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Love & Baseball

vic-banner-1-jpegumpireMy wife is a Cubs fan.

I’m rooting for the Indians.

There can be no greater test of our marital bonds.

Can love overcome battling baseball allegiances?

Alas, there’s no umpire than can make this call.

My darling, treasured wife, Victoria, is a Chicago girl born and raised. Vic’s a South Sider by birth – and should really be a White Sox fan by regional rights – but she headed to the North Side for college, which is where we first met.

vic-post-1-5After her years at Northwestern University in Evanston on Chicago’s northern border, Victoria moved to Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood (also on the North Side), where loyalty to the Cubs was very strong. Shortly after I moved in with her in the mid-1980s, we took an apartment in the Wrigleyville neighborhood. It was a short walk to hallowed, historic Wrigley Field — the very epicenter of Cubs fandom.

vic-post-1-3As I discussed in a previous post, the Cubs became my favorite team in the National League during my years in Chicago, and Victoria and I went to many games at Wrigley Field, snuggling under a blanket during the chill of home openers in the spring and enjoying the thrill of pennant races in late summer.

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Together we experienced the exhilarating highs and inevitable lows endemic to Cubbie love – especially the bittersweet 1989 season in which Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson, Rick Sutcliffe and Mitch Williams all made the All-Star game and Jerome Walton was the NL Rookie of the Year. Of course, that team broke our hearts again by losing to the hated San Francisco Giants four games to one in the National League Championship Series.

Love of the Cubs has always been something that Victoria and I have shared – from the time we began dating in 1985, to when we were married on the North Side in 1990, and throughout our long sojourn in Southern California. We suffered together through losing seasons and the horrors of The Bartman Game.

vic-post-2-4Meanwhile, my wonderful wife viewed my continued support of the Indians in the America League. She paid scant attention to American League baseball anyway. In fact, she’d never been to Comiskey Park to see the White Sox play until I took her to that venerable South Side ballpark during its final season of existence.

She happily supported my trip to Jacobs Field in Cleveland to watch the Indians win Game 4 of the 1997 World Series. In fact, losing Game 7 of that Series in a particularly heartbreaking fashion only strengthened our baseball bonds of mutual misery.

Now comes this moment. A moment I never imagined could happen in our lifetimes.

The Cubs we have loved together are finally, blessedly, in their first World Series since 1945. Yet, as cruel fate would have it, they are playing against my boyhood team, The Cleveland Indians.

And so, this time I must root for my Tribe.

img_8028I’ve explained why this must be – but especially with the Cubs down 3 games to 1 at this moment – Victoria is looking daggers at me.

I know love conquers all. But, why oh why, must the baseball gods test our marriage by pitting the Indians versus the Cubs? Why not Red Sox versus Cubs — or Tribe versus Dodgers? Those matchups would not have challenged our three-decade love match.

Tonight, we’ll watch Game 5 together. There is a possibility that The Indians will celebrate their first World Series championship since 1948 amid the history and ivy of Wrigley Field. There is also the chance the Cubs will send this Series back to Cleveland for Game 6.

And if the Tribe wins tonight – Vic might just send me back to Cleveland anyway.

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Friends & Family gather for Game 4 at Tinhorn Flats in Burbank. It’s early — and the Cubs are leading 1-0. I’m the only one rooting for the Tribe in the entire building.

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Later in the game. Indians are now leading — and I’ve been exiled from the table.

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A second generation Cubs Fan

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A third generation Cubs fan. It’s all fine in that family now — but let’s see what happens (and what cap the little man’s wearing) when the Cubs face the Red Sox in a World Series.

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A final peace offering.

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If The Basket Fits…

deplorables

Starring (top row, left to right) Roger Ailes, Rudy Giuliani, Trump, Christie & Coulter — and (bottom row, left to right) Sen. Jeff Sessions, Steve Bannon, Tony Perkins, Roger Stone and David Duke.

Can’t wait for this awful movie to end.

 

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One Week Until Emilia’s Standup Comedy Special!

E Art Ten #3 jpegLooking for some post Fourth of July laughs?

There’s just one week before our very funny daughter Emilia Barrosse performs her first standup special event at iO West on Hollywood Boulevard! So, get your tickets here.

E 2“Emilia Barrosse: Headlong into the Apocalypse” runs July 8, 9 & 10th at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $10 — and (did I already says this?) they can be obtained here.

Please let Emilia know if you plan to come to the show by responding at this link.

We’ll be filming the Saturday and Sunday shows. It’s gonna be a great weekend. Hope to see you all there!

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Two Weeks Until Emilia’s Big, Funny Night at iO West…

E Art Two jpegThere’s just two weeks before Emilia Barrosse performs her first standup special event at iO West on Hollywood Boulevard in — where else? — Hollywood!

“Emilia Barrosse: Headlong into the Apocalypse” runs July 8, 9 & 10th at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $10 — and can be obtained here.

Please let Emilia know if you plan to come to the show by responding at this link.

It’s gonna be a great night. Hope to see you all there!

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A Post-Victory Look at My Earlier Take on the 2016 NBA Finals.

big3iI wrote this post before the Finals started. And when the Cavs were down 3 games to 1 after Game 4, it might have seemed like I would have to eat crow. But, somehow, I never lost faith that LeBron and my Cavs would prevail. (You can ask my daughter, Emilia.) With all due humility, I’ve highlighted the best parts in bold.

Okay. It’s the NBA Finals.

Starting tonight — Thursday, June 2nd — the battle between the Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers and the Western Conference Champion Golden State Warriors will get underway.

And as a Cleveland boy, born and raised, I must call my shot.

lebron-james_416x416So, I’m calling LeBron “King” James and the Cavs over Stephen “Mouthpiece-Masticating” Curry and his Golden State NBA golden boys.

Of course, Warrior fans will say I’m favoring Lebron and the Cavs simply because I’m a myopic, championship-starved Northeastern Ohio native looking to Lebron James through the distorted prism of a basketball-related messianic complex.

But, while that’s true — it’s not the whole reason.

15970992-mmmainI’m calling this NBA Finals series for the Cavs mostly because of the fact that, this year, Lebron is heading into the Finals with a healthy team: with All-Stars Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving fully fit for service.

In the 2015 Finals, Stephen Curry and the Warriors barely held off James and the Cavaliers in 6 tightly contested games – without Love and Irving on the court. Now, with Kevin and Kyrie healthy and ready to compete – the balance of power has shifted toward Cleveland.

150202105528-kevin-love-lebron-james-kyrie-irving-020215.1200x6723-point shooting has been the hallmark of Golden State’s potent offense. But in the first two rounds of the Eastern Conference Playoffs, the Cavs lit it up from beyond the arc. James, Love, Irving, J.R. Smith, Channing Frye and Co. rained threes in an historic fashion. In fact, the Cavs’ 3-point shooting percentage in the 2016 playoffs is higher than that of Golden State’s sharpshooters. But hoisting threes isn’t the key to Cleveland’s game.

gettyimages-474678790Golden State has no answer for Cleveland’s interior strength. As much as Golden State wants to run up and down the court jacking up crazy threes from half-court, the team that controls the paint (and the boards) will still have the advantage. And I’ll take Cleveland’s big men, Tristan Thompson and Timofey Mozgov, over Golden State’s Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli every game.

538861d3df6acbb8d03d65d024fe6e76_crop_northAnd let’s keep an eye on the Warrior’s volatile emotional touchstone, Draymond Green. He’s just two technical fouls away from big trouble – and one flagrant foul away from suspension. Can he last the series without getting himself suspended for a game or two? Count on the Cavs to take it to the rim against Green early and often. Draw contact. We’ll see whether trash-talking, crotch-kicking Draymond can control his dramatics – and his cheap shots.

Ch0WHZwXEAAPR3GI could go on and on about the specifics of match-ups and man-to-man breakdowns — but ultimately, I’ll confess that my take on the 2016 NBA Finals is less analytical than emotional.

Cleveland hasn’t won a major sports championship since the great Jim Brown and Frank Ryan’s Browns won an NFL Title in 1964. That’s 52 long years in the wilderness.

images-1This year — with Cleveland hosting Donald Trump’s madcap Republican National Convention this July, my downtrodden but proud, hardworking hometown needs a prophylactic, honorable, full court shot of redemption.

I believe Lebron and the Cavs will make that shot.

So, I say Cavs in 6.

Or less. (Okay, here’s where I went over the top.)

Game on.usa-today-9094536.0

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“The Apocalypse” is Just a Month Away!

E Art Seven jpegFriends & Comedy Lovers!

It’s just one month until Emilia goes “Headlong Into The Apocalypse” at iO West, July 8, 9 & 10th. It’s going to be an epic, entertaining night of standup comedy. We’ll be videotaping the Saturday and Sunday shows – so we’d love to see you there!

All shows are at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $10.

To let us know you’re coming — please click here.

All the best,

Vic & Paul

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Emilia’s Very Funny Summer…

IMG_4433 bannercomedy store.pngOur standup comic daughter Emilia is headlining in the Main Room at The Comedy Store this Sunday at 8:15. Hope to see you there!

For info & tix, click here.

And we’re only 5 weeks away from her first standup special, “Headlong into the Apocalypse” on the Main Stage at iO West on Hollywood Boulevard, coming up on July, 8, 9 & 10. All shows at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $10. It’ll be a while lot of funny for a small sum of money. For more info, click here.E Art Seven jpeg.jpg

 

 

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