I’m not what you would call a sports nut. Heck, on a recent Saturday I only spent 12 hours submerged in the Chicago sports scene.
The morning began with the Bulls in a hopeless cause against the defending champion Celtics. Surprisingly, the Bulls hung tough with Boston for four quarters. They would have pulled off the upset, if they didn’t commit their dumbest foul of the season with two seconds left.
But wait, Boston only made one free throw, sending the game to overtime. In OT, rookie sensation Derrick Rose quickly fouled out. He left with 36 points: more than what’s-his-name scored in his first Bulls playoff game. With Rose gone, the Bulls launched a series of shots that had us moaning, “Oh no” while they were in mid-air. They went in, though, and the Bulls came away with an improbable 105-103 win.
This cleared the stage for the Cubs versus the Cardinals. I normally wouldn’t have a rooting interest in this game but my son was at Wrigley for Day Four of his birthday celebration and I wanted his beloved Cubbies to win. They fell behind quickly 4-1, but clawed back to take a 5-4 lead.
In the 7th inning, the Bears invaded the Friendly Confines. Their best quarterback since the leather helmet era warbled “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
The Cubs later went into overtime, just like the Bulls. The game was tied 5-5 in the 11th, when a walk-off home run was deposited into the bleachers just 11 rows in front of the birthday boy.
I’d been watching sports for seven hours now and needed a change of scenery. So, we shot pool in Forest Park while watching the White Sox take on the Rays. The Sox somehow overcame the lack of natural elements in Tampa Bay’s dome to thump the Rays 8-3.
Chicago’s sports teams were 3-0 on the day. All we needed was a Blackhawk win to run the table. I’ve been a huge Hawks fan for at least a week now. My love for hockey began when I attended a Hawks game with Stefan from France. The fast-paced action prompted him to exclaim, and I quote, “Ooh, la la!” I thought, “Wow, he must be able to see the puck.”
The Blackhawks fell behind early but rallied to a 2-2 tie. During one of the Zamboni breaks, the Cubs crashed the party. Ryan Dempster, the day’s starting pitcher, shot the puck from center ice. As was the case at Wrigley, his attempts were a little wide. When action resumed, the Hawks took a 3-2 lead and made it stand up for their second playoff victory.
What does this triumphant day have to do with Forest Park? Well, if any town’s economy can be stimulated by sports success, it’s got to be the watering hole of the western suburbs. Go team!