The World Cup kicks off today in Brazil and I guess that's a big deal to a lot of folks out there. Meanwhile, on this side of the equator, the U.S. Open is underway at Pinehurst. But the USMNT doesn't swing into action until Monday and Tiger's still laid up with back problems, so I care little for either event.
Okay, truth be told, I wouldn't really be following them either way. I mean, the World Cup is pretty cool and all, when thousands of vuvuzelas aren't messing it up and making it sound like I've got a beehive in my home. Which gets me thinking about the time there actually was a beehive in my home; well, my parents' home, but I was still living there at the time.
The rooms on the south side of the house had angled sections that came down from the ceiling to the wall, and I was watching TV in my parents' room (these were the days of only 2 televisions [gasp!] in the average middle-class home) when I heard a scratching noise coming from the inside of one of these wall/ceiling sections.
Assuming it was a rat or squirrel or some such, I tapped lightly on the wall so as to scare it off and put an end to the annoying sound. To my chagrin, the noise didn't stop; so now I've got my dander up but I'm also a little curious as to this critter's temerity. And so I gave the wall a little rap with my knuckles; nothing hard, just enough to let the thing know I was there.
And that's when my hand went right through the wall and into...a wasp's nest. Yes, the enterprising Hymenoptera had exploited a small breach in the siding of the house and had proceeded to build a nice little lair, nearly digging all the way into the house in doing so. I had punched through little more than a layer of paint, which they've have surely spilled through on their own in short order anyway.
Needless to say, my shock was evident; this was like walking in on someone in the bathroom, except less embarrassing and more painful. Lesson learned, I stopped knocking on walls and ceilings after that. Okay, now where was I again?
Ah yes, the World Cup. As Cubs fans, we have heard about proposed renovations to our beloved Wrigley for years now, while in Brazil they are playing soccer in stadiums that aren't even finished. I wonder whether any businessmen in Rio and elsewhere have erected bleachers atop their buildings.
So I might pay cursory attention to the goings-on in Brazil over the next few weeks, but I think the US being in that Group of Death sort of quashed what little interest I may have had. Then again, I'm used to watching a team with no chance competing in a division with superior competition, so maybe watching the WC will be more familiar than I think.
As for golf, there's something about the U.S. Open that I just can't get behind. When I watch professional sports, I want to see athletes out there doing things that I could never dream of. I don't want to see a guy win a 72-hole tournament by shooting even par. Sure, I'd card at least 400 or so for the long weekend, but that's not really the point.
In truth, I will be following the scoring of the event, if only because I've got a fantasy golf team to manipulate. Yes, I'm one of those degenerates who actually participates in fantasy golf; I actually finished 44th in the world one season. And BirdieInHandWorth2InBushwood is currently leading the pack in the Spring segment of our 36-week season. Were it not for my failure to set a lineup in Week 8 of the Winter, I'd be way out in front.
Sorry, got off on another tangent. You should really do a better job of keeping me on point, you know. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, in spite of much bigger and more (relatively) important sporting events, my attention this weekend will be on the Cubs.
And it's not as if they're even playing decent teams; the Pirates are currently sitting 3 games under .500 and Ryne Sandberg's Phillies squad is only 1 game better than his old team right now. Well, the Phillies are his old team too, but I mean his old team in terms of the one with which he's most often associated.
So why do I choose to put myself through it, to watch a team that I know full well isn't really built to compete, particularly when there are so many other options? Well, I'm not sure the reason is simple, but I'll try to make it so. It's the same reason I changed my kids' poopy diapers and cleaned up their vomit, both in spite of my own revulsion.
My kids are sort of named after the team too, so that would fit. And as I've told them before, "Nothing you do could make me love you any less." I might not like the choices they make or way they're behaving at times, but I'm never going to stop being their father. Some of you may find this hyperbolic, but that's honestly the same way I feel about the Cubs.
I may not like watching them all the time, I may criticize and yell and turn off the TV or radio, but nothing they do can make me love them any less. So that's why I'll still be watching when they're 20 games under and all other talk turns to the Bears and the upcoming season, or to D-Rose's recovery and Melo's new destination.
But it's also why I'll be watching when Kris Bryant comes up and makes both men and women a little weak in the knees and when Javier Baez swings his maple mace with murderous maximum velocity. When the team finally changes the punchline to the tired old joke and the sign reads AC000000 (well, if the Cubs are still at Wrigley and the rooftops are still there).
It's not an addiction, but it's not a choice either; I'm sure some of you know how I feel. And I'm sorry for you, but only in the same way I'm sorry for new parents who've got to wake up at irregular intervals throughout the night. I just hope that we can all look back on this rebuilding process one day with a sense of humor.
So you can have your worldwide phenomenons and your heralded golf tournaments. I'm going to watch my baseball team fight its way out of a wet paper bag, loving and hating it and the same time and hoping for the day that don't have to be conflicted about it any more.
Follow me on Twitter: @DEvanAltman
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