It was despicable. It was inexcusable. In fact, it was downright traitorous.
Problem was I wasn’t in Wrigley Field.
I was in Miller Park.
Inside the park of my closest rival. And I found myself rooting for the home team – the Cubs’ greatest threat to Central Division glory – the Milwaukee Brewers.
What’s worse is, I did it on the day the Brewers tied the Cubs atop the Central standings.
While I will try to defend my actions, I realize the epitaph may already be written by my future brother-in-law (a true die-hard Cubs fan). He and my sister were actually at Wrigley rooting for, that’s right you guessed it, the Cubs.
Now, why was I in Milwaukee rooting for the Brewers you ask?
Growing up you always have one team you adore and then another in the other league you keep an eye on and pull for. For me, it was the Brewers with Paul Molitor, Robin Yount and Rob Deer.
But in 1997, the Brew Crew were jettisoned to the NL and were grouped with my Cubs in the Central. My affinity for the Brewers waned considerably, though they weren’t any good so it didn’t really matter.
However when I went to college, I bought a Brewers throwback cap with that neat little glove logo. I collected baseball cards my whole life and intently watched the game. But no matter how many times it stared me right back in the face I never realized it until one of my friends pointed it out sophomore year: the glove logo was more than just a glove. It actually was a “M” and a “B” (for the Rhodes Scholars out there, it stands for Milwaukee Brewers).
I was blown away. Since then, the hat has been my go-to hat. I have a lot of hats (Cubs, Orioles, Royals, Phillies, Twins, etc.). I try to wear hats most people don’t have. Hence the appeal for the Brewers, Orioles and Royals.
Then during the summer between my senior and junior year, a buddy of mine and I went on a mini ballpark tour. Our first stop was Miller Park. I fell in love with the stadium (if you ever have the chance, make a trip out to Miller Park). We got our pictures with the Italian Sausage and Hot Dog and even tried to go up Bernie’s Slide (illegally). It was a great time and I signed up a faux name for a credit card to pick up a sweet Brewers beach towel.
Our next stop on the stadium tour was the ineptly named Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. Of course, they were playing the Brewers. We got there terribly early (like the first two people in the ballpark) for batting practice and of course I brought the Brewers towel thinking Milwaukee players would be more likely to give us balls (and I absolutely despise trashball Reds fans, so it was just another way to kick Reds supporters in the balls).
Well, the towel had the desired effect. Positioned right over the left field wall, we hollered at one Valerio De Los Santos. Standing no more than 40 feet away on the warning track, De Los Santos threw a ball to the fool brandishing a Brewers towel. Problem was that fool was me, both of my hands were pre-occupied displaying the towel and De Los Santos threw a fastball. As I braced for the ball to shatter my face my eyes closed. Then I hear a loud pop. My buddy, a former high school baseball standout, snagged the riduculously paced throw just inches from my face.
“Jesus!,” my friend yelled.
“No, mi llamo es Valerio.”
So, our paths have crossed before.
My friend, the one who saved my face from massive reconstructive surgery (which actually might have been an improvement), moved to Milwaukee after graduation and in three years, I’ve only been up to visit him once.
This weekend, myself, my Gold Glove-winning buddy, and two of our other friends from college met up in Milwaukee for a weekend of beer, meat and baseball. I mean, it’s Milwaukee. What else were we going to do?
After polishing off one of those Heineken mini kegs and a 12-pack of PBR, we headed into the stadium.
There I was sitting in right field wearing the hat of a division rival, cheering for the Brewers to come back and win the game putting them in a first place tie with my Cubs.
And they did. Once Corey Hart (on my fantasy team) scored the game-winning run in the 8th inning off a Bill Hall single, there I was slapping high fives with my friends and strangers around me, including one fella who couldn’t wait for me to move my hand back into place for another slap and therefore nailed me squarely in the face.
Karma? Perhaps. My nose kind of still hurts.
I know I will be branded a traitor, especially with the stakes so high. The Cubs got off to an unbelievable start and whispers of World Series started getting louder. But then the Brewers got hot, traded for a Cy Young winner and stayed hot. And there I am, on the eve of one of the biggest series of the year, cheering for the freaking Brewers.
But I swear my allegiances remain. I was rooting for the Cubs Monday night and will for the rest of my life. I don’t deserve to be discarded just yet. I just got caught up in the moment and was inebriated and…No more excuses. Tar and feather me. Hang me in effigy. It was gross.
Hang my photo with these infamous turncoats:
Few people have enjoyed falls from grace quite like Arnold. It took very little time for him to go from Revolutionary hero to phrase synonymous with being a dick. Early in the Revolution, Arnold was arguably the most successful of the American generals, yet he was passed over for a promotion and ran up heavy debts. He petitioned George Washington that he be placed in charge of West Point, a demotion. Washington granted Arnold his wish. Once in charge of West Point, Arnold planned to surrender it to the British in return for an annual pension of 360 pounds and a lump sum of about 17 times that amount. American soldiers captured Arnold’s British liaison and found his plans to surrender the fort. Arnold got word of his boy’s capture and dipped out on a British ship. After he helped attack a few Connecticut cities, Arnold was sent back to London. He then lived a rather uninspiring life, which included getting run out of Canada and fighting a bloodless duel with the Earl of Lauderdale for besmirching his good name. Benedict Arnold is a bona fide dick. However, he may not be the worst Arnold. Thank you, Tom.
Sure Becky Hammon is getting all the headlines with her decision to her suit up for the Russian Olympic women’s basketball team, but that’s only because she’s hot. Where’s the outrage over J.R. Holden? The former Bucknell star plays professionally for Russian side CSKA Moscow and has dual citizenship. Last year, he scored the winning basket that gave Russia the Eurobasket title over Spain. He’ll be suiting up for the red, white and blue in Beijing – no, not America – just the good old land of Vodka and TaTu. His citizenship was fast-tracked by President Vladimir Putin, and I mean that dude’s on the up and up, right?
I’m going to leave it to Wikipedia to help you guys on this one. We skipped that chapter in Hebrew school.
The little blond tart was at the middle of one of the biggest breakups of my life. How could Dylan go after Brenda’s best friend? Simple, she’s hot. Hey, and even Dean Cain makes an appearance. Classic TV moment.
Slick Rick rebuilt the Bluegrass legacy and led the Kentucky Wildcats to the NCAA title in 1996, He subsequently bolted for the green of the NBA and the Boston Celtics. After flaming out in a four-year stretch in the Association, Pitino found himself back in the college ranks. So which of the 341 Division I men’s basketball teams did he choose? Louisville. Of the 341 D-I schools, only five are in the state of Kentucky. That’s a 1.5 percent chance of picking a Bluegrass Country school. Sure, why not. Now, Pitino has a perennial contender in Louisville and the Wildcats have an angry Bill Self knockoff.
Alec Trevelyan (006)
After faking his death, the former British spy resurfaces nine years later to destroy London using a secret nuclear program known as GoldenEye. Of course, it’s James Bond to the rescue. Great movie, only thing missing is a Judi Dench nude scene.
Roman senator turned assassin, Brutus turned his back on Caesar during the Roman Civil War, choosing to run with Pompey. After Caesar took care of Pompey at the Battle of Pharsalus, Brutus crawled back to Caesar who accepted him because good old Jules had tagged Bru’s mom. After Caesar declared himself “dictator for life,” a few senators, led by Brutus, got a bit peeved, plotted and assassinated the Roman Empire’s top dog. Brutus eventually was declared an enemy of the state and before his forces could be defeated he killed himself. That’s just like an asshole to go and off himself, therefore depriving others the enjoyment of dismembering him (i.e. Hitler).