I spent this weekend watching the Cubs from a distance while attending my younger brother’s college graduation.
We both went to Ohio University (no, not the Buckeyes…we’re Bobcats) and this was my first visit to the campus in six years.
We bar hopped in the morning before the afternoon ceremony. Better said, he did the pub crawling, I bowed out early–Kerry Wood style–stepping away on my own terms and with my head held high–and not in the toilet.
It was wonderful walking the brick streets again and reminiscing about the days of old. Some memories felt like just yesterday, other felt like eons ago.
When I began college the Cubs were still led by Don Baylor, Jon Lieber was becoming the Cubs last 20-game winner and Sammy Sosa was still popular.
Fred McGriff hit 30 HR & drove in 103 RBI. Joe Girardi was catching and the Cubs had a bright 22-year-old can’t-miss prospect named Corey Patterson.
I was also in Athens during the Bartman Game. I assume the house where I watched that nightmare is still standing, but I didn’t care to check.
The university and Athens have undergone noticeable changes since I left and my brother arrived. Some bars have come, other have gone and many remain the same. But it all seems for the better, and still remains a special place in my heart.
In a sense, the same holds true for the Cubs. There’s been noticeable changes since the early 2000s. Most for the better. New players have come, others have gone, and but a few remain. No love lost, however.
Who knows when I’ll be back in Athens now that my brother is departing. My next visit may not come for awhile, perhaps, not until a niece or nephew is ready to graduate–if they should even choose to become Bobcats.
I can only hope on my next return, as I always did, the Cubs will be in a better place. But as I realized this weekend, time flies and the Cubs never seem to catch up.
In the name of Harry Caray, thank God for beer crawls.
RECONGNIZABLE OHIO UNIVERSITY ALUMNI
|Bob Brenly||Cubs TV Analyst|
|Mike Schmidt||3B Phillies HOF|
|Steve Swisher||Former Cubs catcher|
|Chuck Swirsky||Chicago Bulls Radio Announcer|
|Thom Brennaman||Fox Sports/Reds Broadcaster|
|Peter King||Columnist Sports Illustrated|
|Clarence Page||Pulitzer Prize Chicago Tribune|
|Jay Mariotti||Former Sun Times Sports Columnist|
|Matt Lauer||Today Show Host|
|Mike Mitchell||Safety Oakland Raiders|
|Taylor Price||WR New England Patriots|
|Brandon Hunter||NBA New Jersey Nets|
|Dave Jamerson||Former NBA Houston Rockets|
|Gary Trent||Former NBA Portland Trailblazers|
|Nancy Cartwright||Voice of Bart Simpson|
|Arsenio Hall||Arsenio Hall Show|
|Piper Perabo||“Coyote Ugly”|
|Ed O’Neill||“Married With Children”|