Monday, October 24, 2016

...fizz....crackle......Why I....buzzzzzz...pop.....hate the......hiss....Cubs

Now, before Dime Boxes, Wrigley Wax, Wrigley Roster Jenga, Waitin' til Next Year and any other Cub fans jump for the "Unfollow" button, I ask for a little leeway in this post. Let me get to what I mean by the title. But before that, a little blog update.

The rest of the title is the impression of radio static. As you may be aware (or not), my posting has dropped off dramatically. I am not one to post daily like Night Owl or some of the other bloggers we are accustomed to. I post when I am able, or feel up for it. But for me, it's a lot of the first (being able) and a far amount of the second (feeling up to it) for the lack of posts recently. For those that know, don't know or forgot, my wife does have Parkinson's. We are on year 18 now. She resigned her job at the start of June. She is a teacher and that was the end of the school year, but the past couple years have been rough. It's not the therapy. She is still damn smart in what she does and has a natural ability to reach kids and get their speech and language improved at an accelerated rate. It's more the ability behind the wheel and walking.

With the surgery she had three years back, the management of the tremors is still going strong. From taking 600mg of pills daily to maybe get 2 hours of calm body parts to only needing 12.5mg (half a pill) for full calmness is wonderful. But quarter million dollar brain surgeries do not help balance. That's been getting worse and worse, and it's no longer safe for her to hold a job with a commute and walking. One drawback of me working from home? Hearing her walk up and expecting her to move to the front room, but hearing a large crash instead. Fortunately, no major injuries - just minor bumps. I fear it's a ticking time bomb before she catches the corner of a table, or goes head first through the drywall.

Surprising, we applied for SS disability and were approved on the first attempt (sorry Jeff). Okay....thank you government, and this is looking a gift horse in the mouth, but the approval amount is about one third to one half her previous take home pay. So it's nice to get some income, and she may try some work from home therapy options to get a little supplemental cash, but we are basically a 1.3 incoming family. But the bills don't change.

So I have been earning more income as an Uber driver. Yes, if you are in the Naperville or Orland area (I decide how I feel that day), or maybe even downtown Chicago if I happen to get a rider that takes me that direction, you might get to ride in my Pruis. I picked Uber for a few reasons. One, it was easier to join that Lyft. That's not to say I won't join the Lyft platform soon. It's just that with Uber, they have many more locations to get your vehicle inspected before being approved to drive. With Lyft, there are just a couple, and the appointment hours suck in regard to my regular job. Second, I needed something fairly easy. Nothing back breaking or physically demanding. Driving fits that. Third, I make my hours. Maybe I am gung ho to drive at noon, but don't feel like it come 5pm. I stay home. Here's something I bet you didn't know about me: I'm not much of a people person.

No shit.
So as a driver, I tend to be quiet. If the person wants to talk, I will. But otherwise, I let them play on their phone. I get them from point A to point B, and after they jump out, I hope another request comes in quickly. I shoot for about $250 a week, but I am going to step it up and try to get about $350. Hey - if anyone thinks they want to join Uber, I would love to give you a reference code for a few extra bucks in my pocket. I'll even use some of my referral bonus to get you something special.

Anyway - that's where I have been. Add my night and weekend driving along with very rough days at work (we had a MAJOR outage a week ago where I took over 400 calls on a day I would normally take 30-35), and I'm either busy at my desk, driving my car or sleeping. Little time for much else. I owe so many of you so much. I have envelopes that need postage, cards that need to go into envelopes, stacks to organize, a messy desk..... Overwhelming falls short to describe it all. But thanks to those that have send me cards recently. You are not forgotten, just too far down a too long list.

Ok - you have read this far. Thanks. Now, why do I hate the Cubs? Why the hell not?

I wasted time to hear that?
But seriously. From the Uber driving, as well as people I know, I get asked why I am not happy for the Cubs success to this point, and why I just can't be happy for them or cheer them on. Let me explain why I don't, and why I won't. For starters, you need to understand the dynamic that is Chicago. I think those that are New York fans, and maybe people out west too, though probably not so much in regard to Dodgers/Angels. If I am wrong, a fan of either LA team, feel free to speak up in the comments. But for those that have not lived here, there is a vast difference between the fans of the Cubs and the fans of the White Sox. I'll will do my best to speak from the middle, so you Cubs fans, do not take anything as an attack on you personally. Lot of generalization going to happen. Comiskey Park is located in Armour Square, but most people think it is in Bridgeport since Bridgeport is just the west of the tracks beside the park. Wrigley sits within Wrigleyville, though technically, the borough is Lake View. Just south of Sox ball park was the location of the Union Stockyards. You also tended to find far more manufacturing south of the Loop. North of the Loop, that was more residential. So the White Sox have always been considered a far more blue collar team than the Cubs, when you look at location. Being born south side, blue collar, it's my nature to be drawn to a club that had my values. I'm a liberal, too.

In fact, take a look at the ownership of the Cubs and the White Sox. I contend that the owners tend to be more white collar on the Cubs side and blue collar on the Sox, though I will give you that Reinsdorf and Einhorn can be white collar. Also, the direction of the Cubs in regard to their media drive and some other club decisions made them a more expensive club, so in later years, that would be a factor.

But why such an unwavering hatred towards the city brothers in blue. For starters, it's just DNA. You pick your club, and the other 28+ are the clubs you hate. For those that claim to root for two teams in the same sport, I'm calling you out as a liar. Sorry, but you cannot be a real fan of more than one team in a sport. Proof? Ok - Let's make up two teams. The Tulsa Candy Bars and the Nome Cavities. You love them both, you say. Root them both on, you say. Ok - interleague play week and Nome has a three game series at Tulsa's ball field. Who do you cheer for? "Oh, I would be happy no matter who won." Bullsh*t. Cuz I'll step it up. World Series time and it's Tulsa vs. Nome. Trust me. Deep in your heart, you like one a little better than the other. That, my friend, is the team you like. Because no matter how crappy your team has been, and my White Sox have has some lean years since 2005, I would never cheer against them to lose and I will still be excited come April 2017. Simple rule of thumb in Chicago: if someone says they are both a Cubs and White Sox fan, they are a Cubs fan.

"But we rooted for you in 2005. You should cheer for us this year." I have heard that a dozen times at least. Let me help you out should you ever hear that, whether you are a Sox fan or any other team. First, thanks, but we didn't ask you. There is no rule that says you have to cheer on another team in a championship. You may like one over the other, but you don't cheer that team on with intent to get favor in the future. Second, don't be a band wagon fan. Think about it. Do you really want a Sox fan, who has hated your club his whole life, to suddenly just cheer you on? Hell no. If I couldn't be on your side from day 1, don't let me in the club. Nothing is worse than being a true fan, suffering through years, decades even centuries of futility, to have some jackass show up and be the "biggest fan". That person is a jerk, and should be treated as such.

"We haven't won anything is so long. We deserve this". Actually, no. No one deserves anything. You earn it. And up until this year, you haven't. Did you finish the best team in MLB in 2016. You did. Did you earn that best team in MLB in 2016 moniker? Yup. Did you earn the National League Pennant? Hell yes. All total, you need 11 wins to get the hardware. No one hands you 11 wins. Earn each one of them.

"But they are another Chicago team. You should be rooting them on". No. Think of it this way. Let's say the Packers moved to Chicago. Or the Red Wings. Let's have the University of Michigan get transplanted down the street from Ohio State. How about the Los Angeles Celtics? San Francisco Dodgers? New York Red Sox? Montreal Bruins? Any of those happen, and the new club goes through a drought. Thirty, forty, fifty years of more of bad seasons and ever so close successes. And they finally put it together and a playing for all the coins. Who in their right mind would automatically cheer on a hated rival just because they are part of your city now? And if you think rivalry is big here, turn on NBCSN and catch the North London Derby, Manchester Derby. Merseyside Derby or any other. Comiskey and Wrigley are about 10 miles apart. Tottenham and Arsenal (North London Derby) play in stadiums less than 5 miles apart. The fight song played at a Michigan/Ohio State game sounds like "Kumbya" compared to the North London Derby.

I want to tell you Cubs fan - It's not personal. I would only hate you if you were an obnoxious jerk. Just like I would hate any other obnoxious jerk no matter the emblem on their cap. Even in script Sox. The full dislike on the Cubs is really the fault of the Chicago media. I can tell you the exact date when the Cubs really stuck in my craw. Opening Day, 2006. Months before that date, there were far too many Chicago baseball fans that never saw a champion crowned from our home city. It was 87 years for the south side and 97 for the north. But we go coast to coast, earn the parade and the banner in the ball park October 26, 2005. Flash forward to Opening Day. The media go to the parks for the usual this and that first game reporting, but I noticed something. Even though the opening dates were 5 days apart, far more attention was paid at Sheffield and Addison than down at 35th and Shields. Close to 9 centuries without a champion, and the Chicago media felt the club that finished with a .488 win percentage, 21 games out of first were much more important than the club that finally broke the losing streak of the city. "Will the Cubs end their drought like the Sox did last year?" I don't think trading Juan Pierre for minor leaguers and signing Jacque Jones was the answer.

So ultimately, it's not the fault of the Cub fans. It's the nature of who I am, along with the loving, preferential treatment of the worst team in baseball (pre 2016) that cemented how I feel. And yes, I will be cheering on Cleveland. If I have to eat crow, I will. But I'm okay with that.

Let's ends with two autographs for the 2005 Project.

Cliff Politte was a solid setup reliever in 2005. I sent the only card I had and he was wise enough to sign the back since the front is a sea of dark. Uribe played 2nd, but good luck finding any White Sox autographs of him. But this card from Tier One was too hard to pass on for under $5. If I find a replacement, then it will be upgraded.


  1. From a Cubs fan who grew up far from Chicago, I don't quite get the differences in the city, but I understand your point completely. No hard feelings here. Although I'm sure it's probably painful for you to have to choose to root for the Indians, too.

  2. From a Cubs fan who grew up far from Chicago, I don't quite get the differences in the city, but I understand your point completely. No hard feelings here. Although I'm sure it's probably painful for you to have to choose to root for the Indians, too.

  3. much truth there. incidentally, when i was a kid i was very much a national league guy - if the dodgers weren't in the series, then i wanted the national league champ to win. that lasted until 1982, when i couldn't bring myself to cheer for the cardinals. in 1983, i thought about cheering for the phillies, since they beat the dodgers in the nlcs and wouldn't it be best if i could say that the dodgers lost to the eventual champions? well, no - i decided i would prefer if the orioles beat the snot out of the phillies. and so it is this year...go tribe!

  4. I never understood the Cubs fans who say "You should cheer for us this year," and I've been hearing that quite a bit lately. Nobody HAS to cheer for anyone. I have much more respect for fans who stick by their team no matter what. If you're a Sox fan, I'm not expecting you to root for the Cubs. In fact, I don't want you to. I don't want you on the bandwagon all of a sudden just because the Cubs have a chance to win it all now. That's not what being a fan is.

    On a different note, glad to hear you and your wife were able to get the disability on the first try. I had a couple friends who drove for Uber and they seemed to do all right. The fact that you basically get to make your own schedule is a big plus.

  5. I'm out of the area so all of my Chicago news is Cubs by choice. I don't have to filter out the White Sox like you would the Cubs. But if it was anything like listening to Joe Buck slobber over the "unbeatable" Kershaw and the Dodgers in the NLCS, I get it. Ugh.

  6. I don't if it would be of interest to your wife (or anybody else for that matter), but there is a fellow named Blair who has a blog in which he discusses life with Parkinson's. If interested, you can check it out here: -- He doesn't post very often, but I find his self-deprecating humor and his ability to stay as positive as he is, especially considering what he's going through, to be rather inspirational.