If You Don't Spin It's A Shame!

Today, Blogstalkers, let's talk sports.

Not just any sport, let's talk baseball.  Chicago Cubs baseball.

Today is opening day on Chicago's north side.  It is my second favorite day of the year.  Over the years I have celebrated this day in a number of ways and today I'll share some of those with you.

First a little history.  Since Chicago has two baseball teams people in the city and surrounding suburbs tend to be split with what team they support.  Generally the North-siders are Cubs fans and the South-siders are Sox fans. And then there are the people who say things like "I'm not necessarily just a Cubs fan or just a Sox fan, I'm a Chicago fan."  Those people tend to get kicked a lot.  Not always by me but I'll be honest, a lot of the time it's by me.  Just like crying, there is no Switzerland in baseball.

"I'm a fan of both of you! Punch Punch Punch! NO PUNCHING! Go Chicago!"
Moving on.

Every year growing up, come Opening Day I would report to school in the morning and present my teacher with a note that informed them I would be leaving halfway through the day for important medical reasons, specifically periodontal things.  Bloody gums if you must know. (My dad didn't read the notes I wrote, he just signed them.)  Then I'd fidget through whatever multiplication times tables or state capitols I was learning until it was finally time to go home.

My dad would pick me up, I assume having presented work with his own note about periodontal disease and we'd head home and turn on the pre-game.  Then we'd make hot dogs for lunch and settle in to watch the game.

My hot dogs was always plain, just bun and dog.  Though normally I devour Chicago-style hot dogs with all the fixings, if baseball is involved, it must be plain.  This is because when my dad started taking me to games as a small child, I was, as you might guess, a clumsy relish-covered mustardy mess.  And thus my dad made up the rule that I was only allowed plain hot dogs.  To this day it's the only way they taste right at the ballpark.

A Chicago Style Hot Dog.  I still can't eat one without finding a sport pepper in my shoe later.  True story.


As I got older we continued our tradition.  And my dad would tease me about being in love with Kyle Farnsworth, "Ohhhh Kylie," he'd squeak in a high-pitched voice, "strike out the next batter for meeee?"  And I'd be like, "You're certainly a fickle lover.  Wasn't it just yesterday you were flailing about asking Nick Carter (my sister's crush) to write you a song?  It's not a great quality, Dad."

And then Kyle Farnsworth would strike out the next batter and I'd internally sigh contentedly, "Oh Kyle..."

He didn't strike out a lot of men, but when he did it was almost certainly for me.


After I left for college, I would still ditch whatever classes I had that day to stay home and watch the game alone and once I started work I always took the day off.  Which was actually pretty difficult to do as an accountant in the second week of April.  Somehow I always managed.

One year I felt especially bad so I made all of my coworkers special Cubs Cakes, which is the exact same thing as a blue cupcake.  I dropped them off in the morning and then retreated back to my apartment, patting myself on the back for being so thoughtful.  Then I ate the one I had saved at home for myself.  It was delicious.  A little later I caught my reflection in a mirror and screamed.  It seems the blue food coloring in the frosting had died my entire mouth and teeth BRIGHT BLUE.

I screamed and grabbed my phone and called my boss all "DON'T EAT THE CUBS CAKES!" but it was too late.  Luckily my group in the office didn't work with any clients.

This all brings us to today when I pretty much have my Opening Day routine down pat.  I wake up, eat a breakfast hot dog and watch The Sandlot.  Then I don my homemade uniform, which is a white Target sweatsuit with blue pinstripes drawn on it with permanent marker and TIMBERLAKE written on the back and watch the game.  Ryan is so terrified that I will wear this to an actual game that he makes me prove to him before we walk out the door that I don't have on white sweat pants under my jeans.  And then he checks my purse.  I'm working on sewing a secret lining into it.  He's so easily embarrassed at baseball games.  He abhors when I bring my duck-nut (picture below) and he almost left me in the Wrigley Field bleachers last year when I tried to start a new Wave-Like move called The Spin Clap.  And then he did leave me in the Wrigley Field bleachers for a while when I changed the words to Take Me Out To The Ball Game later the same day.  He didn't even let me finish the song...


When You Take Me Out To The Ballgame.
Partake in Spin-Clap and be proud.
Don't sigh at my antics and Duck-Nut's quacks.
Don't cry and say you'll never come back!

Here is a reminder picture of my duck-nut.  He comes with me to tall the games.

He is a Peanut Shaped Like A Duck.


Anway though, I'm off to watch the game which I have been DVR-ing.  This it totally totally the Cubs' year.

Who's your favorite Sports Team Blogstalkers?  Do you have any sports traditions or lucky socks?  Tell me all about it.

P.S - The winner of the Stella and Dot Giveaway is Tracy and Noah.  So if that is you, shoot an email to LaurenRaeGallagher@gmail.com to learn how to collect your prize!  If you didn't win (and I wish you ALL could seriously) remember that you can be entered to win an awesome Stella and Dot prize basket (like a $185 value) with any purchase you make in the Autism Awareness Collection!

67 comments:

  1. Jennifer W4/08/2013

    Hmmm well, I'm a Sox fan...so...it was nice reading your blog while it lasted. Maybe I'll come back in October, we all know the Cubs won't be playing then.

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    1. Jennifer W4/08/2013

      KIDDING! Just kidding. Love your blog, even if it wears pinstripes.

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    2. Haha you had me all worried! If it makes you feel better, Ryan is totally a Sox fan, so we're a mixed household I suppose.

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  2. I'm a Phillies girl, but I have to admit... A couple Wrigley games in 2008, including beating my beloved Phillies, and the Cubs wormed their way into my heart. Underdog team, Go Cubs Go, old stadium, awesome city... it's hard NOT to get swept up in it! Then you add in the Ron Santo documentary... Oh man. We drove up to Cooperstown last year for induction weekend. Very bittersweet.

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    1. Ohh I wish I could have been there fore the induction. We lived very near the large church that held visitation and funeral services for Ron Santo and the line was around the block and all the way down the street to even get in. That was a bit bittersweet as well. He was so adored.

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  3. ::sigh:: TIGERS!! Roarrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

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    1. We have a lot of Detroit transplants in Chicago! Two of my closest friends are Tigers' fans. We went to a Tigers-Sox game with them last year.

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    2. Brooke4/08/2013

      Tigers all the way. We were so damn close lats year...
      Anyhow, I'm trying to drag my MMA/UFC loving boyfriend into Baseball Fandom, and he is having just about none of it. He'll indulge my ravenous need to know what's going on with the Tigers, and will even watch a few innings with me, but not without stating that the players should be better at what they do, especially since they make millions to do it... I will make him a baseball fan yet...

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    3. One of Ryan's friends is an MMA fighter so I've been to a bunch of his fights but for me they're SO HARD to watch. I seriously have to cover my eyes for 80% of it!

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    4. Brooke4/08/2013

      Oddly enough, My boyfriend's name is Ryan... lol. And about 80% of his friends are in the MMA community.

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  4. I care not for baseball, but it's true, even if you don't care, you must have an affiliation. I am a Cubs fan, but I wouldn't watch a game unless delicious nachos were involved.

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    1. That can be arranged. Although I will painfully admit, having been to numerous games at both Wrigley and US Cellular, the Sox have the superior nachos...

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    2. I suppose bringing a book would be in poor taste?

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    3. Hmmm...I suppose I couldn't argue if you were reading a book about baseball at least.

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    4. Katie, remind me NEVER to take you to a game. ever.

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    5. I took a book to my first NFL game - and wasn't allowed to go back for a good 5 years. Then my husband had to search me for a book before he would let me have my ticket. But he didn't find the tiny iPod Nano I had stashed in my pocket!! I have yet to attend a MLB game though if and when I do it will be a Cubs game. I'm not a sports fan. Heck I'm 32 and I have lived here in Indy my entire life and have not yet even set foot in the IMS, let alone been to the Indy 500 even one time. I guess I will have to do it once...Eventually.

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  5. Anonymous4/08/2013

    Hmmm, now I want a hot dog ;). My husband is a Cubs and Indians fan so I cheer for them for him. My dad and brother are Reds fans and I was dragged to MANY a Cincinnati game as a kid where I spent the entire game with my nose buried in a book...
    Nicole

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    1. Haha that totally sounds like me and basketball games. I just can't get into them. I totally always have a book in my purse.

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  6. Anonymous4/08/2013

    I am a Cincinnati Reds fan and the whole city practically shuts down for Opening Day.....parades, street parties, concerts, and BASEBALL! If you have never experienced Opening Day in Cincy, it should be on your list of things to do! (and it is a reasonable drive from Chicago!)

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    1. That sounds awesome! I love Wrigley-ville here on opening day but the rest of the city remains pretty undisturbed.

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  7. I'm a Sox fan, but of the Red variety. We have a longstanding love hate relationship with any and all Yankees fans. my son's baseball coach for years was a Yankees fan and I always wore my Red Sox windbreaker to games.

    We found duck nuts a couple weeks ago at Texas Roadhouse. The peanuts were vastly deformed in that bunch.

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    1. Love/Hate is exactly the relationship Ryan and I have when it comes to baseball. He's a big White Sox fan, ugh.

      And I hope you kept one of those duck nuts, they make excellent friends.

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  8. I've never understood baseball. I do love both football and soccer though (seattle, all the way), but baseball bores me to tears. However, I do love batting, I remember tricking my brother into pitching for me. I would tell him to keep going and I would throw the same number of pitches for him. It never worked out in his favor, I was always 'tired' after all those swings. My poor little brother, so destroyed, so unloved, so easy going and non-punchy towards his obnoxious older sister.

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    1. I don't think I've ever watched a soccer game in my life, is that weird? We were a baseball family I guess so we didn't even play soccer as kids.

      Haha poor beleaguered younger siblings. I have a bunch of those.

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  9. Proud to be from the City By the Bay that brought home TWO trophies in the last three years... we waited a long time for them. Only down side is that I am a bigger Football Fan.... and, well... the RAIDERS aren't so hot. My husband is a lucky man (or so I keep reminding him) to have a wife who loves sports as much as he does and even mentioned the Raiders in our wedding ceremony (no joke!)

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    1. ::sigh:: We're still waiting for our trophy here. Ryan is for sure a bigger football than baseball fan whilst I obviously swing the other way. I'm sure I don't love sports as much as you but I'll watch football on Sundays and March Madness and all that. Can you guess what I'm doing tonight haha?

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  10. I'm a fan of the Texas Rangers of course (living most all my life in Dallas) and i grew up going to the games. I dont even like hotdogs but i MUST have one covered in mustard when i go to the games and Yes i make me a napkin bib so that i dont wear all the mustard.

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    1. I swear something about the ballpark just makes a hot dog taste better than they do at home!

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    2. Paige Hudson Garcia4/08/2013

      Holli - I am also part of Ranger-nation! I usually refuse to eat hotdogs, but at the ballpark will eat three out of each hand on dollar-hot-dog night. I just can't seem to help myself!

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  11. lovvvve me some kyle farnsworth. go Rays!

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    1. Lovvvve that you know who he is!

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  12. Melody4/08/2013

    I'm a Cardinals fan. I wrote a long comment and then deleted it, because I don't like to be a douche in public. Let's just agree on these things: 1) fans are good; 2) baseball rocks; 3) the Reds should always, always lose.

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    1. Haha sports teams can be such a delicate subject! I'm sort of interested in what your first comment said now...

      And I'm totally there with you on the first two at least! Plus I totally root for the Cardinals once the Cubs are out of the picture. I still get all excited when I think about the big comeback game last October when they were playing the Nationals.

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  13. I'm with Katie. Don't care, but will still choose Cubs over Sox if I must. My husband is the opposite. Luckily, the only sport either of us really cares about is football, where we have no divided loyalties.

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    1. The Bears I'm assuming? The place where Cubs and Sox fans come together. Ryan's a Sox fan so our loyalties are alas divided where baseball is concerned.

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    2. SO true. The Bears are our saving grace as a city.

      side note: Brian isn't a sports fan at all so he says to me things like, "so Urlacher pitched a puck really well?"

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    3. Yup, although we're living in Iowa now, and surrounded by mostly Packer fans. (Although according to guys my husband works with, twenty-five years ago it was all Bear fans. I guess without a team of their own they don't have much long-term loyalty here.)

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  14. Megan M.4/08/2013

    I don't really get sports. I can only be interested if I'm actually AT the game and have absolutely nothing else to do. When I was still living with my parents we went to our amateur baseball (they don't even call it that, do they?) games a lot, so I did get to see my stepdad put on one of those hilarious sumo suits and fight a guy to win a free pizza. Good times.

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    1. Haha, minor league games I'm guessing? I've never been to one of those actually but it sounds like a blast!

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    2. I love minor league games. We live about an hour away from Des Moines, so we go to I Cub games a lot. So fun. On opening day you can even bring your dogs. Petunia loves it as much as we do.

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  15. Oakland A's!! Since the moment I was born!! LET'S GO OAKLAND CLAP CLAP, CLAP CLAP CLAP!!

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  16. Atlanta BRAVES! Who just swept the cubs.

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  17. I'm a Red Sox fan, but ultimately I am a baseball fan. Love being at the park!

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    1. Paige Hudson Garcia4/08/2013

      Please cheer really loudly for Mike Napoli for me! He was a fan favorite here with the Texas Rangers, and you could count on a crowd of about fifty thousand really loud Texans chanting "Na-po-li! Na-po-li!" every at-bat. ;-D

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  18. My family is a bit weird... we're from the south side of Chicago, but we've always been Cubs fans. Personally? My fiance is a professor at the University of Louisville, so I'm waiting to watch that game tonight. UofL is sort of the like the Cubs of Kentucky. UK gets all the attention and glory. Nice to see the Cards finally get some love!

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  19. I'm in a love/hate relationship with the Houston Astros. That is I hate to love them, because they break my heart.

    When it comes to football though, I'm not a Houston fan. The Cowboys are my poison come football season, and that's the same kind of relationship.

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  20. Breakfast hot dogs are the best hot dogs of the day.

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  21. Dear Lauren,

    We can be friends on one condition: we never talk baseball...unless we're kicking "Chicago fans" together. they need a good swift kick in the shins or three.

    sincerely,

    me

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  22. I love how into it you are. I am a Brewer's fan, as I am from Wisconsin originally (also they do that whole sausage race thing. how can you not love that). After that my priorities are Yankees, Tigers, then Braves. Yankees because that's who my grandfather loves (he knew MIckey Mantel). Tigers, because my entire husband's family is in Detroit. And Braves, because that aforementioned grandfather used to play for them. Back when they were in Milwaukee, (see also the first team I root for) before moving to Atlanta and the Brewers establishing themselves in M-town. History. I has it.

    And after that, I'm a Cubbie fan. If for no other reason than North chi-town is closer to Wisconsin, but also a little bit because Wrigley field is way, WAY cooler than the hunk of steel and gross that the Sox play in.

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  23. Baltimore! We're going to have another great year! I love my Orioles - even though I'm a southern California girl.

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  24. Paige Hudson Garcia4/08/2013

    I'm a die-hard Texas Rangers fan. The next time you guys are here visiting OJ, your tickets are on me if you want to go (the Sox are here the 1st week of May - hint, hint)! THAT would be interesting, since we would be on opposing sides! Beer and garlic fries have been known to work magic, though.....

    Friday was our opening home game. I BAILED out of work...on a whim...this close to tax deadline...and had us in seats with beer before hubby ever knew what hit him b/c I JUST COULD NOT STAND IT ANYMORE...and it was GLORIOUS.

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  25. I am a huge Brewers fan. So of course I have to chime in since my team kicked your team's butts today ;)

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  26. Braves all the way! Mostly because of my older sister and living two hours outside of Atlanta, oh and Chipper. Well, not anymore because he retired. :( I am a big fan of my city's Minor League team on Used Car night, which is pretty self explanatory. They give away cars to lucky seat number, do other teams do that? Go Lookouts! And Braves! But mostly Chipper.

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  27. BecBec4/09/2013

    I grew up in Northwest Indiana and have always been a Cubs fan. Some of my fondest memories are sitting in the basement during a hot summer day watching the game with my Dad & brothers.

    Many,many years later, I am stil crazy about the Cubs (my husband is a Braves fan). They break my heart every year and every year, I tell my husband that next year is the year.

    When we are able to head up to Chicago, a Cubs game is always a must on my list of things to do. We sit in the same area every year, eat at tehe Cubby Bear, drink crappy beer & sing very loudly!

    The tradition with your Dad was a sweet memory to read about and I am sure he is as fond of that memory as it seems you are. Go Cubs!

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  28. Our summer sport is cricket. My FIL is a member at our state cricket ground and every year when an international team plays Australia here in Perth, he always takes me as his guest on one of the weekend days. Not his son. If there are any other cricket fans here, I was there the day Adam Gilchrist equalled Viv Richards' record for the fastest 100. Great day.

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    1. I love your Australian-ness! I would go to a cricket game (or match?) because I'd be surrounded by people with awesome accents. And nachos, hopefully. Are there nachos at cricket?

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  29. Your dad is awesome.

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  30. I'm a Tigers fan. I would watch the games with my dad when I was growing up. Unfortunately, I have some weird juju where any team I like will start losing if I'm watching. Especially if it's an important game. So, when the Tigers were in the world series in 1984, my dad would throw me out of the house during the games. "Here! Here's some money! Go to the mall!".

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  31. When we did a weekend in Chicago last year to catch the Reds v Cubs at Wrigley, there were more Reds fans in the stadium and surrounding rooftop bleacher sections than Cubs fans.

    Also, the catwalks in Wrigley are f*in terrifying.

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  32. I am currently a fan in transition. We will be moving from Southern California to Cleveland for my PhD, so I have broken up with the Dolphins (chosen randomly since we don't have a football team) and I have recently separated from the Angels. I put a Browns and an Indians decal on my car and changed my ESPN alerts. So far it feels okay, but I'm taking it slow.

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  33. Crittle4/09/2013

    My sports tradition involves college football. I got my undergrad degree from University of Texas and my husband got his undergrad from University of Wisconsin and his law degree from University of Texas. We have a stuffed Bevo the longhorn (UT mascot) and a stuffed Bucky the badger (UW mascot) who sit on the TV stand during their respective schools' games. When a mascot's team starts sucking up the field (UT has been doing so at least half of nearly every game the last few years) I turn the mascot upside down so he is sticking his butt up at them to demonstrate how he feels about their performance. UT is usually sufficiently humiliated enough to turn it around, but UW is indifferent to Bucky's butt. It's ok, though, because UW is better at not making me turn Bucky upside down in the first place.

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  34. Laurie4/09/2013

    You're killing me Smalls. Ha ha best baseball movie ever. But football is my game. Cowboys all the way.

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  35. Anonymous4/09/2013

    Like the old saying goes...I love two teams; the Cubs and anyone playing the White Sox.

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  36. Herekittykitty4/10/2013

    Cubs, Cubs, Cubs, Cubs. I'm sorry, there is another baseball team in Chicago?

    I live in MN and my sister is a Twins fan. The Cubbies played here last year and we went, sibling rilvery at it's best.

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  37. I try to ignore your Chicago-ness throughout the year but today it's impossible.

    GO CARDS!

    I'm from the Lou and I'm proud.

    Oh I miss opening day. Why'd I move away?

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    1. I had the same thought: I really like Lauren. She's a cubs fan?! Can this friendship continue? I'm also a St Louisan, and there is no day like Opening Day. I now live in Atlanta and its just not the same!! However, as she loves Chicago style hot dogs, which are amazing, ill let it slide. As long as she knows STL style pizza is better than Chicago!!

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  38. Puppygirl4/10/2013

    I can't believe that with 86 years of tradition, out of all you Chicagoans, not one hockey fan! C'mon! Original six team!
    Now that I have that out of the way....
    I've been a fan of Calgary for a long time. However, as my husband is a die-hard Leafs fan, I will also root for Montreal. Nothing beats an original-six-long-standing-grudge-match.

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