Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Lovable Losers

I have learned to appreciate and enjoy late September. Typically in Chicago late September means that summer is a distant memory and the temperature begins to drop. For me, I have come to appreciate (and dare I say, even love) late September thanks to the hapless North side baseball team affectionately known as the Chicago Cubs.

During the regular season’s summer months Wrigley Field is packed to maximum capacity. Wrigleyville is occupied by Wrigleyvillians whom I would argue enjoy their Old Style brew more than the product the Cubs organization places on the field for 162 games a year. Needless to say it is nearly impossible to purchase a pair of tickets at face value even for bleacher seats.

So I wait patiently, happily and with glee as the Cubs season inevitably turns sour. Sure it’s cute in early summer when the North siders are 10 or so games out of first place of their division, but by this time of year, when they are flirting with being 30 games out of first and warm weather has dissipated, Chicago fans for the most part finally shrug a careless shoulder when it comes to venturing out to Addison and Clark to catch a game.

I use this as an opportunity to capitalize on this city’s indifference and purchase major league baseball tickets, in a major metropolis for below face value. For $20 through stubhub.com my wife and I were able to take in last night’s game from the 3rd base side with this view.

Could I afford to head to the friendly confines during July and pack myself in with the roar of the North side crowds? Sure, but between you and I, I really don’t see an incentive. Long lines, drunk crowds, overpriced tickets and being crammed into a stadium with tens of thousands of others just doesn’t sound like fun to me.

What does sound like fun? Buying pro sports tickets below face value and making a date night out of it. Before the game my wife and I had dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in our neighborhood before venturing to the game. We ate great food, had excellent service, had a few margaritas and were not pressed for time.

I recall in my pre-Ramsey days how stressed out I would get when paying and going to a professional sporting event. I stubbornly (while dragging my wife along) made sure to get to the arena early to take in batting practice/shoot around/warm ups, buy all of my food ahead of time to ensure I wouldn’t wait in a concession line and miss any action during the game. And even if my team were getting blown out I would stay until the bitter end to “maximize” the dollars spent.

Last night my wife and I had a lovely dinner while talking and catching up on life, leisurely made our way to the friendly confines by the 4th inning, and when a loss for our home team was imminent (plus it was past my bed time J) we left before the bottom of the ninth, and had plenty of budgeted money left over to splurge and take a cab home from the game. Perhaps the funniest moment of the night was talking myself out of buying a beer at the game. I was excited to get into the stadium and take in what might be the last views of Wrigley Field as we have known it to be while drinking an Old Style. But I just could not shell out the $7.75 to do it. The money was in my pocket, budgeted and well within our parameters for the night’s expenses, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger and order it. Call me a snob, you might be right, but I just can’t justify paying $10 for crappy beer, hell, I can’t even justify spending that much on good beer. But I’ll rant on outrageous concession prices at sporting events another day.

So I guess this is a roundabout way of saying this, but to the front office management of the Chicago Cubs, please, don’t ever change a thing, I absolutely love your team and the way you are running it!

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