I don’t remember how old I was the first time I got to go to a Cubs game. But I do remember even at that young age knowing it was a pretty big deal. To sit in Wrigley field with my father and watch the Cubs play baseball was and continues to be one of my favorite things in life.
It isn’t so much about who is playing to me, (although I did develop my first celebrity crush on Mark Grace at some point) and it certainly was never about them winning.
Side Note: You should know right now that you can’t be a Cubs fan if you are only in it for the win. They will break your heart every time… Just like they did my heart at game 7 2003, when they lost to the Marlins. I paid over $200 for those tickets, and actually cried in my seat at the end of the game…
I couldn’t name most of the players on the Cubs roster right now. Since moving from Chicago it is hard to keep up with the team. Save for the pre-season games at Cashman field that have become somewhat of a family tradition, and the odd afternoon game on WGN, I don’t get to see my cubbies very often. But my love for the team has never changed.
Growing up in Chicago, a love of the Cubs was instilled very early. From games with my father, to end of the school year field trips for those who helped participate as a hall monitor or paper grader, the moment the national anthem blasted from the speakers I was hooked.
Later on, I moved 2 blocks from Wrigley and used to go to the games at least every 2 weeks. If we didn’t go we would throw open our windows and listen to the roar of the stadium with the TV on mute.
The atmosphere was electric. There was no bad day a Cubs game couldn’t fix. To this day, finding a way to see them still makes my heart sing. The smell of beer, hotdogs, fresh peanuts, and summer breezes off Lake Michigan. The way you felt sitting in a crowd of thousands who share the same love for the team as you do.
The feeling of love for YOUR team, because while you may not own them, they will always be your team. The excitement of the win. The sorrow of the loss, but knowing even after many many MANY years of losses you will always come back to your team. That is the love of sports, the love of the game.
I don’t know if it will be the Cubs, or some other team. It may not even be baseball, but I hope you have these feelings one day. I hope you have a team you are passionate about, and a love for the game. I hope one day you look back and remember the times we took you to Cashman to see the Cubbies play once a year and know that your love of sports was passed down from us, as it was from our fathers.
*Dear Squishy is my version of (a less than) Wordless Wednesday where each week I write a letter to my son.
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