I really enjoy being a part of this whole ChicagoNow network. I assume that most of you have at least a rudimentary grasp of CN, in that you probably see the logo when you're reading this or other Cubs blogs. But what you might not know is that it's a vast network of different blogs, all connected to a main hub.
As such, there are often coordinated events, such as the semi-regular Blogapalooz-hour, in which a topic is sent out at 9pm CST via email. Bloggers then have 1 hour to write on said topic, posting the result at 10pm. I've not done it before, but I'm taking a break from both the Cubs and Sharknado 2 to do so now, so I hope at least a couple of you enjoy it.
My headline is pretty transparent, but I hope to add a little dimension to it in the following words. You see, it's not so much the team that I miss as it is the idea of the team, the romantic notion of a distilled experience that's more intoxicating than any spirit. For me, the Cubs have always been more than just a baseball team.
I grew up on a farm in Northwest IN. We had no satellite, no way to pull in more than the four or so terrestrial stations that reached us from Chicago and South Bend. And that was fine since the Cubs were on nearly every day during the summer, giving my brother and I something to watch.
But rather than try to organize all these swirling thoughts into cogent paragraphs, I'm going to make a list of the things I miss about my team, things that have been lost or simply worn away by the sandpaper of time. I miss:
- Pepsi in glass bottles
- Spending the afternoon with my little brother
- Laying a towel on the carpet to catch the crumbs from the Saltines we'd eat during games
- The smell of Grandpap microwaving his hot dogs for lunch
- Watching the NBA Superstars VHS, a free gift from SI, before and after Cubs games
- Harry Caray telling me what a beautiful day it was
- Listening to the game on the radio while standing against the glass cab of the combine, watching cornstalks being drawn asunder
- Ryno, man, Ryno
- My awe at seeing Manny Trillo jack one into the upper deck
- Steve Stone being awesome
- The way time stopped for 9 innings
- Not knowing how much players were paid
- That painting of kittens playing with balls of yarn hanging in Grandpap's living room
- Vance Law's glasses
- Shawon Dunston's arm
- Bull, Penguin, Zonk, Hawk
- WGN local commercials
- The Empire guy
- Go, Cubs, Go being a new song
- Harry singing half of Take Me Out to the Ballgame
- Names spelled backwards
I could probably go on, but I'll leave it at that. Of all those things, I miss my Grandpap the most. Sure, my dad was a Cubs fan and he'd be playing the games on the radio when he was out in the field. But it's my Grandpap with whom I associate so many of my early memories, the ones that really tie me to this team.
So I raise my glass to you now, old man. It's something a little stronger than Pepsi, but I know that's something you'd have appreciated too. I know you're looking down and smiling; you were always smiling though, weren't you? When these sorry sonsofbitches finally get it together, I'll raise another one to you and we'll celebrate together, whadya say?
Dammit, now I'm tearing up and I'm supposed to be laughing at a stupid SyFy movie and flipping to the game at commercial breaks. If nothing else, this little exercise has reminded me to stop taking the team so seriously and just enjoy the ride like I used to. Thank you for indulging me.
Thanks for reading; if you enjoyed it, please share with others. And if you'd like to be updated on my future posts, and those from the rest of the Cubs Insider team, you can subscribe below.
Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.
And be sure to like Cubs Insider on Facebook. You can also
Filed under: Uncategorized