Thank You Charles Tillman

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

I was at the Bartman game. My dad somehow managed to find bleacher tickets for himself, my brothers, and I. There’s a very clear picture in my head of my brother Brian holding five fingers in the air… one for each out the Cubs needed to move on to the World Series.

My brothers at game 6 of the NLCS in 2003 with high expectations.

We all know what happened next.

I wish I took a picture afterwards, but I was too depressed. The four of us trudged down Sheffield to my brother’s apartment, too miserable to get on the train. We joined thousands of others, dazed, silently wandering in the middle of the street. Every once in a while someone would vocalize their frustrations by shouting: “Dammit,” “8 runs,” or a simple Santo-esque “No!!” It was surreal and awful. Many have compared it to a funeral. In my experience, funerals are happier.

Seventh Inning Stretch — 3 to 0, Cubs — 15 minutes to meltdown.

A week later, looking to vent my frustrations, I sold my ticket stub on eBay with “Worst Game Ever” scrawled on the bottom. It was bought for $22 by someone in Indiana. (I refused to ship to Florida.)

As the Cubs embarrassed themselves against the Diamondbacks this weekend, I felt numb. I was disappointed but not depressed. For some reason I didn’t have very high expectations — maybe because this year’s collection of overpaid underachievers didn’t inspire me much — but I think Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS had something to do with it. That night changed me. I’ve lost my naive childish thrill. To quote Steve Goodman (again) “What do you expect when you raise up a young boy’s hopes and then crush them like so many empty beer cups year after year after year after year after year…” As the playoffs began this year, my dad said he wasn’t sure what made him happier: seeing the Cubs make the playoffs or seeing the Mets collapse. He still holds a grudge from 1969. These things stay with you.

“Worst Game Ever”


I hope someday I can feel that way about the Cubs again. They have some likable young players and 100 years is a nice round number. In the meantime, here’s hoping the back page of the Sun Times has some good news after a pretty depressing couple of weeks. Watching Charles Tillman literally wrestle a win from the arms of the Green Bay Packers was a pretty good start. Thanks Peanut, Chicago needed that.


too bad

~ ian jacover      

[...] re-read a poignant blog by my buddy, [...]

[...] mentioned before that my brothers, my dad, and I were all at the Bartman game — talk about shennanigans — but I haven’t mentioned that it inspired my dad to [...]

[...] re-read a poignant blog by my buddy, [...]

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