21
Aug 12

Take Me Out To The Cubs Game: A Short Story

He grew up a Cubs fan just like his dad did. As a kid his dad would sit him down in front of the TV, turn on WGN and the two of them would spend a summer day with Harry Caray. It was a ritual as a kid, but then he got older and friends and girls and other things got in the way. He grew up and he didn't watch as much Cubs baseball with his dad as he used to. He didn't watch any at all really. Now that he's older he doesn't consider himself much of a baseball fan, more of a football guy. He probably couldn't even tell you who won the World Series last year, but he did like the Cubs. He loved the idea of it more than anything else. "Did you know that a guy lived his whole life without ever seeing the Cubs in the World Series? I hope that's not me." He'd say and he meant it too. The Cubs were his team. Forever and always.

He had a son of his own now and he figured he'd be a Cubs fan just like him. Harry Caray wasn't around and half the games weren't even on WGN anymore, but it didn't matter to him. He was a Cubs fan and his son would be too. He didn't realize that things were different now. His son couldn't relive his youth just like he couldn't suddenly become his father. His son didn't want to watch a baseball game on TV, not when there are X-Boxes and Nintendo DSes and interwebs to be played. His son didn't want to play catch with a baseball, he wanted to play a game of baseball... on his 360. Despite his best efforts he could not get his son to care about the Cubs of Chicago. The world had changed, his son didn't live in his world anymore and the man didn't realize it. Like Jack after he got off the island he wanted to go back.

A game. That's would fix things. If only his young son could see the Cubs live and in person he could finally see how great it is to live in the world as a Cubs fan. Cubs fans are like a big happy family, he thought. After a game he would see this and his son could join the family. Then they'd be closer, then they'd have something to share. Something just for them. He looked at tickets online, but Wrigley Field was just too expensive even with the Cubs not playing well. Between the drive into the city and the parking and the food and everything else he knew there was no way he could justify it to his wife. Plus, she'd probably want to come with which was out of the question to him. This was a father and son thing and she couldn't come. (Besides he could use a break.) He couldn't figure out how to afford the trip. The trip that would make his son love his team as much as he did. The trip that would make him and his son feel more like him and his father. And then it came to him. The answer was right in front of him all along: Wrigley North.

Miller Park was not only closer, easier to get to and more comfortable, it was also cheaper. He could hop on the expressway from the North Suburbs and be there in no time. He could be back before midnight and not spend nearly as much as he would downtown. It was perfect and it's not like there wouldn't be plenty of Cubs fans in attendance. They don't call it Wrigley North for nothing. He bought the tickets and August 20th they would go.

The ride up was more of the same for their relationship. The son played his video games while the dad drove. He tried to talk, but the son was too into his video game. Just like always, but the actual baseball game? That was different. His son was into it. His son stood and cheered, he laughed and he was in awe of every homerun. "I did it," he thought "I made my son a Cubs fan." He'd never felt prouder as a father.

The Brewers entered the bottom of the fifth and with the Cubs leading 3-1 it occurred to the man that his son's first Cubs game would be a win. This excited him to no end and he couldn't hold it in. He asked his son if he thought the Cubs were going to pull this thing off to which his son replied "yeah, maybe." He liked that. He liked that his son didn't count his chickens before they hatched. After all, there was a lot of baseball left to be played.

The bottom of the fifth got rolling and the Cubs remembered they were the Cubs. The Brewers went off on them for eight runs and any hope of a Cubs win probably went with them. When Jonathan Lucroy hit his second homerun the dad felt bad. He remembered how he felt as a kid when his dad took him to a game and he saw the Cubs get destroyed. That was so long ago, but the wounds still felt fresh. He wanted to make his son feel better at this moment so he turned to console him. Only his son didn't need any consoling. He was on his feet, cheering and high fiving strangers. His son was as happy as he'd ever seen him. His son was a Brewers fan.

The father felt betrayed. How did this happen? How could this happen? Where did I go wrong? He couldn't grasp why his son wouldn't want to be apart of the same family that he was a member of. It didn't add up. So he asked him. The boys answer did not surprise him because he had heard it before many times throughout his life. He did not, however, ever expect to hear the words from his son. These words were never supposed to be said by his own flesh and blood. His son's words were simple yet biting. Short yet pointed. There were only three of them, but the father felt every single one of them deep in his heart.

It's been said that children make you want to live your life over. That the world through their eyes is so much better than the world through your own. This is not something the man thought about that day, but it is something he probably should have because his son's words were the truth. A truth he should have learned a long time ago. A truth his father should have told him. The truth, as the boy said, is this:

"The Cubs suck."


30
Jul 12

facebook doesn’t suck. people do.

A couple months ago I was talking to this 16 year old kid. He was kind of a shy kid who you could tell spent a lot of time playing video games and surfing around the internet. (read:virgin) He was kind of awkward and you could tell he wasn't really good at socializing with people. Being the amazing person that I am I decided to engage him and try to get him to come out of his shell. We talked for a few minutes and when he said that he spent a lot of his time on the internet I asked him what his favorite website was. His answer? Facebook.

Really? I mean, really? How could facebook possibly be someone's favorite website? Facebook is without a doubt the most annoying website on the entire internet. It is a website that you spend the most time on (mostly looking for pictures of girls you like in bathing suits), but that you get the least amount of value you from. Facebook isn't a fun website to visit, but it has somehow become a part of our daily routine and doesn't seem to be going anywhere. (And don't say "I don't go on facebook anymore." You sound like one of those guys that proudly announce they "don't own a TV." You're basically announcing to the world that you think you are better than them and need them to know about it. Good for you. You'll never know how freaking awesome Parks & Rec is or how absolutely lame your friends are. I hope you choke on your Kashi cereal.)

Here is the thing though: facebook is not the problem. Yes, it's a flawed website and they are always adding dumb stuff that people don't really want, but it's still the absolute best at what it does. Twitter is great, but I can't go on twitter and stalk my ex-girlfriend and make myself feel better because I think her new boyfriend is less attractive than me. I can't make fun of my friend who lives in Canada for his bachelor party pictures if he doesn't post them one by one (which would take forever and people would find annoying because you are "flooding their timeline." btw, bite me twitter police.) Don't even get me started on Google Plus which could have stolen everybody if they just did "facebook how it used to be," but instead decided on this weird circle things where you can't easily share things on someone else's wall. (WHAT!?) Like it or not facebook is the only game in town.

I remember when I first got myspace and it was so much fun. I had music playing when you went to my page. (In retrospect this is super lolz.) I think it was "Can I Get Get Get" by Junior Senior or maybe that "Way I Are" song. (Shut up. Chicks digged it.) We would post pics from nights out and then comment all the funny stuff we did on the pics. I could have long, drawn out conversations with my friends in the email while they were at work where we talked about super important things. My son's mother could print out things I wrote on there in an attempt to use them against me in court. Oh, wait that last one kind of sucked. Forget I said that. The point is that it was fun for a minute and then we all went to facebook and it was better and ever cooler for a minute too. We posted our pics, we wrote funny statuses, we became friends on there with new people that we were friends with and it was fun. As someone who always thinks people are out there having fun without me it was perfect. This was like hanging out with the people I like all the time. It's what social media was invented for and why social media is not going away. We all want to hang out all the time.

But then it all went wrong. How did it all go wrong? Well, in my opinion there are two things that went wrong and they are:

  1. Everyone in the world got facebook which caused everyone else's butthole to clench up.
  2. Pretty much everyone is dumb.

We'll cover the second one first because I like to do things backwards.

In the "glory days" of facebook you would have EVERYONE updating their statuses on a near daily basis. Some people were dumb. Chill bros like Tyler and I would post funny stuff. I remember one time I did a status/ten comment thing where I re-wrote the chorus to "I Gotta Feeling" that I thought was absolutely hilarious.

In the comments one person did not get the joke. The other thought it was funny. Zero likes. Re-reading it now it's not as funny as I remember (although I do love the "I don't want hot dogs, not again" line and the next verse about making out with a guy is awesome), but my heart was in the right (hilarious) place. People should have enjoyed it more.

So here I am trying to entertain my friends by writing funny things on my wall while you have these dummies on there posting "LIKE THIS IF YOU THINK CHILD MOLESTATION IS BAD" and getting like 500 likes and 200 comments. Yeah dude screw child molestation! It gets old fast. You start to slip away and wonder what the point of posting funny stuff is if nobody gets it. I still do it, but jut not as much as I used to. The dumb people are taking over and it scares away the smart people. Shouldn't that really be the other way around?

The biggest knock against facebook is probably that it should really be called "Babies & Marriage-book" or as I like to call it "Babies, Marriage & I just ran a marathon let me tell you about it-book" There are so many people that I didn't even realize I was still friends with that use facebook just to announce that their boyfriend proposed to them. Then they get the two thousand comments that all say the same "so happy for you girl" crap. I mean, yeah, good for you and all that. Does he still wear your shoes to bed? Because that was kinda weird, but still good for you. Worse is when you don't see them on the website again until they actually do get married and then they post pictures and videos everyday for the next three years until the inevitable baby and then post pics of that kid every day until the end of time. Wheee.

Honestly, I can't knock these people too much because that's who they become. They used to be these young fun people, but then they get married and have married friends and those friends have kids so they have kids too and that's all their lives revolve around. Now all the sudden they are old and lame and you are left wondering what happened. It's not their fault that there isn't a setting on facebook for "I used to be cool, but I'm not anymore so please unfriend." Life would normally take care of that for us, but with facebook we're stuck with them unless we take the time to click a few buttons and that takes way too long so they can just annoy us forever.

The random users are annoying too. The idea of "I haven't posted on this site in months, but I have to now because I'm engaged/I'm on vacation and need to check in to let you know/I'm in or out of a relationship/I ran a marathon and need validation" are frustrating, but not the worst. That's because the worst are the over updaters. You know the ones. The people who use facebook too much or worse use it too much because facebook is actually their personal therapist. You read the status "SO UPSET RIGHT NOW" and then fourteen people come in and comment asking them "what's wrong?" which plays perfectly to the poster's narcissism. These people are the same ones who update their relationship after every big fight, let you know when they are sick or hungover, post inspirational quotes because they really need to hear it today, react to every tragedy like their opinion matters, delete stuff that gets them a negative reaction, ask you to click like because a like will somehow stop kids from being murdered of AIDs and everything else that annoys the crap out of me. Seriously, nobody gives a shit if you are having lunch at Subway. People eat lunch at Subway everyday. It's not news. I don't care that you had a Veggie Delight. It would delight me more if you shut the hell up about it.

The only way we're ever going to take our social media back and have it be fun is to unfollow these people, but that unfortunately is harder than it would seem. Why? Because these annoying people are our family members, our bosses and our friend or relative's boyfriends and girlfriends. They are annoying because we are stuck with them. Which brings us back to the first problem: nobody wants to use facebook anymore because it is impossible to say anything cool without fear of being prosecuted by our families or our bosses.

Let me tell you a story. A couple weeks ago we had this thing called the Pants Party. It was awesome. Of course afterwards there were quite a few pictures of me posted on facebook and none of them were very flattering. Which is completely fine with me because I don't like having a filter. Much like Popeye I am who I am. Anyways, let's say that this is one of the photos that was posted on the site:

To me that's a funny pic and a good representation of what you missed if you weren't there. If I saw that pic of one of my friends and knew that this was a party I could have been at I would be pissed, but maybe that's just me. Anyways when I got home the next day my mom asked me if I had my facebook profile public to which I told her no. Her reply? "Oh good. I saw those pictures from your party. Maybe we shouldn't be facebook friends."

I had other friends who saw the same pic and the next time I saw them in person they made fun of me for it. Why did they have to wait? Couldn't they have just done it in the comments? Isn't that the point of the comments? Not anymore. Not when your boss not only sees your wall, but what you comment on. Not when your girlfriend doesn't want her mom to think less of you. This is life now and this is the problem with facebook. This is why it will never really be good again.

Everyone is afraid of someone seeing what they do. Which is to say that everyone is afraid of being themselves for fear of someone judging them for it. I don't care that my mom saw that, but I am not like a lot of people. My parents read this blog they know how dumb I am.

If the point of social media is to hang out with your friends when you are not hanging out with your friends than this point has been completely ruined by facebook and being forced to be friends with your co-workers you don't like, bosses who suck, idiots you knew ten years ago and family members who don't understand you. It's sad because everyone should have videos like this one out there on their facebook wall for all their friends to see. What's the point of doing something like this if you can't share it with the people you like?

This weird video of me dancing at Wrestlemania is what it should be all about. Doing fun things, sharing them with your friends who aren't there and having a good time with it. Instead it's just this dumping ground for pictures of your kids and where you're eating right now. It's kind of sad really.

People ruin everything.


30
Aug 10

Miller Park Drunk’s Finest Hour

I can say without a shadow of a doubt that Miller Park Drunk's Pants Party was a huge success. It seemed like everyone who came wanted to have a good time and I think that everyone there got exactly what they wanted and more. There were little problems here and there, but none of it ended up having an effect on anyone's good time and that's all you can really ask for.

The party started right when people were allowed in the park at 10 AM (nearly half the party showed up right at ten on the dot) and didn't stop for some until about the third inning when a combination of the kegs being empty and the cops telling us to go inside did the party in. (Honestly, this was probably for the best.)

While lasting at most four hours, the party (not including the game which was also nice, Braun was 4 for 4 with a homerun and a broken arm) had a little bit of everything and in some ways was a perfect representation of this site and what we try to do around here. If you wanted to talk about baseball the whole time, you could do that. If you wanted to get really drunk, you could do that and if you wanted stuff your face with ballpark food, you could that too. There was a little something for everyone and great times were had. I honestly can't picture it working out any better than it did.

I'd like to thank everyone that came and participated. I just brought everyone together, but you all did as much to make it fun as anyone else. I can't thank you enough. Everyone had their party pants on yesterday and the party was better for it. I'd also like to thank a few people specifically:

- Ryan: For being an amazing cook and keeping the food flowing throughout the park. This party wouldn't have been half as good without the spread he created and executed.
- Larry from wezen-ball: Who did just as much to promote this party and get people to come as I did. I don't know why he did it, but I'm glad he did.
- The girls with the personalized shirts: For bringing the fun and keeping everyone involved. Lucky guy I am to have friends like you.
- Tyler Maas: For being an endless source of comedy, intentionally and unintentionally, for the entirety of the party.

I put in a lot of work to pull this party off, but in the end the entire thing came off completely effortless and fun. It was just a good time for everyone and that's why I can't wait for next time and neither can anyone else. (Coming in 2011, Pants Party 2: Electric Boogaloo.) There will be a next time next season and when it happens I expect at least 90% of the people who were there yesterday to return for the squeakquel and in the end that's the best thing I can say about it.

Also, this happened. Continue reading →


14
Apr 10

5 songs I could see the Brewers breaking out into song to sing

In honor of last night's disappointing Glee premiere, a show where pretty much everyone breaks into song whenever they feel like it I thought we'd do something different today. How about five songs that you could see the Brewers randomly breaking into songs to sing? Does that sound like something that you'd be interested in?

  1. Prince Fielder: "I Want My Baby Back" (Chili's Baby Back Ribs song)
  2. Trevor Hoffman: "My Life Would Suck Without You" by Kelly Clarkson (sung to Casey McGehee)
  3. Doug Davis: "Big Girls Don't Cry" by Fergie
  4. Craig Counsell: "Whistle While You Work" by the Seven Dwarfs
  5. Gregg Zaun: "Hate On Me" by Jill Scott

BONUS FORMER BREWER SONG: Jason Kendall: "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette (sung to his ex-wife)

What?


08
Mar 10

To Go or Not To Go: An Opening Day Conundrum

I've been to Opening Day for the past three years now and this would be my fourth year in a row. Basically, since I moved back to Wisconsin I have gone to Opening Day every year. I've had good times and I've had bad. I've had girls hold my hand because they were drunk (or as I like to call it, second base), I've had a fight broken up because the other person liked Kobe Bryant just a little too much, I've gone crazy for my favorite player and I've dealt with that traffic that you see in the picture. It's always been fun, but so has every Brewers game that I've ever been to. (Well, except for that one.) I guess the question I am asking is, does a good Opening Day matter? Should I even bother? I mean, as a person who is kind of crazy about baseball, a person who spends a lot of his free time writing about it for free on a website, you'd think that I'd be a shoo-in for Opening Day, but lately I've been questioning it. Continue reading →

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