Tag Archives: Wrigley Field

Glenn Beck’s possible blindness, a trip to Wrigley, and drunk college girls who brought back memories

**OK, I promise, no more “Field of Dreams” posts for a while. But man, it was awesome.

I’ve always believed that karma pays you back not just in the afterlife, but in your time on Earth too.

Glenn Beck has been one of the most despicable human beings in media for the past, oh, seven years or so. First on CNN Headline News, now on Fox News, he has repeatedly made racist, sexist, anti-gay remarks on his television show and in interviews.

Now, while I try not to wish ill on people (except quarterbacks in the NFL when they’re playing the Jets), I wasn’t exactly crying when I heard this today, while web-surfing in my Iowa hotel room this morning.

Mr. Beck has been told by doctors that he has an eye disease called macular dystrophy, and that he may go blind in the next year.

Something tells me that even if he loses his vision, he’ll still see racism in Barack Obama, injustices against white Southerners, and absolutely no reason Sarah Palin shouldn’t be President.

What a schmuck he is.

**Had my second-ever Wrigley Field experience Tuesday night, and my first under the lights.

It was fabulous; Cubs were down 7-1 in the fourth, and rallied to score the next THIRTEEN runs, and won 14-7. If you’ve never been, and you’re any kind of a sports fan, I implore you to visit the ballpark before you die.

It really is a shrine, with so many wonderful elements (the ivy on the walls, the sellout crowds, the old-time feel of the place) that even if the game is terrible, you won’t be sorry you came. I mean, my Dad and I went to a Tuesday night game in late July between two really bad teams this year (Cubs and Astros), and there were still 36,401 people in attendance (I counted).

Best T-shirt I saw in Wrigleyville: “Jesus said to the Cubs: Don’t do anything until I get back.”

**The real fun at the game, though, came from the drunk college girls sitting in front of us. Quick summary: Brunette and blonde try to buy beer in about 2nd inning from beer vendor. He appears to turn down their attempt because their ID’s weren’t believable. Girls get pissed off, and then leave seats, disappearing for about 40 minutes.

When they come back, man are they in a better mood! Laughing, swearing, high-fiving everyone in sight as the Cubbies come back. I’m guessing they had at least 2-3 beers each while they were gone.
Then, when the blonde loses her cigarettes, she asks for help finding them. Instead, I find her wallet under the seat, which she thought she lost. Man were she and the brunette relieved and excited. The brunette spent the next 20 minutes thanking us profusely, clutching our hands, grabbing my face, and telling us she could get us a free round of golf in Chicago because she works at a country club near here.

“Just give me your cell phone and I’ll put my number in,” she declared joyfully. “Then you can call me and we can set it up!”

I passed. But watching someone get drunk that quick, and have their entire outlook and mood change, sure reminded me of 1994 and the Tau Kappa Epsilon house at Delaware, all over again.

Another bucket list item about to be crossed off: A pilgrimage to a cornfield in Iowa

Going to Iowa today.
Couldn’t be more excited about it.
There are moments when you are absolutely, 100 percent sure that the man you’ve always believed to be your father is definitely your father.
When you both have the exact same vision, living hundreds of miles apart, of something that would be the ultimate dad-kid experience.
A few months ago, I heard that the cornfield in Dyersville, Iowa that was used for the movie “Field of Dreams”  was up for sale. Since the 1989 release of the movie, the field, owned by the Lansing family, has been kept just about exactly as it was in the movie, and turned into a tourist destination. People go there from all over the world, play a little baseball in the impromptu pick-up games that are always going on, walk in the cornfield, and re-capture the memories of how the film made them feel.

Since “Field of Dreams” is by far my favorite movie of all time, I thought news of the possible sale might spur me into taking action on fulfilling my two-decades old dream of visiting it one day. So I wrote this blog post about it, and then spent about an hour researching, theoretically, how much it would cost for my wife and I to fly to Iowa this summer, spend a day or two at the field, and come back.
“Wouldn’t you rather go with your Dad?” she asked at one point.
Of course that had occurred to me, but this is a man who lives on Long Island and thinks it’s too much of a schlep to drive into Queens. I figured there’s no way he’d want to go.
Anyway, I put the possible trip out of my head, dismissing it as not practical at this point in my life.
Literally the next day, my father emails Julie, before he’d read my blog post. He asks her to call him when I’m not around. So she does, later that day while I’m at work.
“Do you think Michael would want to go to Iowa this summer … ” he began. My wife, of course, began freaking out, screaming “Are you kidding me? We were JUST talking about this last night?”
And so, here I sit, a mere seven hours before my father and I begin our pilgrimage. We’re flying from New York to Chicago, then driving three hours to Dyersville. Going to play baseball on the “Field of Dreams” (I’m smiling just writing that!) Monday afternoon. Sleeping over there Monday night, going back to the field Tuesday for another look, then driving back to Chicago. Taking Pops to his first game at Wrigley Field that night (I’ve been once, it’s a shrine), then flying home to NY Wednesday morning.

It is the kind of trip you always read or hear about other people taking, and I’m exceedingly lucky and excited to be going. I love that my Dad wants to experience this with me, and that he’s up for adventure.

No, I don’t expect Ty Cobb or Mickey Mantle to walk out of the cornfield while I’m playing second base Monday. And I’m pretty sure James Earl Jones won’t be saying “Ray, people will come” when we drive up the road to the farm. Yeah, I know it’s a film set.

But the thrill of this movie, to me, has always been the idea of holding onto your dreams, and making them come true. And to me, getting to walk on the hallowed ground in Iowa is truly a dream come true.
I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow, as well as what else I find in the tiny town of Dyersville.(Got to be a few cool things, right?)

Jets-Colts. Today. Too psyched for words

***I’ve been to Fenway Park and Wrigley Field. I toured the grounds of Wimbledon. I watched the New York Rangers win the Stanley Cup.

Today, the biggest sports dream left in my life may happen. The New York Jets may advance to the Super Bowl for the first time since I was born. The team I have worshipped, lived and died for, screamed at and exulted over, is one victory over the Indianapolis Colts away from playing for the world championship.

Too pumped up for sleep last night. Too nervous until 3 p.m. today; I’m sure I’ll be pacing around our apartment like a madman. Don’t tell me it’ s just a game; please, those of you who don’t understand the passion of sports, don’t say that to a Jets fan today.

I can’t write anymore; all I can do is give you this. Three videos that are guaranteed to pump you up, no matter what you’re doing today in your life.

Number 1, Mr. Al Pacino, from “Any Given Sunday”

Number 2, Herb Brooks’ locker-room speech from “Miracle on Ice”

And finally, No. 3, a wonderful compilation from the people at Overthinkingit.com, 40 great movie speeches in just 2:15:

Let’s go J-E-T-S!