ChicagoNow bloggers cover a lot of territory, and there is something for every taste and viewpoint. I'm not a rabid sports fan, but I make an exception for Peggy Sabado. Writing as Peggy "Saturday" (the literal translation of her last name into English), she takes us on a journey through the highways and side streets of the sports world. Interviewing Peggy is as much fun as reading her posts. Asked why she began writing her blog, Mars and Venus Go To A Game, she laid the blame on her "Very Dedicated Sports Guy" and her "regular observations of his obsessive focus on all things sports-related compared to my very casual interest" - his ability to remember the minute details of games, players, and where he sat in the stands compared to his apparent inability to remember her birthday. "I enjoy sports, love going to games - but I remember nothing," she admits. "However, of course I do know his birthday."
Beginning with her first post, Bears Win & Ladies Room Revelations At Soldier Field in November 2012, she has delivered punchy, witty, stream-of-consciousness pieces that leave me nodding and smiling. Truth in a nutshell, and ratification of the gender confusion that permeates our shared experiences when it comes to sports.
That first post is her favorite, and also one of mine. She takes us to a Bears game at Soldier Field; the home team wins, and the crowd goes wild, including her Sports Guy - "euphoric with visions of Super Bowl on the horizon" - and then she brings us down to Earth:
We are leaving the stadium, and after we go to our respective bathrooms – I walk toward him and can see he is still reeling from the thrill of the win. We have another celebratory hug and kiss, and he says: “The MEN’S room was really CRAZY – everybody’s yelling DA BEARS – game talking – high fiving – up for grabs insanity.”
“Really?” I ask with a strange look. Not that this surprises me, but I am just wondering if they are high fiving before or after they wash their hands.
Then he looked at me, with what I could tell was a sudden quizzical thought, and asks, “So what about the LADIES Room…Is everybody talking about the game – were they going crazy too – like the MENS Room - were they????
I paused for a moment and looked him in the eye – squeezed his hand and then revealed the truth – I couldn’t lie. “No honey, nothing went on in the LADIES Room after the game. No game-talk – no hysteria – no one even mentioned the game - nada – nothing. One girl said she liked my boots…otherwise pretty damn quiet except for the flushing.”
Sometimes, a writer combines humor with a subject that touches the heart. In August 2013, Peggy wrote about the AAGPBL (All-American Girls Professional Baseball League), in A League of Their Own Prompts Charm School for Major League Baseball Players. Deftly combining a page from history with a proposal for cleaning up the image of pro ball players, it's a "don't miss" read for men and women alike. Football fans will also enjoy Size Does Matter When Watching the Super Bowl (January 2014) - I laughed all the way through it!
Certain that her readers were unfailingly loyal, I asked Peggy if she had ever been surprised by a reaction to her writing. She replied:
I once wrote a satirical blog suggesting that Green Bay Fans should not rush home (after Green Bay played a game in Chicago). I based it on the fact that a while back, we had personally made a trek to the city of Green Bay, Wisconsin - and guess what? To say that there's not a hell of a lot there except Lambeau Field and the PACKERS would be an understatement. So, I merely extended a friendly invitation to the Cheeseheads to stick around a while and enjoy all that Chicago has to offer...museums, theatre, fine restaurants, on-going events, etc. etc., before they head back to their (my opinion) bleak city.
A Green Bay resident took extreme offense to my tongue in cheek comparison and spent considerable time writing in defense of his hometown and berating me and my arrogant Chicago attitude. Truthfully, I was elated to read his rant...someone actually read my blog, and I "pushed a button". Nothing wrong with a good debate.
I could go to bat (yes, that's a sports pun, although the wrong sport) for Green Bay and its Packers and argue against the "bleak" city label, but I'll save that comment for the next time I see Peggy in the Ladies' bathroom after a game. Maybe that will be the day she finally gets the chance at her first-choice interview, with Bears QB Jay Cutler and his wife, actress Kristin Cavallari. Hey, that reminds me - Jay Cutler was on the radio recently and mentioned that his wife had hired an animal communicator - maybe I can come along and interview their dog!