I drank the Old Style.
More than one person flat out refused to believe that I had never been to Wrigley Field. Not just for a Cardinals game, but at all. It's true, though. Before Sunday I'd never even seen the stadium in person, let alone catch a game in it.
Big mistake. BIG.
I wanted to hate the place. I mean, it is the mecca of all that Cubs Suckdom and liking anything associated with the epitome of losing isn't something I'm inherently comfortable with... but I but blind hatred aside and morphed into a 10 year old boy.
Seriously. It was bad. Looking back on the pictures I took- I think I took about 40 pics in the first 5 minutes inside. Most of them completely worthless. Whatever. I didn't give a fuck.
In fact, here's a slide show I put together to some music. How awesome am I?
7 other random observations from the trip:
1) Ballpark Village needs to get done. And if it takes giving small business owners the opportunity to make something even close to what Clark St. is to Wrigley Field is- DO IT.
Without a doubt, the best thing about Wrigley Field is that it's a freaking huge party. I can't emphasize how important the 100 or so bars and restaurants within 6 blocks in any direction is to this. And I know DeWallet wants a bunch of deep pocketed 'anchor' stores to come in before they break ground on Ballpark Village... but Cardinals fans deserve this atmosphere in the summer. I'm sure it's never going to happen, but give me 15% of what they have in Chicago over the next 5 years and I'll be happy.
I know. It's not happening. STFU.
2) Albert Pujols: Appreciate him now. You think you enjoy this man's greatness. But there will be a time in your life, 10 perhaps 15 years from now where there will be an incredible void, never to be filled again.
As baseball fans, we are lucky as hell to be rooting for a guy that is better than anyone to ever play this game. As long as I live I will remember the first time I saw a game at Wrigley Field as vividly as anything I can remember something. Why? because Albert Pujols jacked 3 shots out of the park and gave me carte blanche to talk tons of trash to everyone wearing blue.
But that's my memory. This guy has provided so many of these moments, that we're all going to have one really special to us by the time he retires. We'll have shows where schmucks like me will sit around a TV set and talk about Pujols games like old girlfriends.
And you'll watch. Because it's Pujols. And he's the best we'll ever see.
3) Troughs are good. Oh, a big place where a bunch of guys can pee without having to stand in line for 10 minutes? Yes, please.
Sanitary? Who cares. I've got a belly full of beer and need to piss. So these troughs were not only economical, they were FUN. PEE EVERYWHERE! YIPPEEE!
4) Every stadium should be designed with this park in mind. No, we don't mean the steel beams in the line of sight. Or exits that wouldn't be fit for a shed. But parks with 2 things to do when you're there... drink beer and watch baseball.
If you're not interested in either of those things, then Wrigley Field would suck. But since you read this site, you are a huge lush- so you'll agree with that last point.
It's deceivingly big. It blends right in with the neighborhood, but holds 41,000 people. It's like a huge bar. A huge bar full of losers.
5) Surprisingly- lots of TV's and Old Style doesn't taste like dick. Every time I needed a replay, there was a TV near to see a replay. So the common complaint of no replay board is kind of moot.
Plus, since I was in Wrigley, I went Old Style. And it wasn't nearly as bad as I anticipated. In fact, I think I enjoyed the first 3.
6) This is the 'fun' rivalry. I wore red. I stood and cheered every Cardinal play that was meaningful. I turned around and slapped honke fist bumps with Cards fans behind us.
And not once, was anything said.
I wrote about this last week (see below) but this isn't the best rivalry in baseball. After all, we don't have any meaningful history in important games to speak of. But everyone had a damn fine time before, during and after the game.
Perfect by me.
7) STL represented well. Probably more people in red were out since it was a holiday weekend, but I'd guesstimate that over 30% of the crowd was Cardinal affiliated in some way. And there was no shortage of Red Bird fans in the bars all over Chicago... not just down by the stadium.
We've got some good fans. Thankfully the Cardinals haven't figured this out and don't take advantage of this fact.*
Now that I've been there, I realize that the Cubs make a ton of money... but for a ton of people. And lots of times, it isn't for themselves. It's probably like wrangling cats trying to get a fair cut of everything that's going on down there by Wrigley. So no doubt, every Soriano strike out has to be more painful for the Cubs owners than rest of us. After all, we aren't footing the bill for 140 million!
*Obvioulsy this is not true. At all
So there you have it. What'd I miss? Anything?
Just some observations of a drunk kid in Chicago for the Cards/Cubs series.