Mason’s maundered musings: Beautiful pandemonium Chicago-style


Mason Schweizer, Columnist

The Final Four. The Masters. The start of the NBA and NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. April is a doozy of a month for sports fans.

But out of all the happenings in the sports world in April, one day shines above all. And that is opening day for America’s pastime.

The sun shines bright on the beautifully cut fields as 30 teams begin their quest to conquer the sport. It is a day of hope for fans across the country and, if anything else, is a reminder that we are turning the page on winter and opening up a chapter of summer.

As a Cubs fan, many opening days have provided the lone day of hope for the season. By the time the dog days of summer roll around, fans of the loveable losers are conditioned to prepare their statements to rival fans. “There’s always next year.”

But this year, things are different. The Cubs, built with a deadly combination of young offensive talent and dominant front-end pitching, have a buzz around them unlike any other. At 4-1, the Cubbies are overwhelming favorites to win their first World Series since 1908.

As I sat daydreaming after a dominant opening day victory, my mind drifted off to the celebration that would fill the streets of the Windy City should the Cubs find themselves on the right side of history.

Wrigley Field, home to the Cubs for 102 years, is arguably the most iconic stadium in sport. It also has the sui generis distinction of being located in the heart of one of the most popular neighborhoods in one of the greatest cities in the country, aptly named Wrigleyville.

For all three of the recent Stanley Cup-clinching victories from the Chicago Blackhawks, and even during last season’s wild-card game, thousands of fans used Wrigleyville as a space of exuberance and celebration.

I can only imagine how rowdy the party will be once the Cubs bring The Commissioner’s Trophy to the neighborhood.

Sure, you’ll observe a few dudebros passed out on street corners wearing nothing but urine-soaked chinos and a Cubs W flag draped around their neck like a cape. There may even be a few fans of the Southsiders attempting to troll the celebrations.

The aroma of Old Style and Budweiser will fill the noses of millennials and their grandparents alike, both of whom will be witnessing the first Cubs clincher of their lifetime.

The Cubs victory song, “Go Cubs Go,” will be heard across the border into Indiana. Enough tears of joy will be wept that the citizens could create a second Lake Michigan.

Hundreds of flags will be waived and paraded down Addison. Lawyers will celebrate arm-in-arm with custodians. Gas station attendants will be kissing random CEOs. Nothing unites a city like a championship.

The city of Chicago will be a scene of the most beautiful pandemonium one could fathom.

And as invigorating as that sounds, for my personal selfish reasoning, a part of me will be upset.

Maybe upset is the wrong word. Salty?

For the first 22 years of my life, and likely many to follow, I have lived my life as an Illinois resident. Sure, I have been blessed to attend three Stanley Cup parades. I am old enough to remember Michael Jordan and company deliver the last two of his six NBA titles as a Chicago Bull.

But those won’t compare to the night that will live forever if the Cubs finally break the curse of the billy goat.

All while I will be sitting here in Wayne America, solitarily celebrating.