View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003

Wednesday

11

September 2013

89

COMMENTS

Love and Other Stuff

Written by , Posted in General

For the first time in, well… ever, I have a serious girlfriend. We’ve been dating for a while now, and I’m happy to blame her for a considerable amount of my recent silence here on VFTB.

Being in a serious relationship has forced me to ask all kinds of questions I’ve never had to consider before; it’s also revealed just how few good answers I really have. One of those questions–and perhaps the only one pertinent to this blog–is “How do I talk this woman into caring about the Cubs?” And frankly, I didn’t have a clue where to start.

Some of us were born Cubs fans, while the rest chose to jump aboard one of the many doomed bandwagons along the way. But when it comes time to sell someone else–especially someone you care deeply for–on a team as historically snake-bitten as the Cubs, where do you begin? How do you look your significant other in the eye and knowingly invite her into our world of dashed hopes, frustrated plans, and annual depression? Wouldn’t it actually be more loving to encourage them to cheer for another team?

Obviously we don’t have a rich championship history to draw on. But even the history we do have is a fairly mixed bag–really, who’s attracted to endless stories about near-misses and late-season collapses? We’re also a little short on colorful characters these days. Apart from Ernie Banks, are any former Cubs legends all that endearing or engaging? We love them because they’re our guys, but would a stranger to the team really want to hear Billy Williams or Fergie Jenkins wax eloquent about the good old days? And the current roster isn’t much better when it comes to catching and holding the interest of the casual fan.

In the end, Wrigley Field might be the team’s only selling point. However, it is an extraordinarily strong one. How many Cubs fans point back to their first visit to Wrigley–that first plunge into the intimate sea of green ivy and grass–as the moment they fell in love with the Cubs? How many die-hard fans started out as casual bleacher bums during their college days? How many lifelong fans fell in love with the team on endless summer afternoons spent in the stands? I’m convinced if you could take someone to Wrigley Field, you could get them to love the Cubs. Or at the very least, tolerate them.

As it turns out, my girl is a pretty good sport, so she didn’t take that much convincing. So far I’ve dragged her to three Cubs games during their recent West Coast trip, and they managed to win two of them. I told her she’s good for the team, and that I need to take her to as many more games as possible. We’ll see if she buys it.

Elsewhere, the Cubs broke out the bats Tuesday night behind Edwin Jackson, pounding the Reds for nine runs on four home runs, including two from Welington Castillo and one from Jackson himself. You can see all the highlights of the drubbing here.

Jesse Rogers thinks we might be on the other side of Starlin Castro’s extended slump. Hooray!

Pete Ricketts is running for Governor of Nebraska. The article also serves as a good primer for any fans not up on all the Ricketts’ political leanings.

And finally, the Cubs have released their schedule for the 2014 season. Am I the only one who, despite this dumpster fire of a season, looks at this and starts making plans for next summer?

  • PLCB3

    I’m excited for the schedule since I didn’t get to see them at all this year. I’ll either get to see them next year when they come to Boston or if I am back in Chicago on my farewell tour, I’ll get to see them plenty then. Including on the road. I intend to road trip to St. Louis next year

  • PLCB3

    Starlin Castro article won’t load

    • Jeremiah Johnson

      Fixed.

      • PLCB3

        Still not loading

      • Jedi

        Worked for me just fine.

      • Me too.

      • Me too.

      • PLCB3

        Now it works

      • Whew.

      • AC0000000

        Now it works

  • Mark_from_Toronto

    Looking at the 2014 schedule, I’m glad to see the Cubs will be taking their first road trip up to my neck of the woods since 2008. As much as I dispise the Rogers Centre (formely Skydome), I’ll be at all 3 games since I haven’t had a chance see a Cubs game in person since spring training of 2010.

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      Were the Cincinnati guys still able to ignor our offence last night?

      • Mark_from_Toronto

        I was out last night and didn’t get a chance to watch the game on TV, but I would assume they just talked over all of the Cubs runs and continued to extole the greatness of the Reds.

      • Eddie Von White

        Are you sure you’re not “Jerry in England?”

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Never have been anywhere in Europe

  • Doug S.

    Girlfriend’s a Yankees fan but loves baseball so any game not a problem for me.

    Count me as one of those fans who fell in love with the Cubs while visiting Wrigley the first time. Seduced and cursed.

    Love seeing the schedule this early, damn right I’m making plans.

    Mark, I don’t think the Rodgers Centre is that bad. Good location downtown and Toronto’s a great city to visit.

    • PLCB3

      If I am back in Chicago next year, I intend to make a road trip to Toronto to see the Cubs. They got a Pittsburgh-Toronto trip the week after Labor Day, I intend to go along for the entire trip.

    • Mark_from_Toronto

      You are right about the location being good, although being downtown means parking isn’t that great both in terms of price and locations (then again that would apply to most MLB parks). I just find the atmosphere inside the Rogers Centre to seem rather dull and quiet (even with bigger crowds). It’s not so much the fans are quiet, it’s more the way the sound travels in there.

    • Mark_from_Toronto

      You are right about the location being good, although being downtown means parking isn’t that great both in terms of price and locations (then again that would apply to most MLB parks). I just find the atmosphere inside the Rogers Centre to seem rather dull and quiet (even with bigger crowds). It’s not so much the fans are quiet, it’s more the way the sound travels in there.

  • Chuck

    My wife was an indifferent baseball person when we met, but a consistent presence of the Cubs in her life eventually converted her. All you have to do is be the fan that you are and eventually she will come around. It will be extremely difficult if she is already a fan of another team. Then the best you can hope for is giving each other crap in a friendly manner.

  • Your girlfriend already picked a winner and I don’t mean the Cubs. 🙂
    In other news, I just got the call saying I can have season tickets now if I want them. Jeremiah I know you had this same dilemma last year and that you went for it. Are you glad you did?

    • PLCB3

      When did you get on the waiting list? I got on the list 2 years ago, I am position 100,000 or so on the list.

      • I think 7 or 8 years ago? Not entirely sure. No more than 8.

      • PLCB3

        Do you know what position were you at when you got on the list?

      • I was somewhere in the low 50Ks.

      • PLCB3

        Interesting. By that math, I should get season tickets 15-20 years from now.

    • Jeremiah Johnson

      Yes. Very glad I did it. Selling off your tickets takes a little time, but I’ve made back enough of my investment that it’s not a total money pit. Absolutely would do it again.

      • PLCB3

        Plus once the Cubs start doing good, you’ll be raking in profits. It’s like the people who kept their Bulls season tickets even after Jordan retired.

    • Jeremiah Johnson

      Yes. Very glad I did it. Selling off your tickets takes a little time, but I’ve made back enough of my investment that it’s not a total money pit. Absolutely would do it again.

  • Doc Raker

    Girlfirends- a good girlfriend will make an effort to get to know things you like just like you should make an effort to participate in things she likes. After all if you don’t have things in common why bother with each other.

    Fiance- your interests will take a back seat to planning the wedding. She will tell her friends in conversation, ‘JJ loves the Cubs, he is home watching the game.’ while she is out shopping for plate settings.

    Wife before kids- A good spouse will enjoy their partners interests but the enthusiasm the girlfriend had will not be there. If the wife has things on her to do list or honey do list for you set your TIVO for the game.

    Wife with kids- Take your place in line JJ, the main TIVO that is for the kids, the TIVO in the main bedroom, that is for your wife, you will need a third TIVO in your man cave for the Cubs game and don’t be hanging out in your man cave to long, there are diapers to change and groceries to go get. Keep up you lazy sack of crap and pick up after yourself.

    • Doug S.

      Geez Doc, that’s quite a skid. Think I’ll stick with phase I

    • Chuck

      That pretty well sums it up.

    • cap’n obvious

      Pretty much the 4 states of my relationship with Mrs. Obvious. I am anxiously awaiting “wife after kid leaves for college” where things might get back to wife before kids. Who am I kidding? It’s “wife after kid leaves for the Navy” at my house.

      • PLCB3

        My parents are almost at the empty nest stage because I’ve been gone from their house the last 2 years while my brother is in college.

    • Spot on Raker.

    • Seymour Butts

      Amazing… something that we completely agree upon.

  • Bryan

    When my wife and I started dating, I never tried to get her to like the Cubs. She just casually started watching games with me and gradually she started asking questions and eventually became a big fan. Same thing for my daughter. She just started watching games with me and now she is going as Jeff Samardzija for Halloween. I think it is a matter of your significant other just wanting to share some of the same interests as you.

    • PLCB3

      What if they already like the things you like?

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        either put a ring on it or run depending on which mood you are in today.

      • Doc Raker

        Depends on if she is hot or not. I will let you figure that out on your own on what you do with a hot girl that digs your scene verse someone you are not attracted to.

      • PLCB3

        I have never been in a relationship. I don’t even know what to do to approach someone

      • Just do it the old fashioned way…strike up some playful banter centered around your favorite cartoons and aldermen.

      • PLCB3

        I’m trying to be serious here. I am not going to turn to Craigslist or some online dating site to find someone.

      • I would suggest NOT telling her that you rip your mother a new asshole when she asks you questions. And are proud if it.

      • Seymour Butts

        That may not be as much of a deal breaker as you might think. I have a small number of patients who are socially awkward fellows beyond their prime who find at least moderately attractive mates much younger than themselves.
        I think they met thru soldier of fortune magazine, personal ads.

      • Doc Raker

        Opposed to socially awkward doctors who vacation annually with other socially awkward fellows pretending to be big league baseball players in where they just use their master card or dollar bills to have attractive naked girls rub their bosoms and buttocks onto them.

      • Seymour Butts

        Oh, and I believe you meant a new Gregghole.

      • Jedi

        Practice trying to hit on Lizzie and we can all give you feedback.

      • PLCB3

        What the Gregg!?

      • There’s some fun.

      • Jedi

        Practice trying to hit on Lizzie and we can all give you feedback.

      • There’s some fun.

      • Doc Raker

        How about the old fashion way. Just ask a girl you are interested in getting to know better, “Would you like to go get a bite together so we can talk and get to know each other a little better, maybe we will find out we hate the same things, wouldn’t that be nice.”

        Just keep it simple and sincere. When you meet a good match you will make each other better, you might help her be a better lifeguard and she may introduce you to new things and new ways to hate.

      • Chuck

        What about the old fashioned way of meeting people while you were both drunk at a party? I am glad
        i am married because I have no idea how I would meet women these days. Then again, there are a number of single gals at youth sporting events… Then again, they all have kids…

      • Doc Raker

        How about the old fashion way. Just ask a girl you are interested in getting to know better, “Would you like to go get a bite together so we can talk and get to know each other a little better, maybe we will find out we hate the same things, wouldn’t that be nice.”

        Just keep it simple and sincere. When you meet a good match you will make each other better, you might help her be a better lifeguard and she may introduce you to new things and new ways to hate.

      • Chuck

        What about the old fashioned way of meeting people while you were both drunk at a party? I am glad
        i am married because I have no idea how I would meet women these days. Then again, there are a number of single gals at youth sporting events… Then again, they all have kids…

    • Jeff Samardzija for Halloween? We simply MUST see pictures of this! I’ll email you then! We can shade out her face if you don’t want any of VFTB’s dirty old men to see her. LOL

      • Jedi

        Jeff Samardzija decided to dress up like an MLB pitcher again today.

        Theo is going to regret not trading him…sooner rather than later, I’m afraid.

      • Doc Raker

        I agree with you, at least he still has is porn career. The corporate half wits in the Cubs TV announcing booth where trying to put his outing in a good light. Why not just tell the truth and explain what he needs to improve upon? You leave a game down 6-0 in the middle innings you did a few things wrong, I don’t need to hear the corporate shills tell me how good the outing was. I miss Harry and Stoner. Note: how I didn’t say South side Hawk and Stoner because CAPS hates the South side Hawk, there is only one Hawk and he is from the North side. But I digress, Len has to go.

      • Doc Raker

        I agree with you, at least he still has is porn career. The corporate half wits in the Cubs TV announcing booth where trying to put his outing in a good light. Why not just tell the truth and explain what he needs to improve upon? You leave a game down 6-0 in the middle innings you did a few things wrong, I don’t need to hear the corporate shills tell me how good the outing was. I miss Harry and Stoner. Note: how I didn’t say South side Hawk and Stoner because CAPS hates the South side Hawk, there is only one Hawk and he is from the North side. But I digress, Len has to go.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    It is good to see the Cubs beat the Reds two in a row. I have hated how the Cubs have let them roll us the past couple of years.

    • Doug S.

      Kinda figured it would be Reds payback today for Yesterday’s drubbing….and it is.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I knew it was too much to ask for a sweep. 2001 was the last time the Cubs swept a three game series in Cincinnati

    • Doug S.

      Kinda figured it would be Reds payback today for Yesterday’s drubbing….and it is.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I knew it was too much to ask for a sweep. 2001 was the last time the Cubs swept a three game series in Cincinnati

  • PLCB3

    Everyone check out Urban Dictionary’s word of the day for today. It involves the Cardinals

  • Bryan

    Also I am a voting resident of Nebraska and people aren’t too crazy about Ricketts and his run for Governor.

  • Bryan

    Also I am a voting resident of Nebraska and people aren’t too crazy about Ricketts and his run for Governor.

  • Eddie Von White

    JJ – Congrats on your first real love. A few observations:

    1. The Cubs are not real life – they are fantasy. Their importance in your life will become secondary to whatever is going on with your real love. If they are more important to you than her, then they are too important.

    2. She will grow to like the Cubs as she sees how much you do. Pretty soon she will be checking the score before she leaves work so she can share in your joy or sorrow. A little later she will be asking you questions like: “Is Starlin Castro a better shortstop than Hanley Ramirez?” Or, “Are Hanley and Alexei brothers?” Or, as you sit down to watch the game while she’s busy being busy, she will say: “I sure hope Smarjdja isn’t pitching tonight.” Next thing you know, she will be excited about planning your trip to Wrigley Field together.

    3. As you respect her and her interests, she will you.

    • #2 sounds an awful lot like the end of Grease where Sandy tramps out. Just be a dude and things will work out.

    • #2 sounds an awful lot like the end of Grease where Sandy tramps out. Just be a dude and things will work out.

  • buckster13

    I first started dating my eventual wife during the summer of 2003. We had met each other through our mutual affection for music and it became very obvious very soon that she had never previously dated anyone who gave two flips about any sport or sports team. Yet she tolerated my growing excitement as the season lurched onward and the Cubs won the division and made the playoffs. We had a mild spat on October 4th of that year when her mother had scheduled her wedding simultaneous with the start of game 4 of the NLDS and I couldn’t tear myself away from the pocket television I had bought at the start of the playoffs; even as her mother walked down the aisle, I sat in the back of the crowd glued to the damn thing (we laugh about this now, but at the time she wasn’t laughing much.) Surprisingly, she stuck with me through that… even offering heartfelt consolation after those tough losses in the NLCS. A few days later, though, I overheard her make a comment to my dad along the lines of “I don’t understand what the big deal is…” Needless to say, ten years
    later she now gets it

    A year after we were married, I made a commitment to watch and/or listen to at least part of all 162 regular season Cub games (in 2007). It drove my wife crazy, but she showed amazing tolerance and patience with me that summer, and shared in the excitement as the Cubs again made the playoffs. It was at that point that I knew I had broken her in as a Cubs fan.

    I guess my point of this post (which is actually my first on VFTB despite years of following the blog) is that you gotta give the gal some time. It’s hard to fully understand and appreciate another’s lifelong obsession in just a few short months (or even a few years)- especially if it is an obsession that isn’t immediately shared. If she shows a willingness to at least try to understand, you should take that as a positive sign and run with it.

    • Doc Raker

      Props to you for even going to the wedding during game 4 of the 2003 NLCS.

  • Buck

    I first started dating my eventual wife during the summer of 2003. We had met each other through our mutual affection for music and it became very obvious very soon that she had never previously dated anyone who gave two flips about any sport or sports team. Yet she tolerated my growing excitement as the season lurched onward and the Cubs won the division and made the playoffs. We had a mild spat on October 4th of that year when her mother had scheduled her wedding simultaneous with the start of game 4 of the NLDS and I couldn’t tear myself away from the pocket television I had bought at the start of the playoffs; even as her mother walked down the aisle, I sat in the back of the crowd glued to the damn thing (we laugh about this now, but at the time she wasn’t laughing much.) Surprisingly, she stuck with me through that… even offering heartfelt consolation after those tough losses in the NLCS. A few days later, though, I overheard her make a comment to my dad along the lines of “I don’t understand what the big deal is…” Needless to say, ten years
    later she now gets it

    A year after we were married, I made a commitment to watch and/or listen to at least part of all 162 regular season Cub games (in 2007). It drove my wife crazy, but she showed amazing tolerance and patience with me that summer, and shared in the excitement as the Cubs again made the playoffs. It was at that point that I knew I had broken her in as a Cubs fan.

    I guess my point of this post (which is actually my first on VFTB despite years of following the blog) is that you gotta give the gal some time. It’s hard to fully understand and appreciate another’s lifelong obsession in just a few short months (or even a few years)- especially if it is an obsession that isn’t immediately shared. If she shows a willingness to at least try to understand, you should take that as a positive sign and run with it.

    • Doc Raker

      Props to you for even going to the wedding during game 4 of the 2003 NLCS.

  • Talking about Cubs and relationships sure is fun, but I think some perspective is needed. There is probably a “shows about people buying dresses” blog out there where people are talking about boyfriends and people buying dresses, and they are probably trying to figure out how to get their boyfriends interested in watching people buy dresses. Maybe a common interest in shows about buying dresses will help a relationship, but there are definitely more important things that make people compatible with one another than something like that.

    • PLCB3

      I hate clothes shopping. I don’t understand how women can spend a whole day just shopping. When I go clothes shopping, I get what I need, in and out in 15 minutes.

      • Chuck

        You need to understand the hunter-gatherer aspect of male-female relations.

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      I can put up with the shows about dresses just as long as they do not show anyone with a name of Booboo. If they do the show must be expunged from the tv set within two seconds or else!

    • Jedi

      If he showed an interest in buying dresses, he wouldn’t be a boyfriend.

      • Joe Aiello

        Correct, he’d “have” a boyfriend.

  • Talking about Cubs and relationships sure is fun, but I think some perspective is needed. There is probably a “shows about people buying dresses” blog out there where people are talking about boyfriends and people buying dresses, and they are probably trying to figure out how to get their boyfriends interested in watching people buy dresses. Maybe a common interest in shows about buying dresses will help a relationship, but there are definitely more important things that make people compatible with one another than something like that.

    • AC0000000

      I hate clothes shopping. I don’t understand how women can spend a whole day just shopping. When I go clothes shopping, I get what I need, in and out in 15 minutes.

      • Chuck

        You need to understand the hunter-gatherer aspect of male-female relations.

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      I can put up with the shows about dresses just as long as they do not show anyone with a name of Booboo. If they do the show must be expunged from the tv set within two seconds or else!

    • Jedi

      If he showed an interest in buying dresses, he wouldn’t be a boyfriend.

      • Joe Aiello

        Correct, he’d “have” a boyfriend.

  • Doc Raker

    Pirates win, Cardinals lose, a first place tie in the NL Central. I really enjoyed watching the Cardinals lose, the Cardinal announcers (Buck wasn’t doing the game) seemed bored of the lackluster Cardinals which I embraced as quality entertainment.

  • Doc Raker

    Pirates win, Cardinals lose, a first place tie in the NL Central. I really enjoyed watching the Cardinals lose, the Cardinal announcers (Buck wasn’t doing the game) seemed bored of the lackluster Cardinals which I embraced as quality entertainment.