“Have you ever been to Wrigley?” my dad asked as we got into the cab Tuesday night, on our way to the Cubs / Brewers game.
“Of course!” I said indignantly.
I mean, really. What kind of a rube did he think I was?
Truth be told, it was not a silly question. I have probably been to Wrigley no more than a handful of times, all of them before I really became a baseball fan. And when I say “baseball fan”, what I really mean is “Brewers fan”.
I’m not sure how it happened, but in the five years that I lived in Milwaukee I fell in love with the Brewers. I went to many games at Miller Park, usually tailgating in the parking lot first; I bought Brewers t-shirts; I listened on the radio or followed the game online when I couldn’t be there. I had favorite and least favorite players (and still do–Ryan Braun, if you’re reading this, I want you to know: you are my most favorite).
Since leaving Milwaukee, I haven’t followed the Brewers as closely, and I haven’t been to a game in a few years. So when my brilliant mother found amazing seats for the Cubs / Brewers game during my Chicago visit, I was thrilled! I put on my Brewers t-shirt, Brewers sweatshirt, and Brewers cap, and off we went . . . to Wrigley.
Now, while I have never cheered for the Brewers at Wrigley, I have cheered for them versus the Cubs at Miller Park. And Cubs fans . . . well, let’s just say they have a reputation. There were definitely some of those stereotypical obnoxious Cubs fans at Tuesday’s game, but there were perfectly nice, normal fans there, too, as well as a decent number of Brewers fans, recognizable by their Brewer clothing, politeness, and carefully contained excitement. No sense getting our hopes up too high. And yet . . . well, wouldn’t, for example, a Brewers / Tigers World Series be something to see?
It was funny to cheer for the Brewers in what “should” be my hometown team’s park. It was funny to go to a game without eating a veggie burger and drinking Lakefront Beer in the parking lot first. It was funny not to order cheese curds in the park. I had to figure out what my ballpark snack of choice is when cheese curds are not available. (Pro Tip: It is obviously a malt cup.)
What was just plain fun, though, was sitting next to my dad on a beautiful fall night in a great ballpark watching a great team play a good game. And even as I was nearly trampled by the crowd outside the men’s room after the game, I had fun, because when I turned to the Brewer fan waiting next to me and said, “Well, this seems like a terrible idea”, she grinned and said, “Yeah, it’s not like home, is it?”
No, it sure isn’t. But for one night, I was happy to be there.