October 2005 Archives for Agony & Ivy
I have a few odds and ends – items that were not long enough to be a full column (at least 900 words or so by my count) – so I’ll just throw them out there:
- In case anyone hasn’t seen the new Family Guy DVD, there’s a section where Stewie is in Wrigley Field. It’s downright hilarious, and you can watch that clip here at thatvideosite.com. It’s highly recommended viewing, and only takes about 15 seconds.
Major Joppolo said: “Why?”
“Because of what you want for Adano. That’s why everyone here loves you. There is no one here who will say a bad word about you, and that’s a rare thing in Adano.”
The Major said: “And I know why I like you.”
“For a very selfish reason: because you make me feel as if I were almost important.”
“Oh, you are,” Tina said, with just enough mockery in her voice.
-- John Hersey in Chapter 36 of A Bell For Adano , published in 1944.
I doubt that very many people caught Mike Comerford’s column in The Daily Herald, but in it he talks about the possibility that the Cubs could be sold at some point by the Tribune Company, who is suffering from stock prices in a tailspin. (alternate link here.) This would have come as a surprise to me had I not recently read an article called “Fault Line” by Ken Auletta in the Oct. 10, 2005 New Yorker (not available online). It’s about the Tribune Company’s ownership strategy with regard to the LA Times. Comerford’s source cites the LA Times as a core asset, and the Cubs as peripheral, so considering the cuts made with the Times’ budget, I think there is a lot regarding the Cubs to consider as a corollary. If they are willing to cut a core asset, what will they do with a peripheral asset? Right now, the Cubs are making money, having sold out the entire season before it began last year, but it’s not hard to play out the following scenario:
There are times when baseball is metaphysical and mythical, as forces greater than mere physics propel teams to victory against all odds when their back is against the wall. There are also times when a team simply stampedes its way to victory after victory by playing superior baseball. This was one of the latter.
It's hard to explain just how a lifelong Cub fan feels about the Sox thrilling championship run: emphathetic and excited, yes, but also divided and ultimtely, unable to fully partake in the joy. Amid all the calls for citywide baseball unification, you want to jump aboard the Ozzie Express, but there are a few things holding you back. For this Cub fan, the Sox can only be savored from a chilly, envious distance.
Editorial note: I wrote this in the airport, but didn't get a chance to post it until now.
There is something oddly satisfying about flying from Houston to St. Louis on the morning after last night’s game. I’m traveling to St. Louis to stand for a wedding; two die-hard Cardinal fans who used to be my roommates are going to pronounce their intentions to be man and wife, and the groom’s father (a pastor) will say a few words, and so there’s a good chance that in a few years there will be baby Cardinal fans in the world and I will have to pretend that this is a good thing. (Joking, of course.) Still, I was not looking forward to the prospect of being in St. Louis during a miraculous game 7 or worse, a miraculous comeback that sent them to the World Series. Yet, the satisfaction I feel goes a bit deeper than that, and I think I need to sort through it.
(Or, Why I Really Hope The Chicago Cubs Organization Is Paying Attention)
I happened to be in a dive bar in the northwest Chicago suburbs about three years ago. My roommate at the time and I both liked dive bars. We were there for cheap pitchers of Old Style, and to shoot some pool. Between games and between pitchers, we went to the bar for a refill. Two middle-aged men sat there, nursing beers, and arguing quite loudly about the 1985 Bears like it was 1985. The main point of contention was whether Willie Gault is overrated. (Not ‘was’ overrated; ‘is.’) My point? Chicago sports fans have long memories, and for better or worse, conversations like that one are not uncommon in dark corner taverns all across the area.
Clark, Addison, Waveland and Sheffield
The most interesting angle of the story to me is the set of assumptions. Many of you have no doubt already heard about the dilemma facing ESPN 1000’s Dan McNeil. He spoke about it on the air on Friday, and he wrote a column about it for the Northwest Indiana Times. In summary, McNeil donated two pairs of playoff tickets to a charity raffle raising money for a White Sox fan with cancer. Two Cubs fans each won a set of tickets, but the second winner -- the winner of the World Series tickets -- intends to sell them for a large profit, according to McNeil. Mac hasn’t given the man the tickets yet, and feels tempted to deny the Cubs fan the tickets on principle, knowing full well he could be taken to court over the matter.