David Hein is an international basketball and sports writer/reporter based in Regensburg, Germany, and a featured columnist with FIBA basketball (among other outlets) and owns/operates heinnews. An Illinois native and die-hard Chicago Cubs fan, David will be chronicling his 7,000 mile journey from Germany to the World Series, one game at a time. Connect with David Hein on Twitter.
Living room in St. Charles, October 31 – The Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings NFL game is about to start. Just a day off from baseball but it’s Monday night and the local Bears are on – must-watch TV even though the Bears are really bad this season.
And of course things are more relaxed today after a pretty hectic night last night as the Chicago Cubs remained alive in the World Series by winning Game 5 3-2 to pull to within 3-2. The biggest take-aways were Kris Bryant finally getting a big hit – the home run to knot the game at 1-1 – and closer Aroldis Chapman pitching 2 2/3 innings to shut down the Indians.
Sure, the game was thrilling and it was great to see the Cubs grab the victory. But I didn’t see it as nerve-racking as others. Maybe the Cubs being in the World Series is enough for me. If they win the whole f**king thing – as the T-shirt says – then I will be in heaven. But I am not in agony with everything little thing that goes wrong.
There were a few special moments other than the previously mentioned two, such as Anthony Rizzo’s catch after catcher David Ross failed to squeeze it as well as Jason Heyward’s grab at the wall in right field.
Another highlight was Eddie Vedder singing Take Me Out to the Ball Game – also because I am a big Pearl Jam and Vedder fan.
It’s nice being back with my brother – at my base for the trip. Not having to lug around my backpack. My Game 5 day started out in the north suburbs and I headed back into Wrigleyville for one final quick look and also to buy a T-shirt or two. And then I caught a Metra back out to Geneva. The build-up to Game 5 was spent helping get dinner ready. My niece and I were also coloring in a pattern book. I can’t remember the last time I did something like that and it was very meditative – picking out a nice color scheme with the Sharpies – and the final product was pretty sharp.
After a good night’s sleep following Game 5 day, Halloween day was spent doing some shopping for some things the Heins always like picking up when we are Stateside and a couple of small gifts. I also got a chance to surprise my cousin at one of the local chain sports stores – resulting in a wonderful look of surprise in seeing me after two years.
The highlight of the off day was hanging out with a good college friend of mine. It must have been at least 15 years since I saw him in person. It was great catching up with him and talking about the media business in the US and Germany. It was also worthwhile bouncing ideas off him and helps in the process of stepping back and taking stock of where I’m at and what goals I have for the future. This is something that was well overdue and something I usually try to do every couple of years.
One other note for those who might know about this not standing during the US national anthem “thing” if you will. My nephew said four high school students refused to stand before a high school football game in suburban Chicago. My response to being told this was just a bemuzed shake of my head. Oh well. Let’s hope they actually know what it’s all about.
Well, I should probably turn in. I was impressed with the Chicago Bears’ Halloween costume – posing as a good team as they collected just their second win of the season with a 20-10 victory.
Tomorrow is Game 6 and we get back into Cubs mode.
Let’s do this!