Thursday, April 21, 2005

Editorial of the Month: Cubs vs. Cardinals

Rivalries make sports, its as simple as that. When you think of the best rivalries, you think of Michigan vs. Ohio State in college football, two schools that absolutely hate each other, seperated by the border. College basketball's best rivalry is seperated by 8 miles, quite simply the best rivalry in college sports is Duke vs. North Carolina. When you think of pro sports and you think of football, you think of Bears-Packers, Cowboys-Redskins and the Raiders vs. the Broncos. Basketball's rivalries are enhanced because of individual matchups, but factor in the major markets. Lakers vs. Celtics was all about Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. The Bulls were up against everyone during the late 80s and early 90s, but what stuck out was the Bulls vs. Pistons because of the underdog status the Bulls had led by MJ and the bully status of the Bad Boys of Detroit. Bulls-Knicks was always about Jordan turning it up in front of his hometown folks, on Broadway, the biggest stage in sport, Madison Square Garden. Jordan vs. Ewing, yeah, that was good. Jordan vs. Spike Lee, oh yeah that was good. Now, the hoops game is all about individual rivalries that after a while get really old and are honestly over hyped. LeBron vs. Carmelo, Kobe vs. Shaq, A.I. vs. Larry Brown are all overhyped attempts by the NBA to be marketable again. The real rivalry now in the NBA is Detroit-Indiana. (Note: I totally forgot about Knicks-Pacers, Reggie vs. Spike Lee, THAT WAS THE RIVALRY OF THE 90s!!!) Now we move to baseball's rivalries. In a baseball world that revolves around Yankees-Red Sox (The Evil Empire vs. The Little Engine That Could and That Did Because they Spend Just as Much as the Yanks) and Dodgers-Giants (aka The City of Los Angeles vs. Barry Bonds) one rivalry gets absolutely no dap is Cubs-Cardinals.
Cubs-Cardinals gets overlooked for several reasons. One reason is because it is away from the East Coast media giants and the perception is that they don't bring in as much money as the Yanks and Sox. Another is because recently, the Cubs haven't been holding up their end of the bargain. But damn, there was a period when the Red Sox were finishing third and fourth behind Baltimore and Toronto. What makes this rivalry stand the test of time is the fact that no matter what the records are the games are going to be played closely, they're going to be intense and they will be entertaining. Cubs-Cardinals doesn't need the hype that the East coast gives all of their rivalries because it is one of the most pure rivalries in baseball, let alone, sports. Their connected by I-55, seperated by about 400 miles and have the central-southern part of the state torn. The Cubs are in state, but the Cards are closer (and usually better.) But once again, this rivalry is pure, strictly baseball. Everyone talks about Ruth being sold by the Sox to the Yankees, but baseball people always remember Brock-for-Broglio which sent in the end the greatest basestealer of all time for a washed up second baseman. Yeah, don't think Cards fans don't remind us Cubs fans about that, they rub it in at every occasion. The Yanks and Sox might draw better crowds, based on stadium size, but if you've ever been to Wrigley for a Cubs-Cards game, you always walk out with the same question, how did they squeeze 45,000 in this place. Sure, the stadium attendance says 38,000+ but don't forget about standing room only. Oh yeah, and they can only legally say 40,000 because of safety regulations, can't have that many people in such a small area legally, but the Cubs get away with it. Oh and the Cards draw too, they drew 80,000 the last two games, in fact, they were the first sell-outs since Opening Day. So really, you can't say this rivalry has no history, because that's only part of it.
Let's look at the baseball side of things for a second and give you a quick history lesson about the most underrated rivalry in all of sports. Let's look at June 1984, the renowned "Sandberg Game" where Cubs Hall of Fame 2nd Baseman Ryne Sandberg hit a game tying homerun off former Cub and Cy Young winner Bruce Sutter. He later hit a game winning home run in that game that eventually propelled the Cubs to win the NL East that year. Let's move to 1998, simply stated Sosa-McGwire. Enough said, the two men that single handedly brought baseball back to life with the Great Homerun Race. The Cardinals suffered with a losing record while McGwire broke the homerun record and the Cubs catapulted because of the MVP season of Sammy Sosa. Let's move to 2001 where the Cards dominated the Cubs in a season that the Cubs finished 4 games out of the division with another classic collapse led by Don Baylor. My favorite part of the rivalry was in 2003. They catapulted the Cubs into the playoffs in September 2003 in that 5 game series. Prior dominated in game one of a double header and in game 2 drama filled the air when Kerry Wood kept knocking opposing pitcher on his ass and a controversial call by rookie umpire Kevin Kelly (who always seems to screw the Cubs.) Then the next day when Dusty and LaRussa got into that heated argument where they went back and forth and the television caught it all. Then the game I will never forget, the Cubs came back from a 6-0 hole to win 7-6 in the best game of 2003. I left school and it was 6-0, decided not to listen because I wasn't in the mood to go through heartbreak. I got home and it was 6-5, and I stayed on my couch until the Cubs pulled it out in the greatest comeback in my history as a Cubs fan. Let's move to 2004 where the Cardinals dominated and basically broke the Cubs spirits in the series which I personally point to as the downfall of that 2004 team. Game 1, Cubs lose their temper as Carlos Zambrano plunks Jim Edmonds and gets kicked out to a standing ovation by Cubs fans. Game 2, LaTroy Hawkins blows his top after he blows a lead. Game 3, I will never foret the Cubs blowing a 7-1 lead and losing 11-7 because Kyle Farnsworth and LaTroy Hawkins didn't believe in getting anyone out and gave up homers reminding me of those mid-90s Cubs.
Alright, it's not heavily hyped and no one really cares about Cubs-Cards world wide. But you know what don't tell anyone in the midwest that. Because honestly, we could care less about what the East says about us. We just know that if you want a baseball rivalry based on location, knowledgeable die-hard fans on both sides, a battle for one state and the pure sport of baseball and one that isn't centered around some overhyped curse, I personally invite you to Cubs-Cardinals, there's nothing like it.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Cubs Report

Jon Leceister is probably the worst pitcher I've ever seen in Cubs history. This includes Antonio AlfonSUCKA, Danny jackson, heathcliffe slocumb, mel blojas, rick gaguilera and the beat goes on. HORRIBLE!!! He can't get no one out. He's either walkin the bases loaded, giving up hits to JASON FUCKIN LARUE or fuckin hitting bitch hitters. Damn, he fuckin sucks. This Cubs team will not make the playoffs if they play like this. Hell, if they keep playing like this, they'll have another third place finish. Damn, with all that money Tribune Company saved by not resigning alou, grudzielanked, mercker & clement and trading sosa we could at least get some pitchers in the bullpen and a fifth starter. No, we take one of the better short inning men we have in dempster and try to start him. we take the guy who started for us all year last year in rusch and bury him in the bullpen. we shoulda traded leicester instead of farnsworth, at least the farns brought hoes to the game and he could throw 100mph and strike people out. and he could kick peoples asses. leicester, his name isn't even pronounced as its spelled, he couldn't get a strikeout if he was facing no batter and he's gay. He needs to die or at least be demoted and exiled to desmoines iowa where he can work on being not only a better pitcher but a better person. cuz damn, if you can't pitch, you btter bring some fine ass hoes to the ballpark!!! Man, we can't beat the goddamn Reds. I fear whats gonna happen on wednesday and thursday against the Cardinals, or hell even against the astros. Damn, we gon' finish in 4th place. Right now, if we finish in 3rd Baker should be fired! Hendry should be fired! and the team should be sold. What a bunch of idiots. And to think, the Cubs have the best, most patient and most demanding fans in the world. But you couldn't tell because the way that ball park fills, you'd think that the Cubs are 25 time defending world champions. STUPID YUPPIES THAT GO TO CUBS GAMES HAVE RUINED MY LIFE!!!!! AAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Weekend Report

Wow, this was one of the best weekends I've ever had. Since it was so good, I'm just gonna bullett point them:
  • Thursday my roommate left. Me and my guy Steve comforted a friend of ours who was having a tough day. Steve brightened the mood by miraculously throwing a hanger over his shoulder hanging it up from 6 feet away. It was quite amazing. Also amazing, my sleep, or the fact that I got extended hours of sleep.
  • Friday I checked up on our friend in the morning just to make sure she was doing good. Once again, takin the role my roomie would usually have. My classes were short, my history class didn't exsist cuz my TA quit. My creative writing class was just 20 minutes long. Friday afternoon was boring, me and steve went on a kohls/wal-mart run. Steve bought a hat and i restrained myself from buying two shirts. Friday night was fun though. This guy Julian showed up in my room and I told steve to bring his weapon for fun and steve didn't, but julian left back to his room. Mind you this started when he was talking shit about the Cubs and i had to bust out that the White Sox are the only team to throw a World Series and that they haven't won a playoff series since the 1910s. Oh and that the ILLINI choked in the only two games they needed to win. Well, Steve brought his weapon and gave it to me when Julian came back he stared at steve expecting him to do something while Steve's just standing there palms out I was standing there with the gun pointing at him. I finally decided to shoot him in the arm. Then he left and Steve was shooting him more, Julian bragging that Steve missed then was immediately shot in the crotch by steve. Then he went back downstairs talking shit about me being depressed and shit and that he was not scared of Steve (which he obviously is afraid of a guy half his size who is standing there innocently without a weapon) and he was talking shit about me confessing my love when I'm drunk. I was like, at least I confess my love to girls that are of age. We call him Kells cuz he was making a pass at a 13 year old girl (he's 19.) Yeah, Kells, as in R. Kelly, child molester-extra-ordinaire. Well anyways to prove that he wasn't afraid of steve he came up here to the room. Steve came from behind him and slapped him a little, kinda playfully, Kells instead was throwing serious punches...missing...yet throwing punches. He hit with a couple, but we don't know if it was cuz steve was drinking, but they didn't hit hard. Oh and as he was throwing the punches, Steve slapped him, not hard, but kells as a bitch probably was hurt. He tried bearhugging steve and steve spun him around. I haven't seen the bearhug since the days of andre the giant and he aint no giant. And he lost his flip flops during the scuffle...who wears flip floops during a scuffle. It was fun friday night.
  • Saturday was fun. I slept til 2 pm despite being awakened by my friend Calla. I asked her if she wanted to go eat breakfast and she's like "No, it's 2 pm Lou, I already ate." I managed to survive the day with the only sports being the Sox game and the Cards game. That night was absolutely awesome. I spent the night wit two beautiful women watching the movie Brown Sugar and later we ordered Jimmy John's and ate jimmy john's while watching VH1. We later talked about stuff. So much fun. It was so much more fun talking and being around these girls than wit my roomie (sorry homes, but u gotta gimme props on dis one.) We stayed up til about 2 am jus chillin. Then the 3 am fire alarm, just as i was going to sleep. I lifted one leg on to my bed and i fell as soon as i heard that alarming sound followed by please evacuate the building. this because some idiot on the 17th floor burned their popcorn so bad that it set off the fire alarm.
  • Sunday was cool cuz i actually got to go to breakfast. I went to breakfast wit the girls and then later Kristin stopped by and we talked while we watched the Cubs game. C'mon could a weekend get better. Quality time with awesome girls watchin movies, tv and baseball. Oh this weekend only was completed by the return of my roommate. And I had the great quote "Cock blocking yourself because you didn't have a condom is like getting an A on a test that you forgot to put your name on." Later that night, and we have it on, steve and hoos performed the greatest dance of all time by doing the cha-cha slide. note that we are all sober right now and we are currently recovering from what is possibly one of the most funniest things ive done this year. I proposed a toast at the end, that was awfully cool.

Now i know i probably missed a whole bunch of other cool stuff this weekend, but its all savd in my head as the best weekend this semester, by far! P.S. i still love you hoos even though you were 400 miles away! BEST WEEKEND EVER!!!