O-Issue 2013: Chicago Sports

For when the Maroons are off-season.

By Vicente Fernandez

There is nothing better than walking into a professional baseball stadium on a crisp autumn night, watching those bright lights beam as you smell peanuts and hot dogs; and in the city of Chicago you have two baseball teams to visit—the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox. There is nothing that beats battling a brutal Chicago winter like facing it head on, tailgating a Bears game in weather so cold you’ll need a few drinks to stomach the famed bone-crushing hits of Chicago’s football team. And there’s no city on earth where a population the size of Chicago’s comes together to rally behind a playoff run like the Windy City does when the Bulls or the Blackhawks are having another storied NBA or NHL season.

The city of Chicago has plenty of attractions, but there’s no place in the United States with better fans, better stadiums, and better sports. If there’s one thing you should do in the next four years, as you live in this city, it’s take advantage.

Splurge a little. Buy a ticket and watch the return of point guard Derrick Rose, the greatest basketball player Chicago has seen since MJ.

Spend a Saturday on Wrigley Field’s rooftops and experience what makes the Chicago Cub’s storied stadium an amusement park, and a ballpark. Who knows, maybe the Curse of the Billy Goat will die while the Cubs play while you look on from above; maybe they’ll win their first World Series since 1908.

Make the short trip to U.S. Cellular Field for a more wallet-sensitive, intimate night of baseball with the White Sox, one where you feel like you can actually walk onto the infield clay and stand next to shortstop Alexei Ramirez.

Take to Soldier Field, and take it all in—the second oldest team in professional football, the stadium that looks like a coliseum, and the Bears.

And of course, when Chicago erupts in joy and tears and passion when its Blackhawks and captain Jonathan Toews bring home another Stanley Cup take to the streets and party like you’re in Madison Square Garden on New Year’s Eve because it will feel even better than that.

Do these things because you’re blessed to live in a city where you can. Do them even if you’re not a sports fan. Do them so that when you’ve graduated and are living in some far off city or some small remote town, where people can only watch these things on their television screens, you can reminisce and whisper to yourself, “I’ve been there.”