that Len and Bob truly enjoy the Cubs, Chicago and the fans.
It’s days like these where I’m thankful for you both, Len and Bob who just made me feel like I was able to watch my Cubbies in person, and am supporting them and feeling every play. Oh, and they WON. GO CUBS!
Thank you Len and Bob!