I saw it even before I got to my seat, right behind Ben and Oif.
That stupid sign and what it means or doesn't mean.
They gonna choke or go all the way?
I hate that sign.
I got there plenty early to soak up the playoff spirit.
There was humendous throng, and the anticipation was as thick as the humidity.
Clark St. had a couple cars on it, blocked by people walking across.
Every couple steps someone said, “I need one” and across Addison there was a crowd around those scalper places.
I obliged people asking me to take their photo with their camera, and when I saw a Diamondback Family posing in front I made sure to walk in the background and make a goofy face.
There was a wedding party with the bridesmaids all in red strapless dresses and the men in black with red ties, the guy dressed as a hot dog, news cameras, helicopters, stupid t-shirts for sale…
I met Olson and his wife Lisa at the outdoor upper deck bar, had a frosty cold one and tried to calm down.
Ben and Oif showed finally with The Judge in tow.
We walked in just after the Cubs had been introduced, and now Wayne is singing the Anthem so I stop and take off my sweaty hat.
I keep walking as Ernie throws out the first pitch, and I turn to look at our seats and there’s the sign.
You ever see “Drugstore Cowboy” – the scene where (I think it’s) Kelly Lynch throws the hat on the bed and Matt Dillon and everybody freezes cause they know it’s bad luck?
That’s what it felt like.
So I already had the fear when young Rich Hill threw his first pitch.
Chris Young hit it out, and you could hear one guy loudly boo.
And then, it got worse.
Nobody could hit Livan Hernandez.
It was in the 5th with the bases (walked) loaded, 1 out and Mark DeRosa up with the hitter’s count of 3-1 where you felt real hope.
I’ve been to so many Cub games I couldn’t count them and I’m telling you the crowd noise for this next pitch was louder than I’d ever heard it.
But poor DeRosa hit into a double play, and it was truly over.
The boos were unbearable, and a couple fights almost broke out between Cub fans behind us – that was weird.
Next inning I asked the two ladies holding their sign if I could take their photo (yes, the one on the right in the painting is a woman – I probably was a little cruel in my depiction of her), and that’s where I got the painting ammunition.
Later, walking out of the park, I passed her being interviewed by tv people on the street as her son kept saying, “Come ON, ma!”
So, it’s over.
The Cubs get swept 3 games to none by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
I wish I could hate them, but I don’t.
There’s no Steve Garvey, nobody threw at anybody, I still don’t even know most of their team.
This series was truly just lost by the Cubs – I don’t think there’s any tipping of the cap to the better team.
The Cubs that won the division just never showed up.
But we get two more years of Lou, and I believe him when he says this thing is just getting started.
There’ll be an epilogue in the next couple days, and I’ll finish the strange tale of The Judge.
I hadn’t really thought ahead about what to do with this blog once the season ended, but for now I think I’ll keep it going…