My ongoing series of trying as hard as I can to make fun of my friend Mike leading up to his wedding next weekend has now reached the point where I tone back on the humiliating videos & pictures (although not entirely), and start to talk about the many reasons why he's my best friend.
This may come as a surprise to the readers of this blog, but I am rather fond of a Major League Baseball team known as the Chicago Cubs. Due to this affection and the relatively close proximity of Chicago to South Bend, I have been to many a Cub game, often with Mike. We have gone several times with other friends and a few times just the two of us. One of my favorite life moments was on my 23rd birthday, just a few short weeks before my wedding, when Mike took me to a Cub game for my birthday. Due to, well, a "connection," Mike was able to get us into the Cub's VIP restaurant/lounge during the game. This was certainly very cool, if for no other reason than all the food and drink was free! One of the many quirks about Wrigley Field, however, is that the VIP lounge has no view of the field (at least it didn't back then). So, essentially, everyone makes an appearance just to confirm their VIP status and then immediately leaves to go and actually see the game. We basically did the same thing. I loved that day. Kerry Wood pitched a good game. Sammy Sosa hit a home run. The Cubs lost, but it was a good game and a good day anyway.
OK, so what? What does it matter that I went to a couple of Cubs games with my friend? What's so special about that? Well, the thing is that Mike doesn't like the Cubs. He's a Tiger fan. I don't think he holds any specific ill-will towards the Cubs, but he generally doesn't much care about them one way or the other. But for a guy who doesn't like the Cubs, he's been to a lot of Cub games. To me, this is Mike in microcosm. He invests in people, genuinely caring for them, and genuinely caring about the things they care about. With me, that means he went to Cub games., among many other things. Is this why he's my friend? No. But it is what makes him a friend.
Anyway, that day was a special day for me. Oddly, I can't seem to find any pictures of he & I actually at the game. I think it's hiding in a frame behind another picture somewhere (sadly this was pre-digital camera days). I did manage to find some of the other pictures from the game, though, so I'll put a few of those here, for no real reason. Speaking of "no real reason", I was shooting in black & white that day.
Well, I certainly can't let this post end on that note, so here is a video of Mike telling us of the miracle of blankets.