We all apparently have had our lovely Wrigley experiences. Chock full of beer, hot dogs, home runs, cheering, singing the stretch and singing Go Cubs Go. However, I’ve hardly seen or heard stories from people about an atrocious Cubs game they’ve been to. I know the Wrigley experience can be fascinating in any perspective. When I’ve been by there on days where the Cubs are out of town, you can still hear faint cheering coming from the Friendly Confines. Then again, everyone has their one day where everything just seemed wrong from the start. I’m going to share a painful story from my last Wrigley Field trek back in April of 2006.
It started with rain and it ended with rain. Not the kind of rain that’s pounding, but more or less a light sprinkle. It was probably no more than 40 degrees outside and we were heading down to Wrigley to see the Cubs take on the Milwaukee Brewers. I had hope for the day, Doug Davis was on the mound for the Brewers and the Cubs usually hit him hard. I thought Glendon Rusch would pitch fine. There’s something you guys can laugh at. The one positive light for the day was that the NFL Draft was occupying me, but we’ll touch on that later. Here’s how the game started, and you woudn’t believe me considering what the guy did FOR the Cubs.
Rickie Weeks leads off the game with a home run on the first pitch. The dudes behind us were all Brewer fans, that didn’t help. Two batters later, I think it was either Prince Fielder or Carlos Lee who came up and hit a home run. 2-0 Brewers. Bottom of the 1st was promising, Juan Pierre lead off with a hit. That was pretty much it though. I think Dusty’s adopted son Corey Patterson hit right into a DP to end the inning. Now let us flash forward to the third inning where things started to get a little heated.
Glendon Rusch walked two guys, and then it was time for Fielder or Lee to come back up and hit one out. I shit you not, they each hit 3 home runs that game. By the 4th inning, it was already 8-0 and I faintly said “The Cubs can come back!”. After I said this, it was another blast into the seats. You could hear the ire of the crowd already calling for Dusty’s head. Me, on the other hand. . . well let’s just say my mother-in-law who doesn’t really know a lick about sports, is someone you don’t bring to games. She roots for the other team (unless she goes to a White Sox game), and hopes it’s a blowout so she can rub it in. I had had enough of her and well, said some very harsh words to her because I had about had it. I lost my temper and called her a fucking bitch. Right after I said it I recoiled and sunk into my seat like I just shot a puppy. Had my father-in-law not gotten up to go walk around the stadium, I might have not snapped. Had I gotten up to go to the concession stand, I could have cooled off. Instead, I said it and my wife just stared at me in disbelief. Let’s just say we left the game in the 4th inning with the score 12-0. I felt like I had shot somebody in the face. We stopped at a McDonald’s and my wife was calming me down and saying “That was very rude, Matty, I know what you said was out of frustration, but that’s just who she is. She’s been doing it my whole life.”
It did calm me down, I apologized, and just stared out the window of the bus that took us to the train station. The wait for the train was god awful though. It was supposed to be back at the end of the Cubs game and well, we left in the 4th inning. By the time the train arrived, the final score was 16-2. Just miserable. Cold and miserable. Fit the day perfectly. There are a few bright notes however, and writing about this just brought some Instant Karma to me courtesy of the late John Lennon. We got back and it was just in time for me to see who the Bears were drafting on ESPN. They called out the name Devin Hester and I was doing cartwheels around the living room! Not really, but my father-in-law asked who he was and I said that he was one of the best kick returners in college and the Bears really needed him. Things that came from Hester, I did not expect. Carrying on though, the Cubs game may have been awful. The Bears later that year were to play the Saints in the NFC Championship game. The thing I didn’t mention was that my mother-in-law is a Louisiana native and a Saints fan to boot.
Bears fans know how that game played out. My mother-in-law didn’t speak to anyone in the house for two days. That’s what you get when you mess with the heart of a Chicago sports fan! So I hope I inspire some of you to think not only of you’re best Wrigley memories, but share a painful one because everyone has at least one! Remember, the ability to withstand pain comes with the territories of being a Cubs fan.