Thursday, October 22, 2015

Three Things Thursday - Chicago sports edition

1. Chicago Cubs (of course)
Today there is PLENTY of talk about how the Cubs' season ended last night. Yes, it was heartbreaking to see them get swept. Yes, it was a shock after seeing how invincible they had previously looked down the stretch. Yes, it would have been cool to see the Back to the Future prediction come true.

Regardless, I think the Cubs should be very, very proud of all they accomplished this year. They have a bevvy of young, talented, and developing stars who are only going to get stronger and more experienced. The team's future is extremely bright in the years to come.

This time when folks say "Wait until next year," they can truly stand behind it!
On a tangential note. This was purely a coincidence, but I had schedule conflicts preventing me from focusing on the Cubs during NLCS Games 1 and 3. To elaborate:

2. Chicago Blackhawks
During NLCS Game 1 last Saturday night, I was at the United Center watching the Blackhawks play the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The game was bittersweet for me. Brandon Saad was my favorite player, and I was despondent when he went to Columbus. I strongly believed he'd be in a Hawks jersey for many years to come. He didn't look right in his Blue Jackets jersey. Nevertheless, I still wore my Saad Blackhawks jersey to the game, as I always will.

Brandon got a very warm welcome from the team and the fans that night:
It was a heartwarming moment.

(On the opposite end, I was shocked yesterday to hear Columbus fired their coach, Todd Richards, and replaced him with the infamous John Tortorella. Good lord. I think that team is in for a VERY rough ride this season. I'm already bracing myself for Torts' inevitably brutal press conferences (check out examples here and here). Anyways, I digress.)

A lot of fans were clearly multitasking their viewing between the Hawks and Cubs. Many folks went charging down to the concourses during breaks to watch the Cubs game. Cheers erupted throughout the crowd when the Cubs scored.

The UC and the Blackhawks organization helped out. In between periods, they showed the Cubs game on the scoreboard:

I love the unity between all of the Chicago sports teams. I thought this was a wonderful demonstration of solidarity.

When I mentioned this to Adam, he reminded me that John McDonough (Blackhawks president) used to be a Cubs executive. Therefore, there's probably an even stronger bond between the Hawks and the Cubs! Super cool.

The Hawks game ended while the Cubs were in the 9th inning. Crowds were packed in the UC concourses to watch the final inning.

3. Chicago Bulls
During NLCS Game 3 on Tuesday night, I was back at the United Center to watch the Bulls play the Indiana Pacers. Country Financial invited Rose and a guest to watch the game from their suite, and Rose brought me along.

A huge thank you to Country Financial and Rose for the ticket! What a privilege that suite was! It was an unbelievable treat to experience for one night how the upper 1% enjoy games.
Rose and me with some Blackhawks championship banners in the backdrop
Our view of the court
One of literally dozens of choices from the dessert cart - Bulls cookies!
Seating location aside, I've only been to a handful of Bulls games in my life. The organization puts on quite an in-game experience for the fans! Scoreboard videos, music, games, dancing, giveaways, contests, you name it. The action was nonstop. I can easily see how Bulls fans can get hooked.

Since the Bulls game was preseason, again most folks were more focused on the Cubs and/or were just hanging out and socializing. We had the suite TV tuned into the game:

Several folks were glued to the set. After the Bulls game ended, I think the Cubs were only in the 7th inning. Folks were urgently asking, "Can we stay here to watch the rest of the Cubs game?" to which the Countrywide folks said, "The suite is already paid for! Feel free to stay until they kick us out!"

I ducked out to meet up with Xaarlin and Luiz, who were also at the game. There was no resisting the opportunity to get a picture with Benny's Bull Ride:
Xaarlin and me
Photo credit: Luiz
Afterwards, I headed home and caught the last few Cubs outs from my living room.

And so ends one of the busiest, craziest weeks in Chicago sports I've ever experienced. Wow!

21 comments:

  1. Wow, what a fun week! Yes, the Cubs lost and I'm sad it's over but I'm so excited for next year.

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    1. The Cubs had such an amazing season. So cool that you got to attend their playoff games! That must have been the experience of a LIFETIME!!! And seriously, watch out for the Cubs next year. They are going to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come!

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  2. I do love all the sports that has been going on right now. Except for the Bears. It's like they just don't care.

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    1. October is such a fun month for sports fans, isn't it? There is so much going on! It is too bad about the Bears not having a very good season this year. Jay Cutler never looks at all excited, right? Hopefully they'll be able to turn things around in the foreseeable future...

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  3. HAHAHA! When you posted that photo of you at the Bulls game, I had to read it like 10 times. I was like - why is she at a Blackhawks game but saying she's watching the Bulls? Your shirt and all the banners hanging from the ceiling threw me off.

    Also, those bull cookies look amazing.

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    1. LOL! Now that you mention it, I can totally understand the confusion! Incidentally - I don't own any Bulls attire, hence why I'm wearing the Blackhawks shirt. I figured at least the color scheme would match, since both teams wear red and black. But several folks did point out to me that I was repping the wrong team that night. =D

      Aren't the Bulls cookies adorable? I think they are too cute to eat!

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  4. Lots going on. Our ECHL team did that in the winter when the Cowboys were in the playoffs. They didn't put the team on the big screens, but they kept updating the score during stoppages.

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    1. Oh wow - how cool would that be to share in the game atmosphere at Cowboy Stadium? It makes things even more exciting!!!

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  5. I wasn't surprised about the Cubs - after they lost the first two games in New York, I was pretty sure they were out. So... maybe next year! I'm a little bummed though because before everyone and their mother was geeking out about Back to the Future (like, years ago), I always joked that that was why the Cubs would win the WS this year.

    Bulls games are awesome! T had half of an 11-game package last year, so I had a lot of fun going to games with him :) A friend gave us one game as a wedding gift, so we're trying to pick one now. My favorite thing they do is the halftime show with dogs. DOGS!!!! It's so cute.

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    1. I wasn't optimistic after the first two losses in New York, but I thought they were capable of fighting the uphill battle back in Chicago. After that Game 3 loss, though, I think everyone knew it was inevitable. I am bummed about the Back to the Future prediction not coming true, too! Can you imagine the mayhem had they been able to pull it off according to prediction!?!?!?

      Oh wow, so cool that T shared in a partial season ticket plan! That way you get the perks of a ticket package without all the commitment. =) What a great wedding gift your friend gave you. They didn't do the doggie halftime show on Tuesday night when I was there, so hopefully I'll be able to catch that at another game in the future. I can only imagine how adorable it must be!!! All the burly male sportsfans probably have to hold themselves back from melting. =D

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    2. If they had pulled it off, I'd hope their World Series parade included lots of hoverboards :)

      Yeah, it was a nice perk! But not cheap! And he wasn't using it enough, so decided not to renew this year. I don't know if they list their halftime shows on their website or something, but the dogs are worth seeing. They're awesome! Apparently it's the Olate dogs, and they do other NBA shows too. Here's a video. Prepare to melt :)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vufjUWh4YMA

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  6. I love that everyone at the hawks game was also cheering for the cubs! What a fun experience, even if they did lose. I'm still super happy with the way the season went and can't wait to see what they do next year!

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    1. Yes - the Cubs are a World Series favorite next year! It's great to see how all the fans are joined in unity to cheer on our local teams (OK, maybe not White Sox fans, but even so). Next year is going to be great!

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  7. Even though we don't often have winning teams, you cannot beat Chicago as a sports town. The Cubs thing broke my heart. My FIL always says once the Cubs win the World Series, he can die. Haha! Guess he can't go yet!

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    1. Cheers to Chicago's sports fandom! Let's definitely take the optimistic side for your FIL needing to stay around longer. =) He has been waiting for a long time but it'll be worth the wait when (not if) it happens. =D

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  8. What an awesome week your had! We have ZERO sports around here... Atlanta would be the closest for big league teams. I guess that is what the TV is for, eh?

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    1. On the contrary - college football is like a whole other world down in your area! Living in Illinois, it's so rare for us to experience any competitive college football! So TV works in both ways. =)

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  9. What a fun experience in the suite! I've been to a few Bulls game when I worked in nonprofit and I would get tickets from vendors. Good times. But I like my job now much more.

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    1. Oh wow, how awesome that you got to hang out in the Bulls suits thanks to your vendors! That's an amazing perk! But I am glad you like your current job much more now. The day-to-day functions are much more worthwhile than a job you dislike that offers occasional perks, for sure.

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  10. Very cool license plate!
    This Nascar gal knows almost nothing about baseball, basket ball, but it sounds like you had a fun week!
    The championship games always have lots of drama and emotion attached to them.

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    1. Ahhh, I am in the opposite boat - I know almost nothing about Nascar! I can imagine the levels of passion and drama in Nascar, as well!

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