Sunday, September 2, 2007

September: Do or Die Time

I have a bet made with one of my former students who graduated this past May. He used to live in Chicago and hence, is a Cubs fan. Since my college days at Eastern Illinois University, I have hated all sports teams from Chicago, simply because there were so many people at EIU from Chicago and it seemed like 3 out of 4 of them were rude and disrespectful to those of us from "downstate" (and I HATE that term!). Anyway, back to my former student. He and his older brother love to teast me about the Cardinals, even though they both know that they are fighting a losing battle. This young man is currently in the Army Guard, stationed at Ft. Benning, GA. He left in June and I have received 7 letters from him so far. He will be back sometime later this month. I write to him as well, sending newspaper clippings, pictures, and other tidbits of interest in the envelopes along with my letters. While we were on vacation this summer, I sent him a post card from every one of our stops. Back in April, when school was still in, he started his badmouthing of the Cardinals. My traditional comeback to a Cubs fan is "see me in September." So, he and I made a bet: one of us would take the other to lunch depending on whichever team is higher in the standings come the end of the season. Seems like most season, the Cubs have been higher, and still are. However, during the past month, the Cardinals have moved from about 4 games to 2 games within reach of passing the Cubs. And we still have a month to go. With the Cards big win last night and their win again today, I thought we might be able to move within 1 game. But the Cubs won yesterday and today, had to come back in the late innings and win their game as well. We are going to the game tomorrow to cheer on our Cardinals. I look forward to watching baseball this final month of the season. I always enjoy following my Cardinals, but this year it's just a little more fun. I honestly don't have any hopes of postseason success (just making the playoffs would be a small miracle!), just as long as we end up higher than the Cubs, as we usually do!

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