Last night, the Cubs lost and didn’t look particularly impressive in doing so, but I had a good time at the game anyway.
It was the first time all season that the three longest tenured members of the Aisle 424 Summer Family were together for a game. Life’s twists and turns, combined with the general crappiness of the Cubs had compelled two of us to ditch our long-held season ticket packages and the last holdout will probably frop his in the off-season. So what was once a regular occurence during the previous thirteen seasons became a happy coincidence last night.
CCD and GM asked me recently if I missed it at all, and my first reaction was that I don’t have a single regret in giving up my package. But I realized last night that isn’t entirely true. I miss the interaction we all used to have up there as the Cubs bumbled around on the field.
Sadly, last night may have been the last time in quite awhile that all three of us watch a Cubs game together, so it seems somewhat fitting that the Cubs managed three two-out hits in a row in the fifth inning without being able to score. there was also a nice nostalgic trip back to when we first came together in Aisle 424 in 1998 as Kerry Wood struck out the side in the eighth. There was the inevitable tease in the ninth inning as Johnny Venters walked the first two batters to bring up the heart of the Cubs order representing the tying run.
Last year, at the Merry Christmas game, I kind of knew that’s how it was going to be this year, but it really hit home with me last night. We outlasted Jim Hendry, but just barely.
They compiled a record of 1,095-1,138 in that time. We saw the rise and fall and rise and fall and rise and departure and return of Kerry Wood. We saw Sammy Sosa hit 402 homeruns and then get run out of town. We witnessed the Cubs get within five outs of the promised land.
We laughed and bitched through all of it and I can’t imagine experiencing those moments without that support group to get through the drudgery and to cushion the blows when the few good teams fell short of our dreams. So until the planets re-align to where we can all get together again, we have the memories from 13 years of cheering on and cursing about the Cubs, plus a grainy photo.