WAIW Cubs Blog Roundtable, Week 2: "We came for the baseball, we stayed for the donkey show."

Friday, April 3, 2009

WAIW Cubs Blog Roundtable, Week 2: "We came for the baseball, we stayed for the donkey show."

. Friday, April 3, 2009

We at WAIW are lucky enough to be acquainted with the operators of a bunch of excellent Cubs blogs. Every Friday throughout the 2009 season, we're going to bring as many of them as we can together to share their thoughts on being Cubs fans. Today's topic - our own irrational behavior as Cubs fans:

Cubs fans are, by their nature, irrational. We at WAIW are no different. John has stayed in his upper-deck seat while a miserable late-March snow fell in 2007. Steve got boozed at The Irish Oak and spent $80 on a vintage-style Cubs sweatshirt. I think we've all been "sick" when a divisional opponent has been in town on a beautiful June Friday, risking the wrath of our bosses. What's the most irrational thing you've done for or because of the Cubs?


One spring I was in AZ for work. I had freetime during the afternoon in which I planned to take in the first several innings of the Cubs game at Hohokam and I would return to the hotel I was staying at for the evening events. Unfortunately things went awry and I spent several hours with my boss all the way up until first pitch. When I got out I figured there went the opportunity to hit the game, I was 40 minutes away. I went back and forth on whether it was worth driving 40 minutes two ways to see just a few innings of baseball. This makes no sense, but I did just that. I drove down to Mesa, took in about 2 innings and tracked it back to work after a hot dog and an old style. The funny thing was as irrational as this was, I really enjoyed those couple of innings out on the grass in LF.

wpbc runs Waxpaperbeercup and a newfangled Twitter too. Guess we're just too old-fashioned at WAIW. Kids these days.


Let me take you back to a slightly different time. Put yourself back in the 2003 playoffs, pre-meltdown. We all believed this choke stuff was behind us. This was a good team and we were on our way to the World Series. I don't remember which particular game in the Marlins series this was, but this is what I did:

I was working for a non-profit organization that served people with disabilities. I was a Job Developer, which meant I assisted people in finding employment. A lot of my job was setting up interviews, prepping people for interviews and going to these interviews with them. I had an interview set up for someone and the appointment was scheduled right at game time. I knew we'd have to wait 15 minutes to get in, the interview would take 20-30 minutes, it'd take me 30 minutes to drive her home and then 40 minutes for me to drive 8 miles in Southern California rush hour traffic. I fretted the whole day, trying to figure out how to pull this off.

What I did still brings me shame today. I called the employer and asked to reschedule the interview because I had a "scheduling conflict". They weren't happy, but agreed to reschedule. The individual that had the interview wasn't too happy either. I don't remember how the interview turned out, but I know she wasn't hired. I have always assumed I was responsible for that and if I hadn't rescheduled, she would have been offered a position.

Of course, we know how the series turned out. Forget Bartman, blame me and my bad karma.

Corey is running an MLB Final Standings Challenge over at Ivy Envy. We recommend you go over and prognosticate.


During the 2003 playoffs, I became convinced that the Cubs played better when I stood in my kitchen. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen in October 2003.

Wrigleyville23 has clearly illustrated that we robbed the A's mid-last year.


The risk of decapitation is nothing to joke about…but neither is missing Cubs' games. Which is why, while vacationing in Mexico a few years back I inquired on where we could watch some baseball. Being told that a barb wired, windowless, White Sox-esque shanty a few miles in town was indeed a "sports bar" with a satellite feed of MLB games, my friends and I set foot into the um, part of town that they don't put on the travel brochures. Despite the local patrons who were intensely engrossed in a futbol game - and didn't seem to wholly appreciate my friend's anti-soccer banter - we timidly had the barkeep turn the television station for our own personal enjoyment. Fortunately, as every tourist knows, cerveza is the key to mastering race relations and a round had everyone rooting for the Cubbies (and no beheadings). We came for the baseball, but we stayed for the donkey show.

WAIW is thinking of turning the last line of Jen's story into a series of souvenir needlepoints, suitable for tasteful home decoration. Check out her non-donkey show musings at Cub Blogging.


Does spending hundreds of hours on two Chicago Cubs blogs count as "irrational"?

I used to have myself convinced that I could predict every Cubs home run on a feeling. I would swear to this day it was uncanny. Problem was, Cubs home runs help the Cubs win. I want the Cubs to win. Ergo, I started getting "the feeling" a little too regularly. I was wrong for perhaps two straight years in the late '90s before I gave up the practice.

Looking back, it was pretty silly. Think I could predict - and maybe even have an effect on - Chicago Cubs home runs. Ridiculous.

Now I only predict doubles.

If Ace really did have predictive power related to the Cubs, he'd probably be too depressed to keep up Bleacher Nation and The Cubs Brickyard.

The Ted Lilly Fan Club

The answer to your question is easy. The most irrational thing we've done for the Cub's is starting a blog and then making 350+ subsequent posts. Sure, the Cubs don't "need" us to get up every day, put of our virtual hardhat, pick up our virtual thermos, and kiss our virtual wife on the cheek as we head out our virtual door to our blog, but we do it anyway.

The Cub's have always had lovable characters that fans adopt as their professional athlete besty buddy; you only have to look to Mark Grace or Jody Davis as examples of this phenomenon. As Cubs fans, and Ted Heads, we wanted to get a movement started around someone with a little more edge, a little more grit, and a little more immortality/formed in the ashes of Mordor. We wanted to give Cub Fans a place to rightly worship lefty Ted Lilly with a healthy side order of pop-culture allusions, ab references and inane baseball commentary.

Sure, we've done other strange things in the name of the Cubs. We often joke that we broke up with an Cubs inside ticket source, pre season, because we felt that Murphy's Law would then dictate our inability to get into a subsequent World Series game, but that's simply not true. We broke up because she didn't like sleeping with our life sized, inflatable, version of Ted (or maybe our Spider Man underpants) but we digress.

Surely, you understand this effort. And it's nice to know that the 2 people that read TLFC (hi my two Dads!) are supportive. However, this blog isn't for them, it's for the children, and they are our future.

The Ted Lilly Fan Club hopes to make Ted a famous household name - really, the next Selena. Too soon?

Ginger Russ

The question is rather loaded, considering probably the MOST irrational thing Cub fans can ever do is STAY Cub fans. Each year we begin with hope and determination, but end up crying in our Old Style's. Hell, what fandom has the perennial slogan, "Next Year is Now". But the obvious aside, I've never done anything too irrational for my team. Never got a Cubs tattoo (yet), called in sick for a game, or spent $130 for bleacher seats...oh wait, that last one I did...twice, but that's a different story.

No, I guess the most irrational thing I do is for the past 2 years I have traveled to the BOB, or Chase Field, or whatever the fuck they are calling it these days to go to see the Cubs take on the local douche-bags, the D-Backs (or D-Bags as we call them, get it?). And each year I, along with 25,000 other Cub fans who make up 85% of the attendance, think the Cubs will actual win a game I get to see in person. But alas, I have to see the Cubs ALWAYS lose to those assholes. I have to endure the rants of Arizona fans wondering why we don't just root for the local team. I have to be told to sit down when I cheer (true story, almost got kicked out for standing). And I have to drive home (public transportation, what's that?) feeling like I just got kicked in the balls.

At least it's only been a couple years for me. The other Idiots have been enduring it for much longer. The hardest was a couple years ago for the playoffs. I actually thought that year I would be able to tell my grandkids one day that I saw the Cubs in the playoffs in route to their first ring in almost 100 years. But fuck it, I'm sure I'm going back this year. We'll have a couple brews at Jackson's on Third before hand, eat some Chinese at the park, see the Cubs lose again and go home with our heads held low, until next year.

Lazy Steve

Steve from COI here. Long time listener, first time caller. What's the most irrational thing you've done for or because of the Cubs?, you ask, huh? I've been thinking about it for a while, and can't really come up with anything? Nothing the Cubs make me do could ever be considered irrational. Not even the irrational stuff could be considered irrational. Sure my GFF could consider some of the things irrational, but that would just mean she's being irrational.
Spending countless hours watching or listening to them? No.
Leaving work early to go to the bar to watch them? Of course not.
Taking a long lunch break to catch a couple innings? Hell no.
Spending every weekend in March (and some weekdays) either watching Spring Training, or recovering from watching Spring Training? Not irrational by any rational Cubs fan's standards.
Buying a "Gold" commemorative coin after a second straight division championship? Sure, the alcohol helped make sure it was rational, but even without Jager, it wouldn't not be rational.
Spending a ridiculous amount of $$$ for StubHub tickets at Wrigley to take my Sister and nephew? Certainly an acceptable level of rationalness. (it's a word, stop highlighting this in yellow, gmail man!)
Going to Vegas to see the Cubs in exhibition games? Come on, it's Vegas Baby! Never irrational.
Blowing off aforementioned GFF in a few weeks to see the Cubs in Phoenix (we're not married, so is a 2yr anniversary that important?) Now that will be irrational pause not. Wait, she doesn't read WAIW, does she?
I know, all these are pretty weak. Let's hope I step it up a notch in the coming season. Maybe I can get a Cubs tattoo. Nope, not irrational. Maybe the fellow idiots can help me help the cubs help me make some irrational decisions. Well, I can't wait to see what other rational things the Cubs have made the other's at this table do!
Go Cubs!

Both Ginger Russ and Lazy Steve are faculty members at the College of Idiots. We fear for their long-term health - due mainly to this recipe.


I once sat in one of the last rows in the upper deck, directly behind a pole, in late September, when we were 100 games out of contention, in freezing cold weather, and stayed until the last pitch. I also wound up buying a $50 blanket to keep warm. And a lot of alcohol.
I once postponed a jury trial on a Friday afternoon so I could go to the game, only to have my boss see me on tv. Luckily, he had faked sick to go home to see the game, so he understood.
Kinda lame, but those are the best I can do!

cubbiejulie runs A League of Her Own, and must have a load of kickass stories if she thinks postponing a jury trial is a pedestrian anecdote.

Do you have a Cubs blog, and want to take part in the WAIW Cubs Blog Roundtable? Send us an e-mail (acubsblog@gmail.com).