Attending The NLDS, On My Couch

My last post talked about the fact it was time to register for tickets to see the Cubs in postseason play. Of course, I did that and had everyone over the age of 18 that I know who would do it for me do it as well. 

Just now, the Cubs sent me good news and bad news.

no tix for Mark, yet.  OK, OK, I didn’t get the chance to see the NLDS. I’ve been to two NLDS Games, and the Cubs lost both of them. So maybe not getting the chance to see my heroes in the first round of the playoffs isn’t that bad of a thing.

Remember, I am a Chicago Cubs fan and have been since pretty much the day I was born. That means I am full of, I’m on things, optimism. So this is the way I see it. I don’t get to go to the first round which means I might be able to go to a later round of the playoffs. The dream is still alive.

So I will continue to save my money, I will check into how to sell a kidney in order to afford a baseball ticket and keep my fingers crossed for both the cubs to advance and me to be in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field as the 2016 dream season continues.  

And if you happen to have an extra ducat for the NLDS laying around, Don’t forget your old buddy Mark. I’ll go anywhere to see the Cubs in exciting postseason baseball.

The Time Has Come, My Friends

September 7, 2016. Yes, it’s the day Apple pisses off the world by killing the headphone jack, but it’s an even more important day.

Registration has begun for Cubs Postseason tickets!

screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-9-19-49-amMy email included this communique from The Friendly Confines inviting me to register for my chance to spend hundreds of dollars on tickets to see my heroes make their way to the Fall Classic, that is if I’m lucky enough to be picked for the tiny amount of ducats available to the unwashed masses once the season ticket holders, sponsors, MLB hotshots, Fox employees, and second cousins of the ushers get their dibs.

So that means the odds of me getting the chance to buy tickets to a Cubs Postseason game are probably the same as me getting to be Taylor Swift’s next boyfriend. But I’m a Cubs fan, so I believe. I went right to the registration site, put in all my info, and sent my name into the big hopper (OK, database) of entries of other dreamers who want to see the Cubs play in late October. I know the odds are against me and I can always watch the action on TV, but I want to do something my father and grandfather didn’t get the chance to do, see the Cubs play in the World Series.

If you’re thinking of getting in on the frenzy, you should hurry. Here are the dates for the registration window and when winners will hear if they get the opportunity to drop a wad of money into the Ricketts’ and Major League Baseball’s pockets:


And should you want to schedule sick days or are just curious as to when all this Postseason hoopla will be happening, you can find the entire MLB Postseason schedule here.

One more thing, if you come across any extra tickets for any of these games, home or away, please let me know so I can sell some blood and buy them.

This Really Happened On Star Wars Day

I’m not much of a Star Wars person, but I’ve learned over the years that May 4th is Star Wars Day. May The Fourth Be With You and all that. Whatever. And I posted on Facebook and Twitter that if anybody said those words to me that I’d bitch slap them.

But even the best laid plans go awry, as the Cubs took on the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday afternoon, and a very astute Cub Fan (not me) grabbed a screenshot of the game in progress and joined it with an adorable Star Wars, um, star. Despite my lack of interest in Star Wars Day and all that surrounds it, I had to post the meme on social media.

I don’t think there’s anything more to be said, except that the Cubs ended up winning the game 6 to 2 and complete a sweep of the Bucs. And they STILL have the best record in baseball.

Happy National Barbie Day

Today, March 9th, is National Barbie Day. And I’m celebrating! Check out my Snapchat story and follow me there, I’m themarkedwards.


I Cannot Believe The Cubs Did This To Me (And It Has Nothing To Do With How They’re Playing)

I’ve been a good Cubs fan all my life. I cried in 1969, I weeped a few times after that when the Cubs let me down, but I stayed with my heroes because I believe. And going into Wednesday night’s game down 3-0 to the Mets, I still have hope that the Cubs can pull out a victory in the NLCS, or at least this game.

I wanted to see the Cubs play in this series really badly. I had a line on tickets to see the in Los Angeles should they take on the Dodgers, but couldn’t snag tickets in New York or Chicago. I registered for every “win a trip to the World Series” contest I could find and signed up for every drawing the Cubs had that might give me the chance to buy tickets. No luck, so I watched every playoff game, even the ones played here in St. Louis, at home, wearing one of the TWO Cubs Postseason shirts I bought from my supplier of all things Cubs and had smuggled into Cardinals Enemy Territory.

So at about 2:15 Wednesday afternoon, I get this e mail fro the Cubs Front Office:

invitation to buy Cubs playoff tickets

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? I’m in St. Louis, I get 45 minutes to try to buy tickets to the Cubs/Mets game, and not even Marty McFly‘s hoverboard will get me to the ballpark on time. Yes, that was my obligatory Back To The Future Day reference, thankyouveryuch. The ONE thing I wanted this postseason drops into my lap, and I can’t use it.

I don’t care if the Cubs are down, they certainly are not out. And they probably have the best chance of winning tonight of any of their games at the Friendly Confines because, well, because it just works out that way with the Cubs.

I had originally planned to be around Chicago this week, both to soak in the ambiance of Wrigleyville and to try to get reasonably priced scalper tickets after the third inning of a game. But fears of massive crowds around the Shrine Of Baseball and a wild workload kept me in Enemy Territory, which I’m sure is why I’ve been given the chance to buy tickets to the game.

I hope whoever got my ticket r tickets enjoys the game and leaves wth memories of a Cubs win. As for me, I’ll be sitting at home wondering why I can’t find Old Style beer in St. Louis and wondering if I’ll ever have reason to wear these two shirts ever again.


I spent much of the morning reading and answering e mails and Facebook posts about the Chicago Cubs losing to the New York Mets last night and now being down two games to zero in the National League Championship Series. I politely answered all the comments, and posted a semi-somber article from the Chicago Tribune written after last night’s loss and added the comment that the Cubs may be down, but they’re not out.

Why did I say that? Because I believe.

Real Cubs fans believe. They believe in things that few others do. They believe with an intensity and passion that is unmatched in sports, unmatched in almost every form of human existance except maybe doomed political campaigns. They believe no matter what the rest of the world has to say. They sometimes don’t know why, but they still believe.

A Blast From The PastI started believing at a very young age. My father believed, my grandfather believed, and they passed believing in the Cubs to me through either DNA or magic, I’m still not sure which. I went to my first Cubs game in 1963, and I already believed. I spent many days at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field watching Cubs teams that ranged from bad to truly awful in my youth, but I believed. I’ve probably been to 200 Cubs games in my lifetime, and every time I’ve passed through the turnstyles at Wrigley Field, I believed.

In 1969, the Cubs were on fire, only to collapse and lose the division to the Mets. But Cubs fans believed, at least until the back cat crossed Ron Santo’s path at Shea Stadium. Then we believed in the evil of black cats.

When the 1984 Cubs played the San Diego Padres, advancing to the potseason for the first time since 1945, Cubs fans believed. Until the Padres beat the Cubs 3 games to 2 to advance to the World Series.

In 1989, “The Boys of Zimmer” took the Cubs back to the postesason, only to lose to the San Fransisco Giants, but Cubs fans still believed.

The Bartman PlayIn 2003, Cubs fans really believed. They believed the Cubs could take the (then) Florida Marlins and go to the World Series. But then the whole Steve Bartman thing happened, and Cubs fans believed it was that poor schumck’s fault that the team lost game 6 of the NLCS and lost the series the next day. Despite what some saw as sabotage, Cubs fans still believed.

That may have been the year that I learned to believe in what I could see with my own two (slightly flawed) eyes. I was in Miami for the Cubs/Marlins games on press credentials, and I stood at the end of the tunnel as the Cubs came off the field after a stunning 4-0 loss to the Marlins in game 5 of that series. Even I could see that the Cubs had been beaten, not just in that game, but in their heads. They had lost their own belief that they could win that series. I could see it in the way they walked, in their eyes, and at that moment, I believed the Cubs were doomed. Real Cubs fans continued to believe, though, and blamed the losses in games 6 and 7 not on the Cubs losing the Eye Of The Tiger, but on a guy from Northbrook who did what any fan would do, reach for a foul ball that was headed right towards them.

When the Cubs got into the Wild Card game against the Pittsburgh Pirates this year, Cubs fans believed.

When the Cubs beat the Pirates in that game, Cubs fans believed. And they believed so much that many of us unearthed this clip of the late Harry Caray from the last game of the 1991 season and treated it like it was some kind of Nostradamus prediction.

When the Cubs stunned much of the world and beat the team with the best record in baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals, in this year’s NLDS, Cubs fans believed. And others started believing too, people who only knew the Cubs as the Lovable Losers of Major League Baseball. The media started to believe. There were stories about the Cubs going all the way everywhere you looked, and even the most skeptical baseball fan was beginning to believe. And it seemed that everyone who had seen the movie Back To The Future II, which predicted that the Cubs would win the 2015 World Series, believed. The Cubs themselves believed so strongly after the wins against the Cards that they published this picture.

We Believe 2015

Then the NLCS begun, with the Cubs facing their nemesis from 1969, the New York Mets, in Queens. Cubs fans believed that the Cubs could take the Mets.  Much of the media believed the Cubs could take the Mets. Hell, I believed (and still do, I’m a Cubs fan after all) that the Cubs could take the Mets. But in the pregame show on TBS before game 1 of the series, Dusty Baker, the manager who led the Cubs to the brink of making the World Series in 2003, pronounced that he believed. In the New York Mets.

Yes, the Cubs are down two games to the Mets, but right now they’re warming up at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field, with the giant number 14 painted on the grass behind home plate reminding them of someone who never stopped believing, “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks, and the legend of perhaps the biggest believer ever, Ron Santo, who was tortured by the black cat and the Mets back in ’69 but always believed until the day he died.

Do the Cubs players believe? Of course they do. This article in the Chicago Tribune proves that.

Do real Cubs fans believe? Absolutely. Even though 88% of the teams who were down 2-0 have gone on to lose their League Championship Series over the years, we believe. These Cubs have defied every expectation, prediction, or wildest dreams of their fans this year, why should being down two games in a best of seven series be that big of a deal?

In 16 postseason appearances before this year, the Cubs have a record of 28-55-1. And through every win, every loss, and that tie, Cubs fans believed. They believed during every scene in this video documenting every Cubs postseason series in the history of the club. Cubs fans never stopped believing. And they never will.

Cubs fans still believe and they will no matter what happens over the rest of this week They’re Cubs fans, and, first and foremost, they are built to believe.

And if the Cubs don’t make it to the Promised Land, Cubs fans will have a rough night, maybe a good cry, dust themselves off and start believing again.

In next year.


Take The Cubs Fans Postseason Pledge

Jeez, I’ve put more stuff on here in the last week than in the last year. That’s what happens when the Cubs get into the MLB Playoffs.

Today I implore all Cubs fans to join me in taking the Cubs Fans Postseason Pledge. You can take the pledge by watching and liking a YouTube video (which I have NO connection to) and, of course correctly root, root, rooting for the Cubs as they start the NLDS tonight against the Cardinals. Please watch the video, take the pledge, and join REAL Cubs fans in correctly cheering the Cubs on to victory.

In other words, don’t make yourself and your team look bad during the playoffs.

So NOW You Want On The Cubs Bandwagon?

The Cubs are now in the NLDS playoffs and start a best of five game series against the Cardinals Friday. It’s the first time back in the Playoffs since 2008, but you’ve seen all that stuff if you’re reading this. And you probably want a place on the Official Cubs Bandwagon. We Cubs fans who have been on the bandwagon since birth are always happy to get new people to join us, even if it’s just for a week or two. Cubs Overflow BandwagonsUnfortunately, the REAL bandwagon is pretty full, so we’ve got two sweet “overflow” bandwagons that the Backhawks are letting us borrow, so they’ll be plenty of room for all of you latecomers to jump onboard.

Now, not just anyone can get on the Cubs bandwagon. There is a process to this, and it’s been revised since the bandwagon incident of 2003, which we’d rather forget than discuss here. Just like getting the honor of buying Cubs playoff tickets or grabbing a place with 100,000 of our friends on the Season Ticket Waiting List, there is a process one must go through to get on the bandwagon, or the flatbeds in this case. Thanks to the fine people at Sports Illustrated, the application to get a spot on the Cubs bandwagon has been posted on the Interwebz and is here, courtesy of SI, for you to print and fill in.


I think everything there is self explanatory, but if you have problems with any questions, you’ll need to ask a REAL Cubs fan for the answers. Also, feel free to use me as a reference, consider it a gift to you, dear reader, but please provide at least three references, none of whom have ever put a St. Louis Cardinals hat on their heads in their life. If a reference fails that test, you’ll be off the bandwagon this year, and much more importantly, barred from joining us in the 2016 Season Of A Dream, when the Cubs will make this year’s performance look like, well, the White Sox season.
Hurry, you need to get your application in soon before space runs out. Just fill it out and send it to Time is running out, the first NLDS game is Friday evening and we’ll be driving the bandwagon from Wrigleyville to Busch Stadium, picking up riders all along the way. Be there or be square. And bring lots of money for beer, there are no bargains at Busch.


Why Cardinals Fans Should Root For The Cubs Wednesday

cubs postseasonWell, it’s finally happened. The Cubs are in the playoffs. And while I still think 2016 will be the Season Of A Dream for the Cubs, one never knows what the boys have up their sleeves. After all, they did win 97 games, have one of the most exciting rookies in years in Kris Bryant, the big bat of Anthony Rizzo, and the lights-out pitching of Jake Arrieta. That’s why ESPN put the Northsiders at the top of their MLB Playoffs Rootability Index this year.

The Cubs play the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday night in the NL Wild Card Game to see who will go on to face the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS. As a rule, Cardinals fans aren’t very fond of the Cubs or anything having to do with the Cubs. And that means many of them will automatically root for the Cubs to lose in any game, especially one that could advance them to face the Cards. But the smart Cardinals fan should rethink that notion, because Baseball’s Best Fans would benefit in a big way from a Cubs/Cards NLDS.

  • Cardinals fans LOVE stats, so look at these 2015 season matchups:
    • Cardinals vs. Pirates 10-9
    • Cardinals vs. Cubs 11-8
  • Sure, it’s a one game swing, but any advantage should be good for the Redbirds, and since it’s a game of inches, that one extra win from the Cubs may make all the difference in the world.
  • It’s only a five game series, so Cardinals fans only have to drive to Chicago, which is a lot closer than Pittsburgh, to try and buy tickets to the two games in the Windy City and end up watching the action in a Wrigeyville bar. (For what it’s worth, I highly recommend The Cubby Bear, home of many of my brain cells over the years and right across the street from Wrigley Field)
  • More Cubs fans than Pirates fans will make the trip to Busch Stadium for the same reason. Sure, some might get into the game, but most of them will be crammed into Ballpark Village drinking beer that’s just as expensive as inside the ballpark and maybe even listening to Joe Buck provide between inning commentary, which is punishment for any Cubs fan.
  • And let’s be real here, St. Louis needs all the tourist money it can get these days. Think of the dough those giddy Cubs fans will drop while they celebrate having their team in the playoffs for the first time since 2008? Tony’s and Mike Shannon’s are gonna be packed, PACKED I tell ya!
  • Heck, its only a FIVE GAME SERIES. Win 2 at home, knock off the Cubs on the road, and then rest up for whatever suckers the Cardinals face next. Bang, zoom. You get to beat your biggest rivals and then sit at home and watch Frank Cusumano carry on about how easy it’ll be to slaughter whoever dares to face the Mighty Cardinals.
  • If anyone is going to ruin the Cubs’ chances of getting to the World Series, shouldn’t it be the Cardinals? Beating Pittsburgh would be nice and all that, but what satisfaction do you get from that? Mocking bottles of Heinz Ketchup? Cardinals fans deserve better than that.

cards_cubs(1)So you see, Cardinals fans, there are plenty of reasons for you to toss aside your long standing hatred of the Cubs, at least for one night. Think of it as short-term pain for long-term gain. Don’t you want to see the Cubs humiliated by The Cardinal Way? Wouldn’t you like to take a nice four hour ride to follow your heroes and see them advance to the NLCS by winning game 3 or 4 at what the late Steve Goodman called an “ivy-covered burial ground“? Well, that can’t happen if the Pirates prevail Wednesday night. Face it, Cardinal Nation, if the Cubs win Wednesday night, so do you. If they lose, it’s just another Red October without all the juicy hatred and rivalry the Cubs stir up in you. I bet Fredbird would even be celebrating a Cards/Cubs NLDS series.


Hey, Tom Ricketts DOES Have A Sense Of Humor

The first thing I have to do in this post is gloat about the Cubs winning the last two games from the Hapless Cardinals. Did you see the game-ending catch from Addison Russell?

Addison Russell's game-winning dive on September19th

Addison Russell’s game-winning dive on September 19th

Some pretty impressive stuff as the Cubs seem to be peaking at just the right time. But carrying on about how well the Cubs are doing in mid-September isn’t the reason for this post, we all know what happens when Cubs fans count all their chickens before they hatch, as it were. So let’s move on, shall we?

One of my favorite podcasts is NPR’sWait Wait…Don’t Tell Me“, a weekly game show produced in Chicago. Clearly the producers of the show have Cub Fever, as they had Cubs Chairman Or Whatever They Call Him Tom Ricketts this week on the “Not My Job” segment of the show.

You know I’m not a big Tom Ricketts fan, but I have to say I was impressed by the way he handled himself on the show and the actual glint of humanity and sense of humor he showed during his segment. In the event you missed the show, or you don’t believe that this guy has a humorous cell in his entire body, here’s the segment, courtesy of NPR.

OK, he’s no Harry Caray, but he was pretty good natured, as he should be since he’s selling tickets in September, historically not the most crowded time of the year at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field.

I just thought I’d share this with you, it’s almost a great moment in Cubs management history. Also, let me remind you that earlier this season I said this was NOT going to be the Cubs’ year. I still stick with my prediction that 2016 will be the Season Of A Dream. But the end of 2015 certainly is going to be fun.


One More Thing: It would be wrong for me not to note the passing of Chicago Air Personality and Sportscaster Milo Hamilton this week. Hamilton spent some time in the Cubs broadcast booth and many years with the Houston Astros. He was a fine broadcaster, had to endure a lot while working for the Cubs, and will be missed. May his memory be a blessing.

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