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Sports Then and Now




A Sports Fan’s Dream Day: Live Blog From the Cubs-Sox and Bears Games

Posted on September 03, 2009 by Jacob Nitzberg

It all started with a thunderstorm.

Live Blog

On June 16th, I was all set to attend the first game of the Crosstown Classic between the Cubs and the White Sox at Wrigley Field.  Then Mother Nature struck, postponing the game.

Instead of playing a double header, the game was rescheduled for the first mutual off day, September 3rd.  As fate would have it, the Chicago Bears, the team for whom I hold season tickets, just happened to be playing their fourth and final preseason game on that same day.

I’ve been racking my brain, and I can’t think of another time when a Chicagoan, or a fan from any city for that matter, would have the chance to attend a full game of three major sports teams from their hometown in the same day.  While I’m lucky enough to be the one going, it would be rude of me not to share it with those of you in the Sports Then and Now community.

So get ready, because starting with my arrival in Wrigleyville and lasting until the final whistle in Soldier Field, I’ll be coming to you live from both games via the World Wide Interweb.  Using just my phone and that fancy Twitter application, I’ll be live blogging from in and around both Wrigley Field and Soldier Field, bringing you all the action and perspective from a fan lucky enough to be at both games (in increments of 140 characters or less).

I’ll be posting the updates to the site as often as I can, but for the most up-to-date posts, check out the LIVE BLOG.

CUBS – SOX

12:10 PM – Grabbing the Red Line on my way to Wrigley Field…Live Blog from Cubs-Sox at 1:20 Central.

12:35 PM – Pitching matchup today features Ryan Dempster for the Cubs and Carlos Torres for the Sox, who is looking for his first career victory.

12:55 PM – Not everyone in Wrigleyville is a Soriano fan apparently… http://znl.me/RBN43

1:10 PM – Even with both teams fading fast, the game has importance to the rivalry. The Sox lead the series 3-2 this year and 36-35 overall.

1:20 PM – And the Cubs take the field…it’s a beautiful day for a ballgame.

1:23 PM – The Sox waste a leadoff double with some awful awful baserunning.

1:31 PM – A quick inning for the Cubs as they go 1-2-3 without much of a fight.

1:35 PM – Noticeably absent from the Cubs lineup is Derrek Lee, with Fox taking over at first base. Bit of a height difference.

1:37 PM – Errant pickoff throw from Dempster. Not even the little leaguers from Texas had this many errors.

1:41 PM – The stadium breakdown appears to be about 50% Cubs fans, 30% Sox fans, and 20% empty. Not your typical Crosstown affair.

1:43 PM – A view from Section 411 http://znl.me/O250R

1:46 PM – Plenty of boos for Milton Bradley as he approaches the plate, but tepid applause as he beats out an infield single.

1:55 PM – Short break due to a phone malfunction – while I was gone, Milton Bradley gave the 3rd out to a Sox fan. At least he knew how many outs.

1:56 PM – Another good stop by Koyie Hill on a ball in the dirt. Demp looks a bit wild today.

2:01 PM – Ramirez was hit by the pitch and walks slowly down to first. Very slowly.

2:03 PM – Guy in front of me is wearing a 2003 NLCS tshirt. I’m tempted to throw him over the railing.

2:07 PM – Great running catch by Theriot in the Sox bullpen. Probably the left fielder’s ball, but we wouldn’t want Soriano to strain his legs.

2:10 PM – It’s pretty evident by that last at bat that Carlos Torres doesn’t get to the plate much.

2:15 PM – A “Let’s Go White Sox” chant tries to start in the bleachers. It’s quickly booed down.

2:18 PM – Mmmmm Old Style.

2:20 PM – Fu-ku-do-me is the most fun name to chant. Ever. Seriously, you should try it.

2:23 PM – Bob Brenly just told a story that had nothing to do with baseball. I can’t actually hear him, but I like my odds.

2:25 PM – Getz gets hit by the pitch, but no warnings are issued by the umps.

2:30 PM – Milwaukee leads St. Louis in the 6th. Too bad it doesn’t matter.

2:35 PM – Bradley strikes out for the 3rd out but refrains from breaking his bat on home plate.

2:44 PM – For my money, nobody sings the 7th inning stretch better than Ron Santo.

2:46 PM – And the Cubs finally get an extra base hit. In the bottom of the 7th

2:47 PM – I offered 3 to 1 odds on strikeout vs anything else with Soriano at the plate and nobody would take it…smart move by them.

2:50 PM – The Cubs gamble and Jake Fox is thrown out at the plate by Dewayne Wise on a Jeff Baker single with only one out. Very close play.

2:52 PM – Apparently the fans in the left field bleachers think right field sucks, while those in right see it differently. Stay tuned for more…

2:54 PM – Soriano loses his footing on a routine fly ball, the ball ends up at the wall, Beckham scores and AJ is at 3rd. That’s easily worth $18 million.

2:55 PM – And after an RBI single by Konerko that’s all for Dempster. This would be a tough loss after a well pitched game.

2:58 PM – What’s most surprising about the Soriano error was that it wasn’t surprising at all.

3:00 PM – The crowd is hushed. Either the Sox runs took the life out of the fans or they are tired from the booing. A strikeout gets little applause.

3:02 PM – One noticeable difference about September baseball…the dugouts are much more crowded.

3:05 PM – The latest “Let’s go White Sox” chant is met with much less resistance.

3:09 PM – Carlos Torres retakes the hill for the Sox in the 8th. With a shutout going no reason to take him out now. Yes that is an attempted jinx.

3:09 PM – And as the Cubs announce Fontenot as the PH Ozzie goes to the pen to get a lefty. The Cubs counter with Aaron Miles. Point White Sox.

3:12 PM – As Kosuke flies out the wind takes the ball from center all the way to left. Podsednik was closer to the foul line than Quentin.

3:15 PM – White Sox prospect Tyler Flowers makes his major league debut..bet he didn’t think it would be at Wrigley Field.

3:18 PM – A strong throw from Bradley holds Podsednik at third on a single. It would be more significant if it was still 1-0.

3:20 PM – For some reason, Jake Fox looks home to try and get Pods at the plate. When he turns to throw to first, nobody is covering. 4-0 Sox.

3:23 PM – Theriot makes an unbelievable play to get the force at 2nd on a high throw, but comes up limping. The trainer and Lou are out for a visit.

3:41 PM – The Riot makes another great diving stop but cannot get enough on the ball to force Kotsay at 2nd. Another run crosses the plate for the Sox.

3:43 PM – Its barely over half full as the bottom of the 9th starts.

3:46 PM – When I say the stadium is half full, that includes the press box.

3:47 PM – Jake Fox beats out a double play ball which brings Soriano to the plate to a chorus of boos. I bet he wanted a DP.

3:50 PM – Well that’s it and that’s all. The Sox take the game and the series. I’ll be back in a few hours from Soldier Field. See ya then.

BEARS

6:37 PM – If I see a spaceship on top of a stadium, I must be at Soldier Field. Getting close to kickoff.

6:55 PM – While the Bears will mostly be resting, the Browns have a QB battle still to be decided. It will be interesting to see how much they play.

7:04 PM – The Bears get off the bus runnin, as the first four plays go to Kevin Jones.

7:13 PM – Typical bears. 3rd and 9 and they can’t stop the screen.

7:18 PM – I honestly have no idea who is playing QB for the Browns, but he throws a TD to Massaquoi, who the Bears could have drafted in Rd 2.

7:22 PM – There’s a timeout…apparently it’s on the field.

7:26 PM – Garrett Wolfe is trying to earn a roster spot with special teams, but letting the kickoff bounce and having trouble picking it up won’t help.

7:27 PM – Most of the Bears first team defense is already wearing their hats with helmets nowhere in sight.

7:29 PM – Another Bears screen pass easily snuffed out. Hanie is looking mediocre right now.

7:31 PM – The view from Section 131. http://znl.me/H99B8

7:36 PM – I know it was probably expensive, but I don’t get why people still wear Cedric Benson jerseys.

7:40 PM – Not a very exciting first quarter, and the crowd seems to know its the 4th preseason game as they are very subdued.

7:42 PM – Hanie’s deep pass was woefully underthrown and intercepted. Shades of the last few years.

7:43 PM – A great new addition…tv on the back of the camera truck so the view isn’t completely obstructed. http://znl.me/Q814F

7:46 PM – The crowd gets loud for 3rd and goal at the 2…and the D comes through with a nice goal line stand.

7:49 PM – You know it’s a preseason game when beach balls are flying around the south end zone stands.

7:51 PM – One thing is for sure, the Bears cannot afford any injuries to the offensive line. The protection is awful.

7:52 PM – Chris Jennings is getting the majority of the carries for Cleveland and is running well. Part of that might just be the 2nd string defense.

7:56 PM – Amazingly, there is little to no wind in Soldier Field tonight. As a result, Phil Dawson drains a 51-yarder with ease.

8:02 PM – A nice catch by Johnny Knox above his head and a better play after the catch to get to the Cleveland 17 at the two minute warning.

8:05 PM – One thing to appreciate about Wrigley…no games like guessing the price of cheese in 1935. Who cares?

8:13 PM – Robbie Gould is good again. Its nice to have a kicker that surprises you when he misses vs the other way around.

8:17 PM – New signing Rod Hood just got lit up by Browns RB Chris Jennings. Not a good start to your Bears career.

8:20 PM – Halftime show…youth football. Back in 12 minutes.

8:22 PM – One of the kids just put down the hardest hit of the day…easily.

8:37 PM – Wolfe is showing his value out of the backfield. Adrian Peterson hasn’t really played, which doesn’t bode well for his chances to be 1 of 53.

8:40 PM – Hanie to Gaines and Bear Down Chicago Bears. We’ve got a tie meaningless ballgame.

8:43 PM – Awful special teams coverage, as Robbie Gould is forced into action to save a TD.

8:51 PM – Rod Hood is burned deep on 4th down badly. The Browns punch it in on the next play for the lead.

8:52 PM – And there’s the red flag…definitely looks like he was short.

8:54 PM – And now the Browns score…

8:57 PM – Johnny Knox is making a case for a roster spot with another solid return. He is lightning quick.

9:00 PM – Brett Basanez makes his first appearance of the game and promptly overthrows the tallest receiver on the team.

9:06 PM – Basanez hits Peterman for an All Northwestern connection. You’re gonna see that a bunch this year on the practice squad.

9:10 PM – The Bears opt to pass on 4th and 1 and the slant works for a TD. I bet everyone, including me, was expecting a running play.

9:13 PM – It may be the 3rd string, it may be against the Browns, but its great to see a pass rush from Da Bears.

9:14 PM – Johnny Knox gets a big ovation, catches the ball inside the 5, then takes it back to midfield. Shades of Hester circa 2006. Well, kind of.

9:19 PM – A fun game to play during the 2nd half of the final preseason game is to try and spot a player on the field you’ve heard of. It’s not easy.

9:21 PM – We’re finally hearing from the Bears’ first pick Juaquin Iglesias, who has made a few nice grabs on this drive.

9:26 PM – Another way you can tell its preseason…they didn’t even bother to paint the end zones.

9:27 PM – The Bears just ran the option…unsuccessfully. Wow.

9:32 PM – Rookie DJ Moore drops an INT on 3rd down, then is sent back to return a punt which he promptly fumbles. Awesome.

9:35 PM – Moore atones a bit with a nice tackle for a loss. You can see he wants to make amends.

9:40 PM – Smith calls a TO after the Browns barely convert on 4th and 1. Why not just challenge? Makes no sense.

9:45 PM – The Browns kick a FG down by 6 with 2:21 to play. Interesting decision by Mangini. I guess its time for onside kick practice.

9:46 PM – And they kick it deep instead. Guess he trusts his 3rd string defense. That or he doesn’t care about winning a preseason game.

9:52 PM – With the stadium 1/3 full, the Bears go to Iglesias for again of 26. One more first down and the Bears are 3-1 in the preseason.

9:57 PM – That’s it and that’s all. Its been a fun day in the windy city, I hope you’ve all enjoyed the live blog, it was quite an experience.


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