Posts Tagged ‘cubs’

Sit in the Bleachers at Wrigley

Right Field Bleachers

Right Field Bleachers

On a warm spring night there are few better places than finding yourself in the bleachers at Wrigley Field and hanks to @DreFlair, I got some free tickets!  With a cool breeze you’ll find few more entertaining baseball experiences no matter where your baseball allegiances may lie. I’ve been going to the bleachers since the massive heatwave of 1995 when the temperature hit 106 and sweat stains could be seen on the faded bleachers.  Since then, the @cubs have built more seating, added a Toyota sign, a lounge in center field, and made the line for getting a wristband longer than the line to Hot Doug’s.

Despite these things, here’s why I love going to the bleachers:

The view

The view

When you’re watching baseball on TV, the view is always from the center field cameras.  Behind the mound, you get to see where the catcher is setting up, if a runner is out or safe, and catch when the bullpen is warming up.  Watching the outfielders shift every so often lets you know where they think the ball is going to go.  I love taking pictures from the bleachers!

You can try to feed the players

You can try to feed the players

For whatever reason, Cubs fans make no sense.  Half come to the game unprepared to pay any attention, while the vast majority drink until they can’t think, throwing food and sometimes drenching players in a cold cup of beer.  Whether you are a diehard fan of baseball who shudders to think of missing a play or someone more interested in tweeting on the ignorance of the fans all game, you’ll nary find a crowd that reacts with no sense of logic in baseball.

Fans with a deathwish


Call me old school, but back in the day Cubs fans prided themselves that the Wave did not and could not happen in Wrigley.  You save that nonsense for the other foo-foo ballparks around the country.  In the past three games I’ve gone to I’ve seen one wave go through the stadium umpteen times, at another game a set of fools attempted the Wave and were shouted down, and last night’s Wave which stopped as soon as it went up. Totally unacceptable fan behavior.

Maximum leg room in the latter innings

Maximum leg room in the latter innings

If the Cubs are losing heavily, you’ll have no trouble finding that extra legroom you’ve always dreamed about. Fans trickle out each inning as the Cubs will likely face another 100-loss season.  As the “L’s” start piling up, you can rest assured that new seats will open up after the seventh inning stretch.

The bleachers are as glorious as they are obnoxious.  Regardless of the circumstance, I would make sure to stop for a bleacher game if I ever had to leave Chicago for good.

#68 – Check out a Cubs Rooftop

Down the Line Rooftop

Down the Line Rooftop

Thanks to a recent coupon promotion, I was able to snag some cheap rooftop seats and get a chance to see what all the hubbub was all about. I was a bit worried since I got to the gate and there was a line that was stretching too far even though it was an hour before the game. Someone let me know that I was in the line for Skybox on Sheffield and was relieved when I found myself in a much shorter line and quickly up the steps to the rooftop.

Some rooftops, if you don’t get there in time, chances are you’ll be stuck standing all game or watching the game on TV from the second floor. Luckily, I got in line early enough to skip losing out on the game of musical chairs. Seating options included bleacher style risers, a few couches, and some metal patio setup but they were all taken save the risers.

Rooftop Seats

Rooftop Seats

The risers weren’t bad considering the heat and the food and drink flowed even before the game started. The lines for food were longer than the line for drinks which didn’t make much sense, but the lines moved along fairly quickly. Food selections included burgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, brats, chicken sandwiches and chips. The burgers were grilled by the dozen without much attention as they were all frozen and there was plenty of food to load up on before the game began. Beverages included Anheuser-Busch products, Miller offerings, Corona, Heinken, and wines. There was apparently dessert on the second floor but I was too busy hanging out on the top where the real fun was.

Rooftop Seats

Rooftop Seats

Sitting in Wrigley, it would always seem that the view from the rooftops would kind of suck given the distance and extra street everything was behind. Surprisingly, I found the view quite acceptable because even though everything was so much farther away, the height of the seats made up for the distance, you could still see almost everything going on in the stadium.

Second Floor Window

Second Floor Window

All in all not a bad value proposition and a way better financial deal than one you’d get from the stadium across the street depending on how much you ate or drank. With rooftop seating offering an acceptable vantage point, it made the unlimited food and drink more of a bonus than the main draw, however I can easily see why other people might have it the other way around.

#43 – Watch a Cubs Game from a Company Suite


I remember my first Cubs game, my dad got some company tickets near the third base line and my dad didn’t watch baseball. Instead he dropped my brother and I off at Wrigley Field while we watched the game against the Braves. I’m pretty sure they lost that day but I was the beneficiary of corporate tickets. Fast forward to this past weekend and a good friend of mine @TheAW gave me a call and let me know he had one extra ticket for the company suite at the game! Of course there was World Cup going on and of course I was going to go do a million other things and meet people, but would I drop all these plans to go see the Cubs? The answer was a resounding, “YES!” and I found myself up the stairs to the suite in no time!

Opening the door, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Inside was a wall-mounted flat screen TV, some furniture that kind of looked like it belonged on a boat, a beer fridge, and a giant tray of hot dogs with all the fixin’s. The room was a bit tight but there were chips, popcorn, and all manner of beverages all around. Someone wanted to order wine and of course the obligatory introductions were made. I took a step outside at the seating area and marveled at the view. It really was great – you could see all of the other suites and the best view outside of behind home plate.

The TV had a long delay from the field action, which was understandable and it was beautiful outside. There’s very little yelling in the suite areas and definitely no chants of “Let’s go, Cubbies!” but I could see Cubs Hall of Famer Billy Williams two suites down. As the game progressed the Cubs shockingly took the lead over the Reds and Randy Wells had a no-no through five.

As Carlos Marmol stepped in to finish off the game, I pulled out my vuvuzela and began to make insane amounts of noise. The airhorn-like projection of the horn caused an executive from the suite next door to step out and marvel at it. I offered him a try, but he said I should so I played the vuvuzela again letting out a loud drone. Through the window I saw Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry and he was staring right at me! Instead of running back inside, I nodded and waved at him and he waved back. As Marmol finished off the game, Steve Goodman’s “Go, Cubs Go” rang throughout the stadium and Jim Hendry stepped out.

Seeing Jim Hendry, I blew the vuvuzela again and he asked me if I got it at the stadium. I hadn’t but then I asked if we could take a picture and he happily obliged. @TheAW1 declared me the biggest Cubs fan and that he had been a Cubs fan since Dawson.

“I’m sorry I’m not doing better,” Jim Hendry lamented.

I found his statement to be very humble and honest. He asked if we were going to be back tomorrow, but this was my first time ever in a company suite! Very cool to be rubbing elbows with the Cubs top brass and the company suite was probably the best seat I’ve ever had. Every Cubs fan should make their way to a luxury suite at least once just to take it all in, drink and eat limitlessly, and knock themselves out. It was a great time and wouldn’t have happened without the great benevolence of @TheAW!

A Day in the Life of….

6:00am – The day began with my cell phone alarm clock going off waking me up from four hours of sleep. I didn’t get to bed until past 2:00am since I was up working on a slide deck for a group project, writing a review of literature on the relationship between government expenditure and high school student achievement and catching up to episodes of The Pacific, The Tudors, and Mayweather-Mosley 24/7 since I was gone all weekend at a wedding in Baltimore. I promptly fell back asleep for another half hour before succumbing to my better senses and got ready for the grueling day.

7:10am – Leaving the house for a commute to the office, I noticed the trains at the Kimball were much more emptier an hour before my usual arrival and quickly sent myself to light mode nap mode. I made sure to check in to defend my mayorships at Kimball Brown Line CTA and Belmont Red/Brown/Purple Line CTA when it was time to swap trains. The trains were so empty at Belmont that I was able to grab a seat to continue my express napping session.

8:00am – I arrived to the office and caught up with everyone and chitchatted about my trip to Baltimore over the weekend for a friend’s wedding and how there are new hotel-style super dorms over my alma mater, Johns Hopkins University. I found out about the new changes at my first college, Drake University and was reminded of Paul Revere’s Pizza’s breadsticks in Des Moines and recalled to a colleague how we once snuck a keg through a window into the dorms when I was a freshman. I then began working on research projects and archiving some of the latest publications in the field of family business.
9:00am – The Loyola University Annual Block Party gave us all a subtle reminder of its presence by sneaking the scent of charcoal into our nostrils in our third floor office. The grills were on and food would be coming right up!

11:00am – The Loyola University Annual Block Party announced itself ready as the band broke out in a wave of guitars, beating drums, and loud unintelligible singing. Two workers went to grab eats as I lamented that of all days, I left my ID at home! No ID would mean no access to the goodies of char-grilled burgers, chicken, brats, ribs, and Diet Cokes! DOH!!!
11:15am – My coworkers returned with a surprise and brought me a bag of chips, a char-grilled cheeseburger and a brat laced with grilled onion!!! Score! I was going to be able to benefit due to their more sensible eating habits! Having been denied barbecued food since winter melted away, I quickly wolfed down my eats and couldn’t help but smile.
12:15pm – I was originally due to hit up the Cubs game since a friend had free tickets to the game courtesy of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Unfortunately, he got to the office too late and all of the tickets were gone. Yesterday, another friend asked me what I was doing today and let me know he had not one, but two free bleacher seats! Working on a project and having work the next day, it made much more sense for a friend to come grab them then drop me off a ticket so I could get in the game when I was done with work at 1:00pm.

1:00pm – Backpack packed, it was time to jet and off I went to Wrigley Field all the while tweeting to pass away the minutes and defended my Chicago Ave. Red Line CTA mayorship on the way from the notorious Fakesquare former mayor.

1:30pm – After going through a longer than usual security line and getting my backpack more thoroughly checked than by TSA agents at Midway and BWI Airports combined, I reached the top of the center field bleachers and found the birthday boy waiting. The sun was blazing down finely with a negligible 5mph wind blowing in from the north. I postulated that it would be a low scoring affair with few home runs but was proven wrong when I was told that Adam Kennedy (Adam Kennedy!) went yard in the top of the first and then watched Adam Dunn dump a ball into the left field bleachers. For every run the Cubs would score, the Nationals (The Nationals!) stayed ahead. My friend @greenmind0428 was heavily immersed and baffled why he checked into Wrigley Field with 4 others while @OldStyleRedLine checked in with 40 other people. He decided that the @foursquare entries were duplicates and I noticed I couldn’t check in via dumb phone since there was more than one Wrigley Field!

3:45pm – Nine innings later, my fantasy baseball pitcher Ryan Dempster fired 8 innings of 3-run baseball while the Cubs managed to flop after receiving a leadoff double from Marlon Byrd, also leaving the bases loaded and stranding two more runners after man on first and second with one out. The Cubs outhit the Nationals but still, the L flag would fly over Wrigley and there would be no singing of “Go, Cubs, GO!” The Cubs were 0-2 in games this year with me in attendance and I was hoping Friday’s game wouldn’t leave it at 0-3.
5:00pm – Back at Loyola, I prepared more of the slide deck researching various data on high school graduation rates, governmental expenditures on education and the national debt picture. Group team members arrived at 5:30 and we shuffled into a study room and shut the door.

8:25pm – My sections of the slide deck finished and review of literature complete with additional citations, I was good to go to a goodbye dinner at Maggiano’s on Clark for some fellow school chums who would be done and graduated

9:00pm – Dinner consisted of Parmesan Garlic Bread, Tomato Caprese, Fettuccine Alfredo, Four Cheese Ravioli, Chopped Salad, Maggiano’s House Salad, Herb Roasted Chicken, Veal Marsala, New York Style Cheesecake, and Tiramisu. Dinner conversations included upcoming graduation, moving, decay infrastructure in the United States, Neuro-Linguistic Programming and mind control, business school and law school, group project dynamics, the MBA Cup, good bubble tea places, life philosophy, web site redesign, blogging, Twitter, marathon training, and commuting.
11:30pm – Dinner concluded with an exchange of handshakes and the inevitable walk to the train. I sat in my customary front car of the train and began to fall into nap mode but waking up whenever my phone vibrated with the inevitable Twitter updates.

12:20am – Returned home and snapped a quick picture of the full moon from my back yard. Caught up on baseball box scores, updated my fantasy baseball teams, played Mafia Wars, and caught up on updates from Facebook. Uploaded more pictures from the past week onto Facebook, leaving out duplicate pictures / very similar pictures.
2:02am – Wondering how the day passed by so quickly and what time I will have to wake up tomorrow…..

@Brandi_w60’s List


Searching far and wide for ideas and spreading word that I have started this blog while I was away in Baltimore, it was great to get home and see that more ideas were submitted. Here are the latest ideas, from @brandi_w60!!

1) Overnight stay at the Field Museum
2) Dance at the Sears Tower in the cubes
3) Dinner at Joe’s Stone Crab
4) Camping and hiking at Starve Rock
5) Speed down Lakeshore drive at 3am
6) Bike the Drive and not pay for it
7) Egg Daley’s house at 4am
8) Pull the biggest prank by calling in an awning company and replacing all the Macy crap and returning it to Marshall Field’s
9) Have an actual bar hop, make all the ladies dress in poodle skirts and all the men to dress like greasers and then go from bar to bar
10) BBQ at the beach in the middle of winter with a heated tent to serve all my friends
11) Join the Polar Bear Club of Chicago and jump in the lake at least once during the winter
12) Ride in the express elevator at the Sears Tower and jump when it got to the right floor
13) Run around Northwestern Hospital in a hospital bed race
14) Chiditerod! Need I say more?
15) Skydive onto Wrigley Field during a Cubs Game at night
16) Prank call the Presidents Chicago home
17) Tour the Goose Island Brewery
18) Have pizza from every Chicago pizzeria
19) Give more crap back to the servers at Dick’s Last Resort that they hire me as a server and I refuse
20) Wine and dine at the most expensive place in Chicago and then whine and cry about the bill
21) Ride the short bus of Chicago’s CTA fleet
22) Do my duty as a civil servant as a juror of a murder trial and be the last man to hold out and then say I was just kidding lets hang’em
23) Paint a mural on the basketball court at Foster beach that is so beautiful the people stop playing basketball there
24) Watch the Cubs win the world series at home
25) Watch the Bears lose to the Packers again
26) Watch the Sox get sold to an owner that moves them to Alaska
27) Watch the Hawks win the Stanley Cup (This might be the year!)
28) And in closing of my bucket list, I would pull the same pranks that the Blues brothers did in Chicago and feel proud of myself!

Now this is a serious list! Perhaps I will write a longer blog about my experience in the Chiditarod, it was grueling and hilarious all at once!