This will probably be one of the shortest posts I’ve ever written, so those of you who hate slogging through my diatribes can rejoice. There won’t be any revelatory information or any prospect lists or quotes from Cubs players here either. No, I’m just going for the quick and dirty on some warm fuzzies I got from seeing Cubs gear tonight. Not a big deal under normal circumstances and quite expected at the convention the weekend before last. But this wasn’t really the kind of place you’d expect to see the Cubs well represented.
You see, I was at a Pacers game. The Cubs have a pretty large following in Indianapolis, so just seeing a random hat here or there isn’t that big a deal. But it’s January. And I was at a basketball game. I know it’s fallen off a bit from when I was a child, but roundball still takes precedence over pretty much anything else in this state and this town, at least from an emotional point of view.
Yet here was a twenty-something girl in a fashion-forward shirt that had a big Cubs bullseye logo on the front. And here was the guy wearing a Cubs hat and waving to the camera with his son. Oh, hey, that guy among the family members of former Mr. Basketball, and also former Red and Cardinal, George Crowe was wearing a Cubs hat too (can’t really see in featured image, but he’s wearing a blue sweater and standing just outside the spotlight, unlike Michael Stipe). There was even a guy in a Cubs stocking cap and a Wu-Tang Forever shirt who made a cameo on the jumbotron.
A guy walking past me on his way to the concourse tapped me on the shoulder and said, “This is our year!” His wife stopped for a moment to revel in the mutual Cubbishness. The friend who had taken me to the game, who isn’t really much of a baseball fan, asked how I knew the couple. No idea, man.
I tweeted something about the interaction and got this in reply:
@DEvanAltman I love the buzz our respective teams have going in January. It's awesome
— Mike Gianella (@MikeGianella) January 27, 2016
For the record, Mike is a Mets fan. I don’t hold it against him though because he makes really bad puns and once live-tweeted his drunken escapades at a wedding reception with a good deal of attendant hilarity. Despite his taste in teams, the man has a point.
I had a conversation with some folks at work about bandwagon jumpers, and there’s not doubt those folks are around. But it’s pretty damn cool to be at a basketball game in Indiana in January and to see my baseball team well represented. You can take all your predictions and Vegas odds and whatnot and throw them out the window for all I care. People are genuinely excited for Cubs baseball on a broad scale and that makes me feel good.