Spring has sprung. Amen and hallelujah! The flowers are blooming, birds are building nests, and driving through town today I was in awe of the sudden explosion of green down every street.
And speaking of green . . .
I have a confession to make. I have this overwhelming sense that I may be under the influence of something much bigger and stronger than I am at this exact moment. I do not know where this source of power is coming from directly; I have a hunch it's a combination of many factors. This strong force of which I speak?
It's baseball fever. More specifically? It's Cub fandemonium, and I believe it may be attempting to take over my soul.
I am not what one would consider a baseball fan. Aside from running around the bases, my skill level for this game is pitiful. Recent run-ins with this sport have left me more bruised and battered - both physically and emotionally - than I care to relive. Not counting my days as a Red Hot in our town's summer softball league, the extent of my interest in sports involving a ball and bat lies only in the refreshments provided to spectators. I can totally get on board with snow cones, soft pretzels, Vienna beef hotdogs, a bag of peanuts, nachos, a cold drink . . . it's really baseball's most redeeming quality if you ask me. The rest of it? Meh, I can live without it. Or so I used to think.
This week marked opening day for the 2010 MLB season, and I don't know what it is but I'm feeling an unsettling shift taking place. Maybe it's the conversation about opening day celebrations discussed during Easter and the accompanying Cub Fan quiz on Tru Stories earlier this week. Perhaps my Grama's and brother's deep seeded love for the Cubbies is starting to infiltrate my brain. I've even considered the fact that my Facebook feeds have been inundated with "Go Cubs Go" updates all week long. Just yesterday, as I drove by a house with a Cub flag waving proudly, I found myself thinking, "That looks so cute!". It's getting out of hand, people, and whatever "it" is, I can tell you that it's coming on strong and it's scaring me.
You see, me becoming a Cub fan has serious implications. I mean, as in life-altering changes. I made an innocent comment one day last summer regarding the Cubs, something like, "You know, you have to cheer for them. They're one of the hometown teams!" and he immediately launched into a detailed list as to why we absolutely do not have to cheer for them. In fact, The General will gladly respond, when asked to name his favorite baseball team, "Whoever is playing the Cubs". Another day I made a tiny little statement along the lines of, "I think I am starting to like the Cubs," and he then forcefully reminded me that it was part of our prenuptial agreement* that having a wife who is a Cub fan is absolutely and without question strictly forbidden (*the only other stipulation in our unofficial prenup involves the use of only Hellman's mayonnaise and NEVER Miracle Whip under any circumstances). The only thing worse than me becoming a Cub fan would be declaring a new found respect and love for Notre Dame or walking out of the bedroom donned in Duke paraphernalia.
We are, without question, a football family. Even the girls have shown early signs of their preference for the pigskin. I am totally comfortable with this. Traditionally we refer to this time of the year not as baseball season but as the NFL off-season. But even though I now consider myself a die hard football fan, it was only after The General came into my life that I adopted this sport as a part of my world. I did it initially to impress him. To further my attempts at making a great impression I quickly embraced the Broncos as my favorite team because that was his team. Several years and multiple fantasy football seasons later, we decided as a family, after much contemplation and soul searching, to break our allegiance to Los Broncos and hand our shattered hearts over to the Monsters of the Midway following the Shannahan-Cutler Double Whammy. And when we weren't loving football together? We were bellyaching about the endless baseball highlights on SportsCenter together during the spring and summer months.
Now this pull from the dark side is threatening to turn our lives upside down. The turmoil and upheaval could be monumental. I suspect you might hear The General's reaction to this blog post from the comfort of your own home. It could get ugly up in here is all I'm saying. I just hope he's still talking to me after realizing I've put these uncomfortable confessions out into the blogosphere; otherwise, this could be a very long weekend.
For the sanctity of our marriage and the harmony of our family, I'm hoping this feeling is just a passing phase. I've been known to play the fair weather fan role a time or two in my life so maybe this has more to do with just trying to fit in with all the cool kids. Even better, maybe I'm just subconsciously looking for an excuse to go to a game so I can chow down a Vienna beef hot dog. I don't even really like hot dogs either, so whatever this force is working on me it must be The Real Deal.
I wonder what my chances are of diverting this energy toward becoming a Cardinal fan. I may not win any friends with that decision, but the upside? Satisfying my baseball stadium food cravings with a visit to Busch Stadium for a day game could then transition to an evening at Big Bang, the local dueling piano bar. It would be a win for the whole family!