Cubs Opener Really No Surprise

April 10, 2007

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Photo by Jason Marck

Yesterday was the Chicago Cubs home opener.  Rumors were swirling that something big was going to happen during the opening day ceremonies.  So we sent our resident Cub Nut Jason Marck to find out exactly what was afoot at Wrigley Field.

 

99 summers. 99 heartbreaks.  In my family, 3 generations of our time, money and love have been invested in the Cubs, only to have our hopes crushed, as Steve Goodman would say, like so many paper beer cups.    

 

(2:20 of song  “year after year after year after year after year”)

 

But this year is gonna be different.  Got to be different.  Instead of “Wait ‘Till Next Year”, I'm hearing fans say “Next Year is Here!”  I mean, this is the very first time I've been in Wrigley for opening day! 

 

Before the Tribune company was sold, they spent a ton of money on free agents.  They went out and got themselves the no-nonsense Lou Pinella to manage the team. You could feel the enthusiasm as the gates were cranked open and the crowds swarmed into the park.

 

Tape of gates and crowds

 

The Cubs marketing department came up with the new slogan “Play like there's no tomorrow”.  And I heard that something special, something huge, something secret was going to happen during the opening ceremonies.  I asked people before the game what they thought it might be…

 

Tape of people guessing what the big secret might be

 

Then, with bated breath, I waited. 

 

Tape of me waiting, then a few more opening day things, then the parachutists….

 

And then they played a U2 song blared out of a new multi-million dollar sound system as the Cubs took the field. I'm not sure if anyone noticed.  And that was it.  That's it??!! Wait a minute…where's the big surprise?”   I thought Al Gore was going to give a multimedia presentation tying Cubs futility to global warming.  I thought Morganna, the buxom woman dubbed “the kissing bandit” back in the ‘70's was going to plant one on Pinella.  I thought a massive fireworks display was going to shoot out of Ron Santo's hairpiece. 

 

 Once again, the cubs have built me up just to knock me down.  Oh well, at least we're going to get a win, right?  Uhhhh, no.  2 batters in, the cubbies are down 1-0.  by the 5th, they're down 3-zip.  They do come back and tie it at 3.  But when they give up 2 more runs in the 8th, my anguished cry can be heard across the north side:  

 

Tape clip  “oh, the humanity of it all!”

 

And then it was all over.  As I walked to my car, I wondered, “why do we do it?  Why do I torture myself?  Jesse Jackson once said

 

Jesse clip:  suffering breeds character

 

Well in that case, I must be one heckuva character.  On the other end of the political spectrum, President George W. Bush said

 

Bush Clip…..”Fool me once….shame on…..you.  Fool me twice….we, uh, we won't get fooled again!”

 

But you see, as true Cubs fans, we WILL get fooled again.  Because we're loyal.  We believe.  We have faith.  Someday, we'll get what we deserve.  Or maybe, we already have.  For Chicago Public Radio, I'm Jason Marck