Thursday, August 23, 2007

It might be, it could be...

This past week, we made our annual summer pilgrimage to Chicago.

I have a deal with my daughters: we spend a day at the American Girl store on Michigan Ave, eating fancy lunches, seeing shows, getting the dolls' hair done, and shopping for 6+ hours. Afterwards daddy gets to eat pizza at one of his favorite Chicago pizza shops (Gino's East, Duo's, Giordano's, etc.) and no one gets to complain when we go to Wrigley for a Cubs game.

One of the great things of going to Wrigley for a game (aside from the spectacular history and feel of the place) is that I get to watch a baseball game with 40,000 other people that react and cheer at the same time I do. Normally in our house, I cheer the TV or the internet radio broadcast, and the family looks at me like I'm crazy.

Unfortunately, things were a little more complicated this time, since we decided that Kit and Elizabeth (my daughter's American Girl dolls) wanted to come to the game. Kit had her new Chicago Cubs outfit on, and Elizabeth had her traveling clothes. To complicate things further, the give away at the ballpark was a stuffed Snoopy doll with a Cubs uniform on. More often than not, I was holding several dolls and a blankie and unable to stand up to cheer a home run. Such is the price of fatherhood when you're a Cubs fan.

In looking around the park, I was shocked at how many boys had Cubs jerseys with Sammy Sosa's name and number of them (a clear majority of those with jerseys had a Sosa jersey). Sosa hasn't played for the Cubs in years, and left with a bit of a steroid cloud over his head. However, his continued presence says much about how youngsters learn to love to game, and the power of the definitive home run to focus attention in a game that is otherwise full of gray and subtlety.

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