So what has been happening around here recently? Here in Chicago the NFL season has started and the Bears
don't seem to be as toilet as last time. They have a new coach called Lovie Smith who is a headline writer's dream. Lovie was recruited from the St Louis Rams, who used to be the Los Angeles Rams
(Cleveland before that) but packed their bags into a RV and parked up in St Louis a few years back.
Whilst on this tack, the Montreal Expos baseball team has been awarded
to the City of Washington DC! Montreal will play what appears to be it's last home game tonight against Florida at the Olympic Stadium
. A little thought for the thousands, if albeit few, Montreal baseball fans? Nope, not a chance.
I actually get my first live taste of American Football on Saturday when I head up to Wisconsin to watch a college game. In what is essentially our non league, college sport is in many corners far more popular than professional sports here in the US. It is considered more competitive, more passionate and has a raw edge to it with players doing it for the love and the ambition as opposed to the money.
The attendences at college 'football' are huge. Wisconsin Badgers
, for example, had 82,000 last week against Penn State and are expecting similiar on Saturday against Illinois. Some of the college stadiums are enormous, University of Michigan regulary pull in 110,000 screaming college kids. My old school sports teams used to be watched by a couple of obsessed parents and an old man and his dog.
34 days to go before the Presidential Elections. Bush is leading in the polls by 8% according to latest polls
- a slimmer lead than a couple of weeks back as both candidates limber up for the first of three Presidential debates
in Miami tomorrow night.
In the meantime British hostage Kenneth Bigley begs again
for his life while the release of two Italian aid workers was considered to be worth $1m
by the Italian government. What to do, eh Tony?
On a happier note the Chicago summer is still with us with temperatures of 80+ the past weekend although it did drop a tad yesterday. I have belatedly included some Chicago links on What was the score?
but I have still to come across a blog worth championing.
Question. Why does it take so long to make a cup of coffee in Starbucks
? Another question? Why does a Chicago taxi driver always answer a request for a destination with a puzzled look and then asks for the best way to get there? I dunno, you're the cab driver.
I was at the 'Friendly Confines'
again last night, well not actually in the stadium, but on a roof
on top of an apartment block. Bloody cold it was too by the end of the game in which they got hammered 8-3 by the Cincinnati Reds.
at Wrigley Field are another part of it's uniqueness. In a legal battle earlier this year the Cubs struck a deal with the majority of rooftop owners that has the them paying about 17% of their revenues to the team, whereas before they paid nout. Once upon a time of course locals sat on their roof's on a deckchair with a Bud and a hotdog, now the buildings are owned by business men who charge upwards of a $100 per head for the pleasure to sit on a bolted terrace like seat with the same Bud and hotdog.
The 13 rooftops surrounding the stadium are estimated to bring in revenue of $10m per season and following the Cubs announcement that they were to extend the bleachers and thus block the view of the rooftops it all came to a head, resulting in the legal agreement. However the stadium, opened in 1914 has more pressing matters such as the pieces of falling concrete
from the underside of the upper deck!
Anyway, the Cubs are contriving to throw away their place in the wild card. They lost again this afternoon to the Reds 4-3 and are now behind the San Francisco Giants and level with the Houston Astros who both play tonight.
The Race for the Wild Card: