The only time I check on the newspaper’s website and find comments about my column is when I write about sports, and generally the comments are a bit negative. So, I almost hesitate to write this column.
However, in fairness I tend to have other issues in those columns that draw comments. In response to one of those comments — yes, I am a middle-aged white man, and I neither take that as an insult, nor am I ashamed of that fact. My guess is it came from a fellow white man, although probably not middle-aged. Actually, if I am truly middle-aged, I will live to be nearly 120. I don’t know that I will live that long, but I wouldn’t mind approaching 100.
The professional baseball season will be starting shortly, and as a Cubs fan I can hardly wait. There has been a letdown between the end of football season and the soon-to-start baseball season. I do follow a college basketball team, but since nearly their whole team graduated and most of their team were freshmen they didn’t win like in the past and consequently I haven’t been able to view them on television.
I am very devoted to my team, but not to the extent of hating rival teams, whether in the same division or even the same city. Yet it is kind of strange that as a Cub fan my eye doctor (Dr. Gelbuda), and my dentist (Dr. Vesely) are both very devoted White Sox fans. They also are very good at their profession, which is why I go to them. However, if they constantly put down my Cubbies, I would have seriously considered changing doctors as I would have questioned how much they cared about my health.
That has not been an issue with either, as I believe both are good sportsmen. With Dr. Vesely, he may know more historically about the Cubs than I do, even though I watched them nearly all of my life. As I’m sure I’ve stated in past columns, he gets to share more in our conversations, since he often has his hands in my mouth.
Enough about others. I am amped up about the Cubs season. That feels good. I have always looked forward to their season, but never with as much expectation as the past few years. With that, unfortunately comes inflated ticket and other prices that keep the long term fan from being able to be as involved with their team. These are the very fans that helped their team get where it is at. I know, though, major league baseball is a business and maybe that is a shame and why fewer heroes that pass the test of time come from the sport for the children.
I’ve got my hopes up with Anthony Rizzo, more as a humanitarian than as a baseball player. His concern for children and his home high school tell me he is a good person. I hope the majors don’t eventually wear that away.
If you are an avid fan like me, I wish you and your team luck — until they play my Cubs in a playoff series or the World Series.
- RODNEY VERDINE, of Ottawa, is a husband, assistant director at the La Salle County Detention Home, and is living the Cubbie dream. He can be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.