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25 things to do instead of watching Cubs-Sox game

Two White Sox fans sit next two Cubs fans while watching batting practice U.S. Cellular Field. | Sun-Times Media

Two White Sox fans sit next to two Cubs fans while watching batting practice at U.S. Cellular Field. | Sun-Times Media

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Updated: July 8, 2013 10:07PM



I have some terrible news, Chicago. The Cubs and White Sox must play each other one more time this season. Worse, The Cell will be open to the public Monday night, and the game will be on television.

I know: You thought our long regional nightmare was over. You thought you wouldn’t have to witness these two bad baseball teams playing each other again in 2013. I believe this type of thinking is what mental-health professionals refer to as ‘‘blocking.’’ You were repressing ugly feelings and memories.

You conveniently forgot the rainout from May 28. Back then, you thought the downpour was proof of a merciful God who couldn’t bear the thought of another day of pain for us. It was also proof of a God who’d had it up to here with Cubs pitcher Edwin Jackson, who was supposed to start that night.

But the teams will play the makeup game Monday, and if that has you questioning the existence of a higher power, I understand. What kind of deity would allow such a thing? First a 40-day rainstorm and now this?

Whatever the case, it doesn’t mean you have to watch the game. You do have free will. If you’ve been to a major-league ballpark lately, you know it’s the only free thing you have. I’m calling on you North Side and South Side fans to unite, for once, and realize that you don’t have to take one more gulp of a last-place team (Sox) playing a second-to-last-place team (Cubs). There are more palatable options.

Twenty-five things to do instead of going to the Cubs-Sox game:

◆ Anything else.

◆ No, really. I mean anything else.

◆ Go to work. Agree to a pay cut, if necessary.

◆ Watch Adam Sandler movies. All . . . night . . . long.

◆ Lock yourself in a closet. With Honey Boo Boo’s mom.

◆ Hang out with Milton Bradley while he’s free on bond. I think you’re starting to understand the depths of this situation.

◆ Experience firsthand Patrice Bergeron’s Stanley Cup injuries — torn rib cartilage, broken rib, separated shoulder and punctured lung. In other words, get hit by a car.

◆ Break out the metal detector and start sweeping your backyard. After hours of effort, you might find a 2009 dime that your home’s previous owner dropped. And what a moment that will be.

◆ Watch the Tour de France on television and remind yourself what a fool you were to believe in Lance Armstrong. Then remind yourself what a fool you are to believe, again, that the sport has somehow cleaned itself up.

◆ Three words: barbershop quartet throwdown!

◆ Officiate a soccer game in Brazil, where spectators last week stoned to death and decapitated a referee after he stabbed one of the players, killing him. That suggestion might appear to be over the top, but have you seen the Sox try to play defense this season?

◆ Get the root canal you’ve been putting off.

◆ Get the root canal you don’t need.

◆ Talk sock-drawer organization with Tom Thibodeau.

◆ Watch a continuous loop of those painful AT&T ‘‘back in my day’’ commercials in which the older kids tell the younger kids how tough life was before U-verse high-speed Internet.

◆ Read the owner’s manual for every electronic appliance you own.

◆ Read the entire transcript, typed out on a scroll like Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, of all of Lovie Smith’s news conferences. Then realize those owner’s manuals weren’t so bad.

◆ Watch a video montage of every ballpark marriage proposal of the last 10 years.

◆ Four words: Superfund site field trip!

◆ Watch reruns of Wimbledon’s 2013 doubles competition.

◆ Listen to Bill Belichick and Aaron Hernandez extol the ‘‘Patriot Way,’’ with the caveat that no puking is allowed.

◆ Listen to Wrigleyville residents share shocking stories of crowded sidewalks and streets on game days. Who knew?

◆ Clean Blackhawks players’ dental plates. Sadly, a decent percentage of you aren’t as disgusted by this image as you should be.

OK, two real ones to leave you with the impression that my mind isn’t filled with dark, disgusting images:

◆ Watch Kane County Cougars outfielder Albert Almora, the Cubs’ 2012 first-round pick, play against Quad Cities in Geneva on Monday. He’s hitting .353.

◆ While you’re there, watch Almora’s teammate, Rock Shoulders. Because he has just about the coolest name ever.



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