Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A DAY IN THE LIFE (of Chicago): We can’t beat stinkin’ Anaheim?

I’m never sure what to think of these bets that political people make with government officials in other cities when our professional sports franchises play each other at key points in the season.

Can Chi really lose to Ducks?
We’re at that stage right now in professional hockey, where our very own Blackhawks are taking on the Ducks of suburban Los Angeles (Anaheim, Calif., to be exact).

THE DUCKS HAVE a 1-0 game lead, but the two teams play again Tuesday night, then come to Chicago and the United Center for a pair of games.

To that end, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has a bet with Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait – each mayor put up a locally-brewed brand of beer and some sort of local spicy condiment (chili peppers grown in Anaheim, against that neon green relish that you find on an authentic Vienna beef hot dog), along with a charitable contribution to a local organization.

Becoming A Man in Chicago as opposed to ACT Anaheim.

The point of these bets is less about engaging in a gamble as it is to promote products associated with the home cities.

WHICH MAKES ME wonder if everybody involved would be better off if their “home” team were to lose. Considering that the actual ballplayers for our “home” team aren’t from Chicago and rarely locate themselves here, I doubt the Blackhawks players are all that concerned about the honor and fame and the glorious name of the Second City.

Although I can remember how back when Richard M. Daley was mayor, it always seemed like these bets involved so many local products that it seemed like the companies were involved trying to get their name included. A loss and their payoff would be great publicity.

So what should we think about the Blackhawks/Ducks matchup leading up to the Stanley Cup championship; aside from the fact that it would be thoroughly humiliating for a Chicago team to lose to a franchise named for a thoroughly-mediocre Emilio Estevez film?

What else is notable on the shores of Lake Michigan located between suburban Evanston and Hammond, Ind.?

PROM NIGHT GOES UGLY:  As one who grew up in and around suburban Calumet City, I couldn’t help but notice the weekend story of the local boy who was killed in a car accident early Saturday after having spent Friday night at the prom.

Another Prom Night casualty. Photograph provided by T.F. North High School
Aaron Dunigan, the T.F. North student and quarterback of the football team, was with friends at the school’s prom, held at the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Chicago. The car he was riding in was hit by another vehicle. The driver of that car also was killed.

Police reports indicate that the person who was driving the students’ car was under the influence of drugs and now faces related criminal charges. The high school says there were three students in the car, and that the others besides Dunigan survived their injuries.

Not that Prom Night is free of potential for hazards. Although this incident seems to be so pointless that we can’t help but wonder “Why?”

ROOT, ROOT, ROOT FOR THE WHITE SOX: The Chicago White Sox’ 7-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday was ever so significant because of the atrocious start to the season the White Sox had.

It gave them a record of 17-17, or .500. Considering there was one point when their record in games played on the road was 2-12, the fact that they’re now half and half over all is quite a comeback.

Still 4 1/2 months to play ball. Who knows what will happen?
Heck, a 2-1 extra-inning victory on Monday against the Cleveland Indians made the White Sox a team with a winning record. But considering that it took a three-game sweep against Oakland, along with winning series against Milwaukee, Detroit and Cincinnati, just to be mediocre shows how below their skill level they were playing during April.

We’ll just have to wait and see if the Sout’ Siders can keep up winning ways in coming weeks, or if the past week-and-a-half winds up being the high point of 2015!


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