It started as a grand ambition.  To squeeze some major Americana into one weekend in some distant city.  I scoured the sports schedules.  MLB schedules, NFL schedules, NASCAR, you name it.   After several evenings of fucking around with dates and events, it came together:  I would go to Chicago one September weekend.  A Cubs game on the Saturday, and a NASCAR race on Sunday.  Two of the most Yanktastic sports imaginable: baseball and idiot car racing.  If we were a smarter nation, we’d combine the two – baseball car racing.  Both sports involve going around in circles anyway, how hard would it be to drop a dozen cars in the middle of a ballpark and go nuts.

Anyway.  Cubs and NASCAR.  The sports of kings.  No, I don’t mean “kings”, do I…  The sports of Larry The Cable Guy.

 

The Cubs game was superb.  The bonus bit was that the Cubs actually won (!!!).  I was convinced that they’d find a way to choke (you know, like the Mets’ season-long game plan), but holy shit, they won!  Truth be told, I didn’t give a shit if they won or lost, it was being at Wrigley Field that made it such a goddamn thrill.   The ivy-covered wall in the outfield, the absence of a blinding jumbotron or other gratuitously shiny gizmos, and… the Old Style!  Ohmigod, where have you been my whole life, Old Style?   The ridiculous cheap-ass cans, the crisp yet watery flavor, the logo that looks like it was lifted from Medieval Times?!  It fuckin’ made the ballpark for me.  It allowed me plenty of visits to Wrigley Field’s famed piss troughs.  And that was fucking awesome.

After the Cubs won, we wandered down the street and checked into some lively bar.  It was a glorious moment when I realized that we’d walked into a Michigan State bar.  Michigan State and the Indianapolis Colts bar, actually.  How the fuck you put those two together I have no idea.  But I didn’t give a shit – on every screen in this place was the Notre Dame-Michigan State football game and I was surrounded by stupid Spartan green.  Fuck it, I was going to ride this game out in this bar.  It was a peculiar thrill ‘cause I had never been around so many Michigan State fans before.  This was going to be awesome!  Many, many, many, many pints later – and some hot wings that seemed to be made of molten lava – Notre Dame soundly spanked Michigan State.  And with that, we took our leave.  But not before we were treated to some of Chicago’s finest partying heavyweights:

500 lbs of grain-fed, alcohol-marinated Iowa football fanatic, sprawled in the middle of Clark Street with such finesse and grace, it took half a dozen pedestrians (who themselves were a right mess) and two squad cars to drag this lifeless lump off the asphalt and onto the sidewalk.  Well done, Hawkeye, well done.  I, for one, have never seen a beached whale this far from the ocean.

 

But you can never get too from the hipster douchebags.  Here were two of the top candidates who sauntered right by me.  It was interesting how these two bros were playing off each other.  I really didn’t quite get the vibe they were going for as a unit.  Was there a costume party that spontaneously broke out in the middle of a Saturday afternoon?  Did Chicago have its own Running Of The Bulls event that hadn’t been savvy to?   ‘Cause I’d love to have seen that – several hundred shitheads getting mauled by tomorrow’s Applebee’s combo dinners.  What of the colossal douche in the hat, sportcoat and penny loafers?  Maybe these two assholes confused a bull run with a bull fight.  How I wish the shithead with the hat was on his way to a bullfight.  Those red shorts would be the most perfect target for getting cockpunched by a raging ox.

 

 

Tomorrow: I fail to take a bite out of the chicken-fried steak of American sport