After barely surviving the sucker punch that was 2008, 2009 appears to be treating the Michigan diaspora a little better. For instance, this past week we learned that Curtis Granderson will be representing the USA in the World Baseball Classic. Now, I’m not saying that Granderson is the best center fielder out there but he has developed into a talent to be watched over the past couple seasons and it’s nice to see him get a little more recognition for that. It was also nice to see the Red Wings take down the red-hot Blackhawks on the ice at Wrigley Field on New Year’s Day.
However, there was another red-hot piece of news that truly warmed my heart as an American and current denizen of our nation’s capitol. Although it was never really in doubt, President-elect Obama reconfirmed yesterday that that we truly share the same values. Now, I’ve mentioned the DC institution and National’s ballpark mainstay, Ben’s Chili Bowl, before but it bears repeating that this place is beyond amazing. And when I watched footage yesterday of Mr. Obama’s visit to Ben’s, I realized that here this man is in touch with the nation’s stomach in a way we haven’t seen since Clinton’s first term. I mean, here is a guy who appreciates the chili-cheese half-smoke and unabashedly supports a single baseball team. Could anything be more American?
Now, I know that the months ahead are going to be difficult for Obama and his team. In fact, one might even compare it to the torment that is the line at Ben’s around 2 in the morning on a weekend. But, if the past week is any indication, maybe we are seeing change we can believe in. I just hope that CG and the Tigers offer me a little of the same.
The mood is still — silent. Not a breath is taken without force. Not a soul is able to find content under an otherwise brisk breeze, rejuvenating half-moon. Yes, dear readers, the White Sox season is over and those who still have the ability to feel are holding back the tears, swallowing their emotions and drowning their sorrows at Jimbo’s right now.
But I couldn’t.
I have a hit blog to write.
And on this evening, with the mass exodus of black-clad Sox fans streaming out of U.S. Cellular field hand in hand, heads on shoulders, feet in mouths, my Southside neighborhood resembles a death train, complete with stunned silence peppered by the occasional Irish keeling.
If New York is the big apple, then Chicago is the big fat lady who takes up two seats on the crowded bus.
Because that’s exactly what the Cubs and Sox both did for the playoffs this season: take up space that could have otherwise been used by a more formidable competitor. And believe me when I say that I make that statement with the most loving of hearts for my neighborhood Sox. I wanted nothing more than to see them continue on; but at the end of the day, the grinderball game came to a grinding halt.
So now we Chicagoans are left to ask ourselves: How ’bout ‘dem Bears?
Or: How ’bout ‘dem Dems?
Or: How ’bout
‘dem Hawks hockey? Does anyone pay attention to hockey anymore?
The answer is: No. Not if you
have any dignity aren’t from Detroit… which reminds me that things could always be worse. We could all be Tigers fans.
So go ahead Cub fans… hate me. You already do anyway. But don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right when I say the Second City is dead and we’re lying in the same ditch together.