MPD Book Club: Wrigleyworld

September 16th, 2009

I read the book Wrigleyworld because A) I respected the author (Big League Stew's Kevin Kaduk) and B) the premise sounded exactly like something I wish I could do. The premise being that Kevin quits his job in Kansas City to move to Wrigleyville and attends as many Cubs games as possible without working. Getting drunk, not working and going to a ton of baseball games is pretty much the ideal lifestyle for me so I was interested, even if it was about the Cubs/Wrigleyville.

The worries that I had going into reading it is that Kevin Kaduk would turn out to be a guy like Chad, but as soon as I got into reading it Kaduk makes it real clear that he isn't one of those guys, he hates those guys and he will make fun of those guys often. This made me tremendously happy and was probably my favorite part of the book. Introducing me to "Chads and Trixies" was worth the price of the book alone (basically every girl who goes to the game and has no clue is named Trixie and her boyfriend is named Chad). As a Brewers fan you eventually start to think that every Cubs fan can be like this: cocky about his team, entitled, shitfaced drunk and a total tool. Kaduk shows that there are real, true Cubs fans out there who love baseball and they aren't actually that bad of guys. Reading the book I start to think that I'd like to go to a game with Kaduk and I wish that there were more Cubs fans like him.

And the thing is that I know there are more Cubs fan like him because I have many friends that are Cubs fans like him. (I live in Southeastern Wisconsin, what do you expect?) Yet to some people I am supposed to just blindly hate them because a lot of them are like Chad. I just don't really see the point in that. I love making fun of them, but I don't hate them. I said on this site once before that Brewers fans can piss me off just as much Cubs fan do, sometimes even more and I still mean that today. If anything they are pissing me off more now as they check out on the season. Despite the standings, this series with the Cubs that is going on now and the series against the Cubs in Miller Park next week should mean something. Yet, I fully expect the place to be half full. When the beloved Packers suck and they play the Bears or the Vikings, people still care. So why don't they care today? You can't answer that because there is no good answer.

That is something that Kaduk also suffers through because the season he chose to write about had the Cubs blowing the season. (It's funny looking back in retrospect because how did they expect their team to be any good with an aging Jeromy Burnitz, Corey Patterson and Todd Hollandsworth in the outfield?) As the season in the book wears on and the team that came into the season with high expectations (sound familiar?) stumbles, the fans grow apathetic (how about now?). In September Kaduk finds himself unable to give tickets away as people would just rather not go. People move on to college football or the Bears and the season ends with not a bang, but a whimper. We're seeing this right now and the book captures it perfectly. When the season drags, so does the book. Reading the final pages you want the season to be over just as much as the writer does, but then when it does a funny thing happens. You're sad it's over.

When Kaduk looks back at the season he realizes despite the outcomes of the games he attended it was still the best season of his life because he attended so many games. Despite seeing his team lose so many times, he still realizes that being at the ballpark is the best place to be at all times. The author might have you believe that it's because of Wrigley Field, the mystique surrounding it and the great neighborhood, but I don't buy it. Being at the ballpark watching your favorite team is being at the ballpark watching your favorite team. There is no substitute for it and just about every fan in every city can agree with this (except those who have to go to the Metrodome). We spend these last few weeks of the season wishing for it to be over, then we spend the next 6 months wishing it was back or waiting for it to begin again.

From my own perspective I know this is true. When the season is all said and done I will have attended right around 30 games, more than I ever have before. I have written about the Brewers every week of the season and when I think back on it years from now I know that I will have enjoyed this season more than any other before it. I wish the team would have been better. I wish they would have made the playoffs. I'll probably end up wishing they finished above .500. That won't change the fact that I loved this season more than any other.

Except for next season, of course.

*** 1/2/5
REASON TO BUY: It's only $0.01

Vince Morales is the guy who runs this site. He likes the Milwaukee Brewers, pro wrestling and beer. If he offended you he is very, very sorry.

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3 comments on “MPD Book Club: Wrigleyworld

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