Each Friday, we’ll feature a guest blog post. The subject of these posts are open-ended. Anything from an experience of Game 7 at the World Series (today’s entry) to travel, power lifting, running 50 miles (in one day), or political and societal issues.
Today’s guest post comes from Troy who I met at a benefit golf tournament in Oklahoma – The Patriot Cup. Troy is a tremendous golfer, and keeps even better company while on the course. We shared a practice round that I remember like yesterday (RM, BS).
Anyways, here’s Troy.
Somehow David Ross hit a solo home run off (stud) Andrew Miller
Transport yourself to a nice Iowa summer afternoon. I’m at a local watering hole here in Des Moines called “1908 Draught House.” Love this place. It’s obviously a Cubbie bar. The founder, Colin, is a HUGE Cubs fan, naming his bars after the Cubs.
Truth be told, I’m not a baseball fan. I appreciate the sport, I know enough to know that part of my lack of enjoyment is directly correlative to my lack of understanding all of the nuances.
The Cubs are on TV, blistering another team on their epic run to be several games out front. “Could this be the year?” seemed to be the growing sentiment in the bar, in Des Moines, on TV, everywhere.
—-Sidebar: Des Moines is home to the Chicago Cubs AAA team, the Iowa Cubs, so we have a built-in fanbase here—-
After taking a cold sip from my Budweiser, I see Colin…a couple of us joke to him: “hey man, if you get your wish, you might have to change the name of your bar!” That was probably the sixth or seventh total innings of baseball I’d watched all year. Just not my thing. Am I rooting for the Cubbies this year? Of course. I was born in Chicago, live in Des Moines, love a great story. But I simply don’t pay much attention.
Future forward to Tuesday evening prior to Game 7. I receive a text from a buddy. Pretty succinct: “Hey…extra seat on the plane, want to go to Game 7 tomorrow? 4 of us have tickets and 3 of us don’t. You’d make #8. Want to try our luck at scalping a ticket?” It was 11 pm…my wife was supportive….I told them I’d go. He responded with “if I can’t find tickets online, we might not go, let’s decide by 11 am.” I responded: “I just need an hour heads up, and I’m in.”
Wednesday, Game 7 Day: 11 am comes and goes…Mausser calls me at 11:45 am: “Hey, it’s a go. Be at the FBO at 1:45, unless you can join us for lunch…beers and burgers at Francie’s (if you ever come to Des Moines, check out Francie’s…great joint).
I ran home and changed clothes…grabbed some cash…lots of cash (tickets in Chicago were going for thousands…needed to be prepared)…met them at Francie’s by 12:45. Had a Budweiser and a burger, and we all headed to FBO to jump on the Citation II. Great plane.
Met a couple guys I hadn’t met…knew the other 6. We jump on the plane, discuss baseball, this epic run, and have a couple of beers en route. Mausser is committed to getting good seats. He’s in charge…I’m just along for the ride, and happy to be there.
We get to Cleveland in about 85 minutes. Atlantic Aviation…lots of iron flying in for this one. See a guy I know walking in from another plane. Kind of fun. Paul. Took a photo (it’s the social media age)…hit the restroom. A half-in-the-bag first timer was loud and obnoxious and was speaking while at the urinal to his elder buddy who was sitting in a stall….I was in-between them at another urinal…they were having a conversation. Urinal guy says: “Man Jim…sure seeing a lot of Chicago fans at this FBO!!! Like everyone here is a Chicago fan!!! Isn’t that weird???” Jim from stall: “Yeah, dumbass…because so many Cleveland fans have to fucking fly into their hometown for games!” I giggled. Gonna be a good night.
We take a car service van to Downtown Cleveland. Great city. Great fans. The city was electric. Police on horses, people out and about, great energy in the air. And a nice day, too. 70 and sunny. Remember four of us have tickets, while three others and I do not. Mausser pulls the trigger on 4 tickets….row W behind homeplate. Like row 22. They were amazing seats.
Interestingly, the crowd was about 50-50 Cub/Indians fans. Chicago traveled well. Could they come back from being down 3-1? Could this be the year? Will Colin have to change the name of his bars? These are all questions going through our minds. That, and “where is the beer and food?”
We take our seats and are struck by how perfect the night is at that moment. We stand for the National Anthem….we sit and before we know it, Fowler hits a dinger off just the 3rd pitch of the game.
Whoa. Tone set for the night. The Cubs mean business.
You all know how the game went…don’t need to bore you with the details…and while you at home got more color, commentary, and context, we got atmosphere, friendliness, and memory creation. It was just amazing. Our seats are so freaking good that we could hit Theo Epstein in the head with a Peanut M&M.
At one point I stand up to go get some more food, and I hear my name being yelled from 3 rows back. It was Bill Bennett, someone I had been in a real estate deal with years ago…he’s a professor at Kellogg School of Management in Evanston…a former Big 10 starting catcher at Purdue…so clearly a Cubs fan and former good player. Holy cow…go up there to say hi…so fun to run into blasts from the past.
The Cubs control the night up until the 8th…then the epic tie by Cleveland, forcing extra innings…then the rain delay…then the magic. A Cubs victory for the ages.
Upon leaving the game, I was struck by the sportsmanship of the Cleveland fan base. More than 20 people came up to us as we walked to get a car back to Atlantic Aviation and congratulated us on a victory, shook our hand, and hoped we enjoyed their city. Just cool and refreshing.
We get to Atlantic eventually, and man, there were over 200 private jets trying to leave all at the same time. You want to giggle? Go to an FBO where over 200 people are standing in line…and these are people NOT ACCUSTOMED to standing in line and listen to their first world problems while waiting to take a shuttle to their jet in the rain. Lol.
We waited on the plane from about 1:30 until 3:00 am…I fell asleep out of exhaustion from a long but fun day. I felt the plane jostle a bit, thinking “sweet…we just landed,” but I was mistaken…we were just taking off. Ending up going back to sleep while the 4 in the back were re-living the game play-by-play, which as a huge Cub fan, they should be doing…savoring the moment. For me, I was happy to go, but also happy to sleep a little.
5:00 wheels down in Des Moines, home by 5:30…slept for a little then went to work around 8:30 am.
Saw a guy I’d been with Wednesday morning on a project…left him around 10:30 that day before…he asks me (like everyone else around the country was asking their friends) “Did you see the game last night? Unbelievable!” Ummm yeah, I actually did see it. I just got back.
It took me a couple of days to come down from the trip high…it was such a blast.
Very thankful for my health, my family for being cool with me jumping out of town that fast, and for my friends for thinking of me with the open seat. Very lucky guy just adding another chapter of awesome to this book of life.
Ferris Bueller (Cubs Fan) said it best: “Life moves pretty fast…if you don’t stop to look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Maybe next year I’ll be watching games from 2016 Draught House. Who knows.