Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Don't Tell Me How to Be a Fan

There is a myth that in Chicago you grow up cheering for one baseball team or another and that those who tell you "both" are lying. Well...I was born on North Ave. (the official dividing line) and when I was a kid...we watched the Cubs when they were on in the afternoon and then the Sox at night after we finished our homework. If dodge ball was on ABC's Wide World of Sports...we watched it. That is how I originally learned about the Ironman Triathlon.

Popular sport or obscure sport...we watch 'em all.

I've put up with Herman Franks, Dusty Baker and other baseball genius as a Cub fan. Now I have to destroy my normal schedule so TBS and MLB can make more money?

I was driving home at 7 and hear the Dave on WGN Sports Central spouting off about "if you're a die hard Cub fan the time of the games doesn't matter". (Referring to the upcoming stupid MLB playoff schedule that has the Cubs playoff games starting at 10pm Eastern time (9pm Chicago time)...and my personal favorite...on Chicago Marathon Sunday (one of the world's major marathons) the baseball game starts at 12 noon. I have several problems with what Dave said and the schedule itself.

1) Have the people who set this schedule even been to Chicago? City traffic on Sunday will be an absolute disaster. For those of you who haven't driven in Chicago on marathon Sunday...here it is. Put your foot on the brake. Car in drive. Sit. Every 20 minutes, move the car 10-15 feet forward.

2) Most people have jobs that they actually care about (0r care about the money in those jobs) in order to provide for their family. Staying up to watch a stupid baseball game until midnight may happen once in a week...but not twice. I'll be slurring my words from fatigue on Friday. I am a night person but unfortunately the rest of the world forces me to get up earlier and execute the functions of my day. The fact is unless I am given time off for "MLB Playoffs" (unlikely)...I'm not going to see much Cub baseball this post season. Which is kinda like other post season baseball from any other year now that I think about it.

3) 40,000 people running the Chicago Marathon will need their sleep leading up to the race. As poor as my dedication to my training has been late this season...you won't catch me watching these games live. I'll be in bed by 8. It doesn't mean I love the Cubs any less. Only, I have the good sense to know that there are a lot of things more important in my life.

4) Life...Dave implied that life should stop because of the Cubs. Well...you're sadly mistaken. The fact that I have a life tells me that my life will not stop because the Cubs are on and in the playoffs. Sure, I'll do my best to see them when I'm actually awake. The day that I turn over my life to those who create TV and radio schedules (looking for huge advertising dollars) will be a sad day in hell.

5) Money...Can you explain again why is it important for me to hang my self worth on a team made up of millionaires who aren't from my city? I even like some of the personalities I see on the Cubs but win or lose - they don't effect my life and how I feel about me. (I stopped caring that much long ago. For details please reference: the 1992 baseball strike, Mike McCasey, Dave Wanstadt, Barry Bonds, BALCO, and Fast Food Nation.) Most of these guys make more in a week than I will make in the next 25 years; kinda like CEOs. The CEO where I am working now makes $59.2 million (before bonuses, stock options and perks) and is considered "under paid" by CEO standards. This is the "Lee Iaccoca Effect" where companies in the late-1980s started to put huge compensation packages to ensure loyalty since executives in that era weren't. Of course, back then, employees usually stayed 25+ years at a company...now if you stay two years...I think you should get a gold watch and full pension. This assumes you haven't already been outsourced to India, Ireland or Russia or just laid off.

Isn't it right that I should want to see my team at a reasonable time? What about the little kids who won't see their home town baseball team play in the playoffs? Those are the future fans of the sport.

That said, Go Cubs! Last World Series win...99 years ago. I'll see every inning but probably won't see it before early December.

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