I Ain't Afraid of No Goats

With the Cubs' recent victory bringing Chicago to a fever pitch, I have been thinking a lot about what sports mean to people. Depending on where you are from, how you were raised and where you are in the world, sports can be extremely important or completely uninteresting. In Berlin, where I am currently writing this post, no one has taken notice of the Cubs and their historic season of baseball. Here if you care about sports, football is obviously king, the international sport of pretty much the entire world except the U.S. There are of course some people in Chicago who could care less about the Cubs, as much as it pains me to say it, but I am not one of those people. I care. I care so much that it hurts. I was able to date a Reds fan, but a Cardinals or White Sox fan would not be possible. The rivalry is too intense. However, I no longer have to worry about these things. My German boyfriend is not a big sports guy, so "making" him a Cubs fan has been an easy sell. He loves the Cubs cap I bought him and he has sweetly been trying to learn about baseball. He literally has had lessons from me, the perpetual teacher.

For those who know me, you know my opinions are strong. I either love or hate everything and shades of gray do not exist in my emotional lexicon. So this probably will not surprise you to hear that I love the Cubs, if you hadn't already figured out where this was going.

Since my birth in 1985, the Chicago Cubs have always been a part of my life no matter where I was in the world. Growing up so close to Wrigley Field meant I was destined to be a Cubs fan and I have more than embraced my destiny. I have followed the team avidly, watching the neighborhood, the ballpark, the fans change with it and I must say, this year is different in both good and not so good ways.

Don't get me wrong, I could not be prouder of my boys, but things are not the same. The McDonald's of my youth is gone, good luck finding an Old Style at Wrigley, the one and only ad on Waveland ("Budweiser") has been replaced with expensive rooftop seating and a wave of bars, restaurants, douchebros and North Face has taken over my hood. One can no longer hear the games on WGN, the days of $2 bleacher and nosebleeds seats have long passed, ask new Cubs fans who Harry Caray is or even Ron Santo and...let's just say, I feel so torn about what the franchise is becoming. More Ws mean more changes. I am also torn being in Berlin when the Cubs are kicking so much ass and taking all the names. I have toyed with the idea of flying home early should a certain something happen. But I am here to spend time with my boyfriend and in the end...it's just a game. Joe Maddon has instilled this mentality into the team and I think it's a good one, and probably a sane one. Kyle Hendricks' pre-game interview about pitching game 6 to the Dodgers said just that. It's just a game like any other. You go out, you play, you "try not to suck" - another (tongue in cheek) Cubs mantra. Isn't that all our goals on a daily basis? No matter what the game?

So while all of these deep thoughts about love, life and baseball have been floating around in my head, I thought maybe this is part of my destiny. I need to be here in Berlin to support my team from afar. Because maybe, just maybe, if I were home, things would turn out differently. Who knows? I must say it is not the same catching the end of the games on my laptop when I wake up around 5-5:30am (10-10:30pm in Chicago) and missing out on the bar experience. I watched all the postseason games in Wrigleyville in 2015 and it was awesome. So all of you Cubs fans in Chicago, or wherever you are in the world, enjoy it, please. For me. Go Cubs Go.
Bill Murray - the best cheerleader we could ever ask for

Me and Clark in October 2015

My mother and I enjoying a game on Mother's Day

P.S. Please check out my mom's fabulous Cubs videos on YouTube:
1.) Me and mom singing Go Cubs Go from 2015 postseason
2.) Mom signing Go Cubs Go and playing the accordion!
P.S.S. Thanks to my friends and family who have gone to Cubs games with me over the years. I know it is an intense experience with me, but I fondly cherish every memory at Wrigley. Special shout outs to my mom, my dad (back in the good ole days), Peg, Annette, Sarah and Ashley!

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