Venus Trapped in Mars

18 September 2015

The Power of a Tradition

Today I want to tell you the story of the first and only time I ever visited Wrigley Field. I was going into my Super Senior Year at Tennessee. What is a Super Senior? Well, a Super Senior is someone who changes majors midway through college and has to stay an extra semester. By "has to stay" I mean they are gifted the beautiful gift of an extra college football season. If I could write a glowing YELP review for being a Super Senior, I would. 

So like I was saying, I was going into my Super Senior year when my mom took me to Chicago. This was the first time I had been to Chicago that I could remember, but certainly not the last since then. I was a huge Atlanta Braves fan at the time, and she wanted to take me to see the Braves play a series with the Cubs at Wrigley. I was pumped, I have a very good Mom for those that don't know. Go tell her hey girl hey on twitter and instagram






We did lots and lots of exploring, as any good tourist would. Again, by that I mean that I forced us to spend several hours at the ESPN zone while I tried to win the pop-a-shot basketball game. No one ever called me a quitter at an arcade, no one. Remember my birthday this past year? The success I've had at Chuck E. Cheese and Dave and Busters is a gift really.  

Thirty five games later, we left to get ready to root root root for the away team at Wrigley. 





We went early and watched the Braves warm up, and I arrived at Wrigley in full Braves gear. Buddy Carlyle, number 38 shown above, tossed me the ball after he was finished warming up. We even got Mike Hampton to talk on the phone to Nan, my almost 90 year old grandmother, who is the biggest Braves fan you'll ever meet. We were definitely the biggest Braves fans at the park, and the team was kind to humor us. 

Once the game started though, everything changed. If you've never been to Wrigley before, I am certain I am not going to do this stadium, or environment justice. The experience was downright intoxicating, and I drank it all in. I kid you not, by the third inning, I went and bought a Cubs shirt and hat, and changed clothes in the bathroom. You'd be a crazy person not to be in full Cubs gear at Wrigley. 



I'm sure you're judging my fan loyalty very hard right now, and I can't say I blame you. When I left Chicago, I left as a Braves fan, but it was the power of the tradition at Wrigley Field that just sucks you in. 

There are many traditions like this in sports, that die hard sports fans want to feel, experience and be a part of, if even for just a night. Granted, you'll never see me taking off my Tennessee Orange mid-game at any field, ever, but there are certain stadiums, arenas and fan bases that you can't help but throw up your arms, change your jersey and say, "When in Rome!

Cheering for the Cubs at Wrigley Field, experiencing a Tennessee Football game at Neyland Stadium with 104,000 of your closest friends, being a Cameron Crazy at a Duke Basketball game in the student section at Cameron Indoor... these are some of the most powerful traditions and exhilarating experiences I've personally been a part of. 

If you have any tickets lying around for me to go to a Packers game at Lambeau Field in the dead of winter, watch the Knicks at Madison Square Garden, take a picture of the Green Monster at Fenway Park or bust an ear drum as the 12th man in Seattle's Century Link Field, I would gladly accept because these are bucket list venues that I'd probably change jerseys for.  

What venues are on your bucket list? Are there any stadiums you've been where you instantly fell in love with the fan base and the power of their traditions? 



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21 comments :

  1. Your dad and I went to Fenway Park, and it was the coolest baseball stadium I ever visited.

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  2. I got chills reading this post. I am as Chicagoan as Chicago gets. I was born and raised in Chicago, die-hard Cubs fan (this is the year!!!!) and a die-hard Bears fan (yes that means I instantly hate the packers but have packer fans in my family). Yes, it's true we get disappointed A LOT. As my dad always says "Chicago played like never, and lost like always", but being at these fields with Chicago blood running through your veins (or not) is one of the most amazing feelings I would never trade for anything in the world. If you're ever in Chicago again make sure to look me up! Cubs game on me! :) xoxo

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  3. CB here, first time to comment.

    How can you leave Yankee Stadium off of the list?!?! I mean, I know it is newly rebuilt, but it belongs on the list. The Masters belongs as well, even though there are no jerseys to change into.

    Also, I welcome any and all to come to Jerry's stadium here in Arlington as it is quite the spectacle. I know that no one wants to change into a Cowboys jersey, so keep YOUR team's jersey on. We want to know who we are dealing with!

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    1. Heading to Jerry's World on Thanksgiving!!

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  4. I may be bias because I call Toronto home, but the Jays are killing it this year! Games at the Rogers Center are so much fun, especially with friends and a couple of beers in hand. On a nice day when the dome is open, the experience is that much better. 👌

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    1. Killing it is an understatement... you guys are putting on a clinic!! I got to Toronot for work every year, but it is in January! I would love to get to catch a game!

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  5. Okay, you have to go to Beaver Stadium for a Penn State game and Michigan Stadium for a UMich game to compare against UT! I've been to both and clearly I'm partial to Penn State. I'm also dying to go to America's Cup because sailing is absolutely fascinating to me! Also agree with CB's comment - The Masters would be amazing!

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  6. I love this!!!!! Experiencing the different traditions in sports is one of my favorite things about it!!!!

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  7. I've been to wrigley field and i agree 100%. You get sucked into their excitement, it was really like nothing else i experienced. it's amazing to start something that powerful.

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  8. Fenway Park makes me swoon. Seriously. Also, who watches basketball? You should really try a Rangers game at Madison Square Garden - that, my friend, is my happy place.

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  9. I've yet to even go to a game in The Swamp, so really how good of a fan am I anyway?? I want to go so badly, I'm hoping we can manage to get to a game this year! Wrigley Field would be amazing! Even though I have no connection to Chicago or the Cubs, it's just such an iconic place!

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  10. I haven't cheered for the Packers at Lambeau or the Seahawks at Century Link...but I've cheered for the Packers at Century Link!

    I'm not a huge sports fan, but my fiance is, but I just love when football season rolls around not only because fall is my favorite, but because everyone is so excited about their teams, and there's all this camaraderie between fan bases. I love that.

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  11. I completely agree. Wrigley Field is electric! I blogged about this, too. I am a new Cubs fan now that I live in Chicago. I will always love the D-Backs but you can't help but love Wrigley and the Cubs.

    Floradise blog

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  12. The bucket list for the hubby and I (ok mainly me) is to see an NFL game in every stadium! We have to go by my list though because he played for a few years and has been in many stadiums. Unfortunately, we haven't checked off very many yet, but we have plenty of time!

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  13. I had a super senior year too. I changed my major 5 times. Its a wonder I even graduated.

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  14. The only thing currently on my bucket list is to see a game at every MLB stadium. As a die yard Yankee fan (my dogs name is Jeter) I am not quite sure I would be ready to don another jersey but I totally agree that the atmosphere at some stadiums is indescribable. I am lucky to have seen some of the greats like Wrigley, Fenway, and of course Yankee Stadium, but I am excited to continue my quest!

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  15. I've never been to Wrigley but my husband is a huge, huge Cubs fan! Honestly, this season has gotten me all excited for the Cubs (normally a Yankees fan). I think the atmosphere and the fans make it such an intoxicating experience (I'm sure but again never experienced).

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  16. Tradition is something the young often do not get, that is all I have for today

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  17. I actually took a tour of Fenway this past summer as part of my job so they took us everywhere except actually out on the field. It's an awesome stadium, I hope you get there one day!

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  18. The snacks here had a smooth taste with a bit of cheese and lime juice. To start, we got pork rinds there; they were really flavorful with a spicy kick and smooth taste. Plus, it was a large fresh bag too, Seattle venues are worth the price.

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