Chapter 1, Blog 2
By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang
It started with the Super Bowl, the one where the Colts shocked the Bears. No, it didn’t start in Miami. It started in my Valparaiso, Indiana, living room. Bears fanatics – Chicago’s less than 50 miles away – we hung on each snap, suffering every Rex Grossman slip and slide during the Miami rainstorm that was Super Bowl XLI. The Bears trailed 16-14 at halftime.
So we still had hope. And yes, we’re still bitter.
“Ya wunt ‘nother beer?” asked my life-long beast of a best friend, Ralphie, a 380-pound, white version of Charles Barkley. The living room rocked and rolled as Ralphie rumbled toward the kitchen.
“Sure,” I peered through a thickening curtain of drunkenness. “Who else? Who else needs one?”
Three more hands shot up.
“Hurry up, yude doon’t wunt to miss da Mayor,” I deadpanned in my best attempt at a Chicago accent.
Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley peered into the camera lens and chatted up the Bears chances, taking all of 20 seconds. Then he moved on to the real purpose of the interview, Olympic trash talking. Daley was out to bag the 2016 Olympic Games.
But first, Chicago had to get past Los Angeles. I think San Francisco and Houston had already whimped out. Pathetic losers.
If Chicago could beat L.A., then it would take on the rest of the world. In other words, no problem.
Wearing beads of perspiration – or was it Miami sprinkle – Daley acted as if it were a forgone conclusion that Chicago would make it to the next round. He also thought the Bears would come back and beat the Colts.
“Who gives a shit ’bout da goddamned Olympics?” Ralphie asked, shuffling about to distribute the beers. He grunted and squeezed back into my faithful, tan Lay Z Boy. I could hear the poor thing groan.
“Yeah, right,” chimed four more drunkards, hoisting Budweisers and MGDs. There was also one Coors Light, but I won’t go into that right now.
“I mean dey’re jist a bunch of spoiled purty boys with money. Am I right? Am I right or whut?”
“Damnit, Ralphie, ’nough already,” said Nicky, my other buddy and resident know-it-all. If you needed to know how many doubles Willie Mays hit in 1965, Nicky was your guy. He coaxed his pop-bottle glasses back up his nose and sighed.
“Ya know… ”
“Am I right or whut?” badgered Ralphie.
“Ya’re right. Ya’re right,” said Nicky. “And I don’t give a shit ’bout the Olympics either. So whadd’ya say? Wanta talks some damned football?”
Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang