Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Cubs and Mrs. Jones

The Chicago Cubs are playing for the National league Pennant and a chance to go to the World Series. The Chicago White Sox are playing for the American League Pennant.
Chicago is wild with the thought of a cross town series. But, so far both Cubs and Sox have lost the first two games of their playoffs. To win their perspective pennants now, they must both win three games in a row in the best of five playoffs. The Sox did win the division this year by beating three different teams in three days. It was amazing and would be a miracle if they did it again and won the pennant. Miracles happened like that for the Mike Jordan era Bulls or the Mike Ditka era Bears but not in Chicago baseball especially not for the Cubs. But, we'll see. Maybe this year?

When I was kid we lived in this big third floor apartment where the back porch was shared with the adjacent third floor apartment. Across this huge L shaped porch was our elderly neighbor, Mrs. Jones. Mrs. Jones had lived there for decades. First with her husband, then her brother, then alone. When we moved in Mr. Jones had been long deceased but we did get to know her brother before he passed away. Mrs. Jones was the classic wonderful neighbor. She babysat for me and my sister, made treats for the kids on the porch and let us use her bathroom and gave us water. I don't know if she knew we came to her house because we didn't want to go to our own houses and disturb our own parents and take the chance of getting roped into some chore or having to stay in. The less they see us the better. Anyway, lots of cups of sugar and everything else crossed back and forth on that porch.

Mrs. Jones never left the house without her hat (often with a little veil) and gloves and stockings. I remember as I got into my teens she liked the music we played and liked to watch us dance. She was also feisty, opinionated and no-nonsense. Mrs. Jones and another elderly neighbor, Mrs. Morgan, had a feud going. OMG! We just knew someone would get smacked someday and get into an actual fight. The possibility of broken hips and mangled stockings always scared us.

Mrs. Jones had one huge obsession, the Chicago Cubs. She loved that team with a passion that no one could understand back then in our neighborhood. She tolerated the Sox and went to games with our family or with the Berry's. The Berry family occasionally went to a Cubs game and took Mrs. Jones. Back in those days, Wrigley Field on the North side of Chicago was not really a "Friendly Confines" for Black people to enjoy a game. So, it was a very rare treat for Mrs. Jones to see her beloved Cubs other than on TV. She watched many games at our house. My little nephew would go across the porch and escort her over at game time. He learned the names of every player and was her rooting buddy. The Cubs irked my mother because they always let you down. I remember my mom complaining about the Cubbies blowing a lead, "I knew they wouldn't win, they do it everytime." My mother liked the Cubs too but they frustrated the hell out of her and after a few of those comments, Mrs. Jones would say, "Nolen, get my hat, baby." No amount of apologizing could make her stay until the end of the game. Little Nolen would escort her across the porch home.

Mrs. Jones was right though, there is something about the Chicago Cubs. Something that keeps folks filling the stadium no matter how dismal they are. My mother was right too. The damn Cubs will always break your heart if you get any kind of idea that they are going to go all the way anywhere. They can have the best talent, coaches, record, and fans but something will get in their way. It's inevidable. I am not a superstitious person but I believe the Chicago Cubs are cursed from the heavens for something. I assume you all know about the famous curse of the goat, but I think it's scarier than that. I mean everytime they have a great season and make it to post season play, they seem to forget not only how to play this game but forget what game their playing. Any and everything will get in their way. It's the fate of the Cubs. We need to stop fighting it and get our hats and go home.


AnnMarie Kneebone said...

But I wanna believe. Okay, so it's the 5th inning as I write this and we are down 0 to 2 ... oh wait, 0 to 3 (damn!). We could rally though. Surely we could rally.



Jackie said...

Well, it's maybe next year, again.
I believe too. we all do when it comes to the Cubs. But we gotta admit, deep down inside we know if there's a way to blow it, the Cubbies will find it. It's weird ain't it.

Monica Roberts said...

Jackie, we said the same thing about Houston sports teams for awhile before the Rockets finally broke through and won the 1994 and 1995 and the Comets had their run of four straight WNBA crowns.

Monica Roberts said...

Dawn and I will be headed your way in 2 weeks for the Remenyck Open fencing tournament

Jackie said...

Girl please, the Cubs are cursed, cursed I tell ya! It's been 100 years and nothing. The Comets, you can't compare the magnificent Comets to the Cubs. C'mon now.

We'll try to hook up in Chitown. Go Dawn!

Monica Roberts said...

Back in 1979 the Astros had a 10.5 game lead on the Reds in the NL West at the All-Star break and lost the division to the Reds.

The next year we win the division in a one game playoff, but lose JR richard to a stroke in July and Cesar Cedeno, who was having a career year breaks his leg in Game 1 of the NLCS.

The Astro had the best record in baseball in 1998, got Randy johnson for the stretch run, and got swept in the NLDS against San Diego.

We finllly get to the World series in2005, and get ordered by Bud Selig to open the roof of Minute Maid Park when keeping it closed was to our advantage. That roof is closed and the White Sox don't win that series

And just this year, the Asstros are on one of their monster second half tears and close to whitin 1 game of the Brewers for the NL wild card.

Ike happens, our games with the Cubs are moved to Miller Park (once again by Bud Selig) and the two losses we took eventually cost us the wild card and has made Bug Selig the most hated man in Houston right now.

Glad the Brewers lost.

Jackie said...

Damn. The Astros have been through it too! Bud better watch his back. I'm just saying.

Monica Roberts said...

The Remenyck Open is October 24 so you'll be hearing from me soon