Baseball is a Not-So-Guilty Pleasure

Baseball is a Not-So-Guilty Pleasure

Fearless leader at Chicago Now asked us to blog about this:

Write a post passionately defending your guilty pleasure(s).Think food, TV shows, celebrities, publications, movies, in-laws, whatever it is that probably kind of sucks but you (and maybe only you) definitely kind of love.

In many ways, both baseball and the Cubs are considered to be things that suck.

For baseball, it's too slow, the guys don't always look like athletes (see: Bartolo Colon), there's too little actual action, etc etc etc.

For the Cubs...well, considering they haven't won since the Ottoman Empire was still a thing, that part is a bit more understandable.

I have to say that I don't care about those people.  They're too negative, they don't understand my passion, and they're people I prefer not to hang out with anyway (unless they're my friends, in which case I'll put up with them because they're cool in other ways).

When it's mid-March and the temperature still won't consistently rise above 40 degrees, I start thinking about green grass, ivy, and the soft *WHUMPH* of baseballs hitting leather gloves.  I've already bought my tickets to my first game at Wrigley Field, where the bonus is that I get a Babe Ruth bobblehead, but the main goal is to relax with my family and take in the sounds, sights and smells of baseball.  There's something so beautiful and simple about watching world-class athletes play a kid's game at a high level (even if it is the Cubs and Brewers, guffaw) while eating processed foods ('MURICA!).  I enjoy teaching my son about the game, I enjoy hanging out with my family, and I love that at any moment, a well-placed foul ball could be the perfect souvenir (besides the Babe Ruth bobblehead) for another lovely day at the park.

My passion for baseball is why, as soon as I was hired as a teacher, I sought out the athletic director and asked how I could be of assistance to the baseball team.  I got to know the student-athletes, supported them both with tutoring and with conditioning drills, and offered advice and adjustments where I could to supplement the coaching from the main guys (you know, the guys who actually played baseball on real teams, not just for fun).  Like me, the other coaches and the players were bummed out that winter lasted so long, and our first two games would essentially become canceled.  Hopefully the following week will be warmer and rain-free so we can finally play.

As for the Cubs, it doesn't really make sense for a non-Chicago native to be a fan, does it?  I mean, I grew up with the late 1980s Oakland A's pennant winning teams (World Series champs in 1989) and also with the San Francisco Giants, a team that had one of the all-time greats in Barry Bonds.  But it was a guy named Sammy Sosa who brought me to the blue side.  I got sucked into the mythos, the perpetual underdog status, and the concept of the lovable loser.  And as I grew as a baseball fan, I learned more about baseball and why it was that the Cubs were always so bad.  That's why I'm so excited now at the prospect of Theo Epstein's prospects (see what I did there?) turning into something more tangible in the near future.  Sustained success, consistently in the playoffs, increased odds of winning that elusive World Series.  If you're going to start out as a baseball fan, being a Cubs fan might not be for everyone, but following a complete overhaul of a franchise has been a great deal of fun, even if parts of it have been very frustrating.

The Cubs right now don't just kind of suck...they flat out suck.  But as I've always said, bad baseball is better than no baseball.  And I'm not guilty about saying that.

Filed under: Baseball nostalgia

Tags: Baseball, Cubs

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