Anarchist's Brunch - I Know The Way So Don't You Run Away

Editor's Note:  Today we have a very special edition of Anarchist's Brunch.  Adam's brother Sam, whom many of you know from his outstanding Blackhawks blog and program/newsletter, The Committed Indian.

I Know The Way So Don't You Run Away

by Sam Fels

I think the first thing to know about my brother and baseball is that Adam ditched school to be at the game in April of '83 that caused Lee Elia to famously blow up and give that diatribe (which gives you some idea of what kind of student he was). For me, that speech is about 10 times funnier when you picture it directed at a confused, 13-year-old Adam Fels who just wanted to spend a day at Wrigley. "What'd i do?!" Sometimes I feel like that experience colored Adam's entire view of Cubs and baseball. After all, being called a c*****cker and a mother****er at 13 by the Cubs manager can be awfully scarring.

Even though my day job is hockey, and Adam's the one responsible for that, our first love has always been the Cubs. Our Hawks' fandom wavered from time to time due to the team being awful or Bill Wirtz or a combination thereof. Maybe it was the proximity to Wrigley from where we grew up that it was ingrained. It was always a 20-minute walk away. We could see it from our parents' bedroom window, It seemingly was always calling to us.

When I was about 9 or 10, my parents left for five days one summer to Sante Fe for their 25th wedding anniversary. For some inexplicable, idiotic reason they left my brother in charge of me. I remember my mother's last words before she headed out the door was to tell Adam to make sure that I got to day camp on time. The door couldn't have been closed more than five seconds when I asked my brother if I really had to go to day camp. "Of course not, we're going to Wrigley the next two days."

I think about it now and it kind of amazes me. Here was a 19-year old or 20-year old being left on his own for five days, and instead of telling his pisshead little brother to stay in his room so he could go wild, his first priority was to take me to two straight Cubs-Mets games in the bleachers (they were still fun then) to get flipped off by Darryl Strawberry. I felt so renegade, so bad, here I was ditching my responsibilities to go watch baseball. I guess that was when my current attitude that led to me doing what I do now was first instilled. I was one of the cool kids, the one your classmates talked about in hushed tones because I ditched to go to a Cubs game with my older brother (whom my friends worshipped when I was that age).

Sidenote, we tried this same plan the next season, where my brother came to school this time to pick me up early one Friday because we were heading out on a "family vacation." The ruse fell apart when for the first and only time I can remember my parents left work early to pick me up from school, only to find I wasn't there. It was one of the hundreds of times my mother yelled at my brother while my father did his best to not laugh, knowing all the time it was exactly something he would have done if he'd thought of it first.

Pretty much all my memories of Adam are traced through the Cubs and Hawks. I remember him calling in '89 after the Giants had throttled the Cubs in the NLCS to make sure I wasn't crying (of course I fucking was). One Bears memory was before the NFC Championship game against the 49ers (supposedly "Bear Weather." My ass.). Before he left to go watch with some buddies, he made me promise I wouldn't cry if the Bears lost. I did. But 28-0 was too much for me to handle, and he came home to comfort me anyway. I remember calling him in 2003 and 2008 -- after the Harden trade -- telling each other we didn't think the Cubs would win the World Series. We KNEW they were. Whoops.

Even in the fallow years, and lord knows there's been enough of those, we were happiest watching the Cubs or at Wrigley. Or calling each other to bitch about the Brennamans. Or make fun of Cardinals fans (his disappointment when I briefly dated one was palpable). I remember sending my brother a text about three minutes after the Red Sox had won in 2004. All it said was, "One day..." He called the next day to yell at me about how sad that made him. I remember talking about a complete game Maddux shutout in L.A. in 2005 that was so beautiful we were both almost driven to tears (though he had the added bonus of listening to Vin Scully call it).

For as long as I can remember, all I wanted to be was my brother. The wit, the intelligence, the voice that you have come to love here at this blog, I've tried to emulate it pretty much everyday of my life. Sometimes I think I've got it, and then he would come up with some line or joke that I would never conceive of. Always giving me something to chase. Maybe one day I'll get there.

I can't tell you how much the emails you've sent, or the comments you left on his tribute post last Monday, have meant to me and how much they've helped get through what is an awful time. I'll forever be appreciative. As hard as it is though, I know what Adam would say to help get me through it. You do too.

Onwards.

Filed under: Guest Post

Tags: Anarchist's Brunch

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  • Sam, that was awesome. I appreciate you writing that, and I looked forward to your brothers recap's and articles daily. John is a class act, and we'll all miss Adam, whether we knew him personally or not. Godspeed, my friend.

  • I'm at a loss for words here Sam. Thanks for sharing your awesome memories with us. Just seeing the "Anarchists Brunch" title flooded me with a wave of emotions & memories of Adam.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family right now.

  • What a wonderfully touching tribute Sam.

  • onwards, indeed. tks for sharing, sam.

  • Great. Now I'M crying. Thanks, Sam. Adam would be proud.

  • What a very heartfelt tribute. Thank you for sharing the way in which you and Adam came to love the Cubs. We all share it with someone we love, yours was your brother. For me, it was my wife but through the voices of Vince and Lou during the week, Jack Brickhouse on Sundays, and Fresca and hot dogs in the third row down the third baseline. Our thoughts are with you and your family.

  • "One day" and Adam will be watching. Thanks for the brunch.

  • Awesome. Thanks for sharing that and the memories of your brother. Like many others, it was a real punch in the gut last Monday reading that you're brother had passed. I genuinely felt like I lost a friend. And though I never met Adam, his spirit and passion for Cub baseball and his recaps came to be meaningful to me in a way I didn't fully comprehend until now not having them. Like many others, I'm sure, seeing you coping with your brother's loss, and reading this has helped his faithful readers move ONWARDS as well. Thank you for sharing this.

    COZ

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    The Committed Indian has been nothing but friendly and helpful to me when I had questions. My deepest condolences on your loss, and thanks for the outstanding column.

  • Great stories Sam, I have a lot of envy for those experiences, just sounds like an awesome relationship. I am sure your stories and Adams will stay with us for a long time.

  • Vey well written! Best wishes!

  • When one loses his brother, he has lost so much. I will say a prayer for you.

  • A GREAT TRIBUTE SAM! Thanks for the brunch! I will remember Adam forever. My prayers and codolences to you and your family. ONWARDS MY FRIEND!

  • A touching tribute to your brother, Sam. Thanks for sharing your memories.

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    Thank you Sam for posting such a touching tribute. You are in my prayers. When we lose a loved one too soon, it's so difficult, but those I have lost I know wanted me to cherish the memories, and move....Onwards.

  • Sam, first off please accept my deepest sympathies.

    Adam definitely was the cool kid that everyone admired. He wrote with a passion for the Cubs that only a true, long-suffering fan could truly appreciate. We've all enjoyed his personal stories about family outings to the ballpark (thanks for adding more - what a great older brother!). I think that's what made Adam so successful as a writer here at Cubs Den, and why so many of us are struggling to cope with the loss of someone we never met persona lly. He was a stand-up guy that called it as he saw it, didn't mind poking the bear a bit, and also was man enough to admit that he was wrong (just a couple of weeks ago, he mentioned this about his initial thoughts on Ruggiano).

    But again, Adam was the cool kid. As good as in-game reporting were, they were still generally written about a bad team playing awful ball. He kept us reading with his personal stories and (sometimes) obscure references. Then he'd chat back and forth with those of us that were still reading. That made for a tight-knit community here at the Den that I've not personally seen anywhere else online. And I could tell that Adam appreciated the readers and commentors too.

    I'm blabbering at this point. I miss him. I miss his references. Thank you for sharing your brother with us at the Cubs Den.

  • Thank you for a beautifully written column. I hope you will consider writing more for Cubs Den in addition to your Committed Indian blog to which I will now subscribe.

    I am so very sorry for your loss

  • Damn Sam, That was beautiful.

  • Thank you so much for sharing this, Sam. I wish I had gotten the opportunity to meet Adam but his spirit came across so clearly in his writing that I felt I knew him well (and now even better thanks to your recollections). Thank you for sharing. Please know how much Adam is missed, even here in Colorado.

  • Thank you for sharing this small piece of your heart, Sam. Onwards, indeed...

  • Sam, your brother through his writing touched us in so many way. I thank you for writing this piece as it helps us gain insight to the man that tickled our funny bones as he typed out the combination of words that only a Felzzy could do. Onwards.

  • It's good to know I'm not the only one with tears.
    .
    Sam, I never met either of you, though you know my daughter Bridgid.

    I was shocked and devastated when John's column told us about Adam's passing. You've talked so often about him in C.I that... well, I can't really imagine what losing him is like for you.

    Thank you so much for writing this Brunch. Echoing what others have said, Adam had a true fan's passion for his favorite team. It came through loud and clear in everything he wrote. The wit, the love, and the scorn for all things scum (Motown and river!) will be dearly and sorely missed. And we're just readers... not his heartbroken younger brother.

    I hope this has given you some small measure of solace. Onwards indeed!!!!

  • I was avoiding logging into Cubs Den today because I knew I,d be missing my weekly dose of Anarchist' Brunch. Thanks for sharing great stories about Adam with the rest of us. I hope you know how much we will miss him too!

  • When my wife and I went to the Cubs game on Friday I saw something that immediately made me laugh and think of Felzy. It's about an BEFORE the game and here comes what I thought was a homeless man walking towards me. As he walked closer I saw that it was a Cardinals fan completely drunk being held up by a friend. I swear I thought it was a homeless man. He probably had no teeth too.

    Thanks for sharing this piece with us Sam. Amazing. Adam always made me laugh.

  • What a great Sunday Brunch. Thank you for this Sam. Ada will be hugely missed here at the Den. We will all laugh just a bit less without him. Words can do no justice, but I am so sorry for your loss. I though you might like one of my favorite quotes, it seems fitting right now...

    I sought my soul, but my soul I could not see. I sought my God, but my God eluded me. I sought my brother and I found all three. ~Author Unknown

    Onward.

  • I havent commented in a long time but read both Cubs Den and TCI everyday and i just wanted to say extremely well done Sam, a very beautiful & fitting tribute to your brother. I loved Adam's work here and the world is a worse place without his wit,humor and presence.

    Condolences and best wishes to your family

    Onwards

  • Sam thank you for sharing these wonderful memories with us. Adam will be greatly missed. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

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    Here's hoping the Cubs beat the Cardinals today for Felzzy.

  • Great stories and the wit was priceless. I cut a convention I was supposed to go to for work 30 years ago and saw the Sandberg game. Thank you for the article and your cool brother.

  • (clap)(clap)(clap)(clap)(clap)(clap)(clap)(clap)

  • Thanks for your thoughts on both Cubs and your brother Sam - he's missed here as well.

    I know I would have ditched school to head off to Wrigley too,... and might even have brought my brothers. Great memories - don't be a stranger here.

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    Thank you Sam. That was very touching. Adam will be missed. Judging by the dates of your story, he and I were the same age. As someone who was very nearly taken far too soon in 2012, I will hold a special place for your family in my nightly prayers. God bless you and keep you well brother.

  • Most of us faithful Cubs Den readers never knew Adam personally, but when he passed we all felt like we had lost a good friend. That was the kind of impact his writing and his love of the Cubs had on us. I cannot count the number of time he had me laughing out loud while reading one of his articles. He will always be missed here. Thank you for taking a moment to share that with all of us. Onwards.

  • Some Day........ And You'll Be Watching With A Big Crowd. Miss You Felzy

  • Wow, what a nice treat that was.

    Sam, I think it's safe to say your brother and his memory live on with the readers and writers of this blog. It's Sunday morning out West, and like every Sunday morning in my house for the past two years, I have my coffee and a little bit of anarchy. Thanks.

    Onwards.

  • Awesome... reminds me of cutting school, and driving our older friends car...when we were 15. And all the times I made my younger brothers buy into my bad ideas. He'll always be with you. Onwards

  • Thanks Sam, what a beautiful piece. Adam reminded me of my own wild big brother - insanely funny and full of heart. The only comfort I've found in the rough transitions, is to go on loving the person as hard as I can. When I find myself missing someone, I send them my love. And it feels like it brings them closer. Peace to you ~

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    Sam, thank you for sharing. Your tribute/story was one of the best things I have ever read. I'd like both my kids to read it too

  • My condolences as well. Thanks for sharing. Made me tear up like I knew I would when I saw the brunch pop up this morning. I think I read every article written by Adam here at Cubs Den. When he first started the recaps I wasn't sure I liked his writing style. But after about a month I couldn't get enough. I completely gave up reading any other Cubs recaps. He had a wit only us die hard fans could get. I still haven't read a recap of a Cubs game since he passed. How can you go back to reading the Tribune after reading Felzy. I've been at a lost since his death and can't imagine the pain you and your family are in at this difficult time. You are in my prayers!

  • I'm sorry for your loss Sam.

  • Thanks, Sam. We'll miss him always.

    Good writing - Adam is proud of you. Keep going, and please visit often.

  • Sam, thanks for sharing. You have some great memories with Adam which I hope help with the healing process.

  • Never met Adam but felt I knew him my entire life. Sounds like an amazing guy and that you two had an amazing relationship.
    Sincere condolences to you and your family. He is missed.

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    Thanks.

  • Sam, thanks so much for sharing your memories and these stories about Adam, helping us to know him better. I have looked forward to reading the Anarchist's Brunch every week, so it was a delight to see your guest column. But also very bittersweet, knowing what we've lost. I hope you will visit the Den again.

    You should know how much we appreciated Adam's voice on this site. I am one of those who is fully behind the rebuild, but I also appreciated Adam's sometimes contrarian take on things, and how he emphasized that results on the major league level are what's important. His take on things will be very much missed.

    When I read the news last week, it was such a shock, and I was in disbelief about it for a couple of days at least. I can't fathom how much worse it is for you. But know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Our condolences to you all.

  • Great read! It's awesome to see the way the Cubs or sports in general can leave us with such great memories, even if painful ('03 and '08 Cubs!). Fellzy made the last couple seasons tolerable with the spot on game recaps. I don't know what else to say, just wanted to leave a note. As always.....

    Onwards.

  • Thanks Sam for writing this. It's a shot in the arm for us as we miss Adam and all he did to brighten our days

  • Our prayers go out to you on everyones loss. Have only been lurking at Cubs Den since the passing of my friend last July. A rabid Cubs fan who always said the Cubs would win it all after he was gone. They will and soon. Felzzy and Don will watch with pride when that day comes. Onwards from a rabid White Sox fan. God bless you and your family.

  • Sam,

    Please accept my deepest sympathies for your loss. It's easy to tell from your article how close you were to him and how much you loved and respected him. Again, my deepest sympathies to you and your family.

  • thanks Sam. Really a wonderful tribute to your brother. he certainly brought a lot of happiness to the folks on this blog as it sounds like he did with his family. a wonderful soul!

  • Sam, that was an amazing piece. It actually made me laugh and it also brought a tear to my eyes. Seems like yesterday that I was writing Adam trying to console him after your fathers passing, very, very sorry for your loss.

    Also thanks to John for letting Sam post this. Felzz will be sorely missed by all of the Cubs Den readers.

  • Thank you Sam for your column. And once again condolences to your family on losing Adam. Adam will be missed here.

  • No better legacy than to be truly missed by many.

    Onwards

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    That was great. Well done. I'm sure your bro is proud.

  • My condolences Sam. Lost my brother a few years ago, in his 30s, too too soon. As you can see, we all loved Adam's writing here.

  • My condolences to you and your family, Sam. Thank you for sharing this heartfelt tribute to your brother with us. He will be deeply missed.

  • Young Sam, as you were once known, my condolences to you and your family. Not fair that one family should get so much funny...and cool.

  • This was brilliantly written. Your loss is heaven's gain. Your brother seems like that perfect kind of big brother we all wish we had (I hope my older brother does not read this). Its fantastic that you are able to cherish such fantastic memories from as a child through to today, for that is the most important part to enjoy the memories.

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    Thank you Sam! I loved this story...

  • Sam - WOW. Thank you for sharing a part of your soul with us here at Cubs Den. It's not always the easiest thing to do to, to share those intimate moments with your loved ones with strangers. I appreciate, as I'm sure the rest of the Den does as well.

    I absolutely loved your brother's articles here. I could feel his Love and Passion in the very well written and funny Brunches and Recaps. Even though I never met him, I Knew him. And now I feel like I Know him even better, thanks to you Sam. Just like him, going through the ups and downs of being a Cubs Fan, I have always looked Forward. To when THAT moment would come.

    Like you and Adam, my brother share a Bond through the Cubs that means so much to our relationship, it's good to see that we're not the only ones that share that special Bond. Thanks again for reminding me of that and sharing your beautiful words.

    Onwards...

  • Thanks for sharing your touching stories. While most of never met Adam, we all felt like we knew him. He spoke to our hearts and could bring to words through wit, honesty and something we all could feel. He was a treasure here. I am so sorry for your loss. As something so simple that he'd say but carried so much weight, "onward". Godspeed, Sam.

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