No "dismantling of the Bills' draft" column today folks. Not up for it. I have already posted once this week and I had a god-awful stomach virus in the last few days that was worse than watching Patrick Lalime or Jose Theodore suit up as Ryan Miller's backup. Which reminds me: What do you call it when you shit and vomit at the same time? I am not sure if an official word has ever been created for this phenomena. I was going to connect them and call it a "SHIVOM", but it sounds eerily Yiddish and I don't want to offend any of our fine Jewish friends (Hey Bluedot! Told you I'd work a shout-out in one day). Please leave your shit/vomit word creations in the comments. IT TAKES A VILLAGE PEOPLE!!!
As you may know (read our damn bio's!), I am a Cubs fan, and have been since the days of grade school. It may be easy to blame my lack of concern with the game today solely based on the ineptitude of the Chicago franchise, but I swear to Jim/Thurman/Andre/Bruce, that's not it. You see, baseball and I have always had a love/hate relationship. I will not bore you with too much detail, but as a young child, Buffalo only had the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, so with no real MLB team to root for, I flat out didn't give a shit about Baseball. This went on through most of grade school until I discovered afternoon games on WGN. As soon as I walked in the door from school, there was the brilliance of Harry Caray calling the game, with the likes of Ryan Sandberg, Mark Grace, Greg Maddux, Andre Dawson, and of course the world's greatest utility man, Luis Salazar! I was hooked. My love for baseball grew and my love of the Cubs grew. I always kept it to myself because my friends either didn't give a crap about baseball yet, or chose the Yankees or Mets because it was the same state.
Enter College. Here I could ramble on forever, but I'll save you your time and effort. My interest peaked again in these years. I will say it started to rise right before I left, mostly because of the Home Run race between McGwire and Sosa, but it didn't completely get me back in the groove until that first full year of undergrad. Yes, having my "favorite" team on the front pages was awesome, but their was still this lack of coverage in Buffalo, or any love for the game from any of my friends, and that held me back. What pulled me back in, was attending a college that was filled with New Yorkers. In my entire life I had never seen people so obsessed with baseball. Their passion for baseball was equivalent to my passion for Hockey and Football. Watching games with all these guys that would eventually become my lifelong friends was one of the best parts of college. I could play the middle man between my Mets and Yankees friends because of my Chicago love and enjoy all of the games.
*Sidenote: During the 2000 subway series, my friends and I would go to our usual Thursday night hangout, this dirty and over-crowded bar that had cheap beer and would serve anyone with a shitty fake ID called....you guessed it, "CHEERS". As we walked in the side entrance, they were only letting in one person at a time, which of course made us nervous that the ID policy had suddenly changed. But what was really happening, was the bouncer asking everybody "Yankees or Mets"? He was a Mets fan, and if you answered "Mets", it was two bucks to get in. If you answered Yankees, it was five. I answered "I'm a Cubs fan". He shook his head, said he was sorry and let me in free of charge. YAY SADNESS!!!
This did not last long however, because in the summer of 2004 I moved to New York City, the motherland of baseball (Up yours Boston! Every one of your franchises has won a championship now so you can no longer whine about ANYTHING!). Once here, baseball surrounded me. I got to see the Cubs play in Shea and Yankee Stadium several times (No wins on record yet), and I even found other Cubs fans to hang out with and watch baseball, a first for me. It has been pretty awesome to say the least.