okay. it’s 1982. i’m eight. i know all the milwaukee brewers by heart. contrary to other young grade school girls, robin yount is my favorite (paul molitor was definitely the heartthrob). all told, i’ve spent most of my life listening to pat hughes calling ball games on the radio with various ex-ball players of varying stability.
the ’82 brewers were a midwestern girl’s dream; the stuff that you had to think major league was based on. i remember when they won the division (there were only two then), the broadcaster had nothing to do but to scream “it’s PANDEMONIUM, it’s PANDEMONIUM!!” over and over. the characters, the stories, the team that previously sucked that went on to win. only, they didn’t go on to win. they lost to the cardinals in game SEVEN of the world series. breaking an eight year old’s heart.
time went on. the brewers never really did much after that. there were no more big runs for the division. in shows of loyalty not seen anymore, robin yount finished his career in milwaukee, and molitor nearly finished his career there, earning a ring in toronto, and finishing his career with a brief stint in minnesota. however, both he and robin yount were elected into the hall of fame as brewers.
naturally, i digress. i moved away from wisconsin and down to illinois. i started to do on-air news shifts (with the occasional sports shift) at WONC and realized more than ever that baseball was a daily game. at this point, the brewers were still in the american league, so i conceivably could still root for both the cubs and the brewers, but it was a hell of a lot easier to follow the cubs and i was already falling in love with wrigley field. i could still easily argue both sides of the designated hitter, and would do so with pleasure.
note. i was never going to be a white sox fan for all the years they were in the same division as the brewers. i sure as HELL was never going to be a cardinals fan. DUH. so … that leaves me as a cubs fan living in illinois, cause i most certainly needed a ball team to root for, and i fell in love with them in short order. it seemed that not long after i moved here, that bud selig got his greedy hands on the ways of baseball and wanted a new playoff system, wildcard, blah blah and moved the brewers into the national league.
my friends backed me into a corner. it was do or die. was i ready to take on the heartbreak kids? did i know what i was getting myself into? i loved the ivy, the history, the old-fashioned romanticism of the field. of the team. of all of it. i was on board. besides, all my heroes were long gone, and i hadn’t been a part of the brewers in so long. and then, there was miller field. taking lives and a lot of money, i disavowed myself of that monstrosity. i was in. i was a cub fan. and so it was.
and i had good times. 1998 was a fucking riot. it ended quickly and badly, but it was fun while it lasted, and i went to a LOT of games. it went back to blah mediocrity, well lame badness, but i got used to that quick. 2003 was terrible, though. it was my first taste of the horrible abusive relationship that the cubs were capable of dishing out. i didn’t know. i really, really didn’t know what that was about. at the end of game six, my friends were afraid of me. i wasn’t yelling. i wasn’t swearing. i was dead quiet. i was so sad. i knew what it meant. i knew game seven held nothing good for us. i knew it was over, no matter how much i tried to hold hope. sigh. and to make matters worse, ticket prices were already so high that i felt apart, separate from my team.
i took some steps back from them these last years. i had to get some distance. but i’m back. i’m ready to make this work again. i have complete faith. i also have some crazy ass superstition, too. the red sox did it. and the mets won when we collapsed. and … well, the mets collapsed in on themselves like a house of cards. guess whose turn it is, kids? guess whose turn it is? that’s right.
and i’ll die a packer fan. my blood is part green, yo. part green.