Sports

Ticket Prices Plummet Ahead of Game 3 at Wrigley

By Shane Monaghan

Cubs’ fans are not happy their team is down 0-2 to New York. But with ticket prices plummeting, at least they  can find a better seat for Games 3 and 4 at home.

“The Cubs fans that waited did save themselves some serious money,” said Chris Leyden, a content analyst at SeatGeek.

The average price of tickets sold for Game 3 of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field has dropped 19 percent on StubHub and 16 percent on SeatGeek since before the series started Friday, according to representatives at both sites.

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Video: NU women’s basketball team talks about the upcoming season

By Lena Blietz

The Northwestern Women’s Basketball team looks forward to the season after coming off its best season of the decade. With 23 wins last season, the Wildcats made their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1997. In our video, senior Maggie Lyon and junior Nia Coffey discuss their season predictions and give advice as upperclassmen. The team opens with an exhibition game on Nov. 8 against Seton Hill and begins regular play on Nov. 15 against Howard in Evanston.

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Cubs fans behave during Wrigleyville celebration

By Kayla Daugherty and Alex Valentine
Video by Haydee Clotter

In Wrigleyville after a key game, it seemed that there might have been more security personnel than Cubs fans.

Public officials and Wrigley Field event staff coordinated for three weeks to prepare for the crowd that poured out of Wrigley Field last Tuesday when the Chicago Cubs clinched an National League Championship Series berth.

Wrigley Field was packed with 42,411 fans Tuesday night, and several thousand more watched in bars in the surrounding Wrigleyville neighborhood.

Richard Guidice, managing director of operations at Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management, said in an impromptu press conference before the game that authorities were prepared to control a potentially raucous crowd. Continue reading

Reactions mixed on Northwestern’s tribute jerseys

By Jordan Ray

The Northwestern Wildcats football team will take Ryan Field this weekend, sporting a new look meant to honor one of the school’s most successful teams of all time. But reactions are mixed.

Northwestern unveiled the jerseys, which commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1995 team that won a Big Ten title and played in the Rose Bowl, on Monday at the Under Armour Brand House.

“A great tribute to that team,” said coach Pat Fitzgerald, who played on the 1995 team, “and hopefully we’ll prepare and play with that type of vigor and passion that [they] did.”

NU jersey back
The front of the alternate jerseys Northwestern will wear Saturday against Iowa. (Jordan Ray/Medill)

The Wildcats will officially debut the jerseys this Saturday when they take on the Iowa Hawkeyes in Northwestern’s homecoming game, during which the 1995 team will be recognized.

Despite a 42-31 loss in the Rose Bowl against No. 12 USC, the 1995 Wildcats remain one of Northwestern’s most successful teams ever. They finished 10-2 overall and went undefeated in conference play, securing the school’s sixth Big Ten title.

The black jerseys feature an ‘N-Cat’ logo on each shoulder as well as a collar patch emblazoned with the Rose Bowl logo. The team is expected to pair the jerseys with its usual purple helmets and pants.

NU patches
The Rose Bowl collar patch (left) and ‘N-Cat’ shoulder logo (right) that will be featured on Northwestern’s uniforms this Saturday. (Jordan Ray/Medill)

Northwestern professor Linda Roethke, who specializes in costume design, said she likes the look of the front of the jersey and the collar patch, but has concerns about the logos on the shoulders.

“[I’m] not as sure about how the design reads from a distance, the negative space Wildcat,” Roethke said.

On social media, reactions to the jerseys are running the gamut.

Northwestern fan Lauren Hart said she “understands the idea of going back to simplicity,” but feels the jerseys aren’t recognizable enough.

“They look like they could be worn at any other university,” Hart said. “Northwestern’s jerseys are recognizable and unique. This jersey just doesn’t do it for me.”

The Wildcats are no strangers to unique uniform combinations. Since partnering with Under Armour in 2012, Northwestern has rolled out a different look each season.

Below is a timeline of Northwestern’s uniform history since making the switch from Adidas to Under Armour.

On the heels of a 38-0 loss to Michigan, Northwestern may have to play like the 1995 team, not just look like them, if they hope to hand the undefeated Hawkeyes their first loss.

Kickoff for Northwestern-Iowa is at 11 a.m. from Ryan Field.

Photo at top: The back of the alternate jerseys Northwestern will wear Saturday against Iowa. (Jordan Ray/Medill)

The psychology of choking and why the Cubs should care

By Kevin Stark

The Cubs are on a winning streak. What now?

Rookie powerhouse Kyle Schwarber has hit 3 home runs this postseason while the team slugged a total of 15. The Cubs easily dispatched the Cardinals in four games, and the club is preparing to play either New York or Los Angeles in the National League Championship Series. Continue reading

Cheers and beers: Wrigleyville bar toasts Cubs’ historic win

By Maddie Lee
Video by Mike Bacos

When the final strike smacked in Miguel Montero’s glove, Cubs fans at the Wrigleyville bar thrust their arms into the air, emptying the cans in their hands, showering everyone in the back room with beer.

The Cubs had just beaten the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 Tuesday to win the National League Division Series. It was the first time the Cubs had clinched a playoff series at Wrigley Field.

A block away from the ballpark, patrons at Sluggers World Class Sports Bar screamed and high-fived. Strangers embraced. “All I Do is Win” by DJ Khaled echoed through the two stories of the bar, and everyone sang along. Continue reading

Series ends with a whimper at local Cardinals bar

By Nick Zazulia

The Cubs-Cardinals broadcast began Tuesday with only a few hardcore fans at North Center’s Cards haven, Tavern on Little Fort.

The number maxed out at maybe 20, about four or five times fewer than the number that gathered there for the first three games of the National League Division Series, according to co-owner Mike Jannusch. But none of those was a weekday game with a midafternoon start.

“We were packed Saturday and Sunday, and [Monday] was full,” Jannusch said. “The [3:37 p.m.] start time sucks.”

So did the result for the majority of the patrons. The Cubs defeated St. Louis 6-4 at Wrigley Field to clinch the series.

Jannusch used to manage Sedgewick’s, a Cardinals bar in Lincoln Park, before he opened the Tavern. He said his fandom is the reason both bars fly  Cardinals flags.

Exterior of Tavern on Little Fort
Exterior of Tavern on Little Fort, where Cardinals fans gathered for games vs. the Cubs. (Nick Zazulia/Medill)

A few misplaced Cubs fans showed up at the tavern on Tuesday. Kelly Tino walked in wearing a Cubs sweater and hat, not realizing it was enemy territory, even though she lives in the area.

“I just knew this bar and thought that we’d be able to get in,” Tino said. “I knew a lot of places would be packed.”

When a chorus of laughter greeted her entrance, she learned the bar’s nature.

“I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all!” Tino said with a laugh. “I came out for the spirit, and you don’t really get that at a Cardinals bar. Everybody seems pretty friendly, though.”

Attendees clearly cared about the outcome, but the demeanor in the bar was congenial and amused between rival fans. Some local Cardinals fans, such as Austin Zerkle, who grew up some two hours from St. Louis before moving to Chicago six years ago, sees that as returning the favor.

“Being a Cardinals fan around here, honestly, is pretty OK,” Zerkle said. “It’s a big city, so you can find places [for your team].”

Kevin Humphries, a St. Louis transplant, and AJ Darrell, whose Missouri family ties have pushed him to wear red, agreed.

“It’s nowhere near as bad as advertised, I don’t think,” Humphries said despite the well-chronicled animosity at times between fans of the two teams separated by 300 miles. “I go out in Wrigleyville in my Cards gear and never really have any problems.”

They disagreed in which teams they hope reach the World Series, now that the Cardinals and their MLB-leading 100 regular-season wins are out. While Humphries and Darrell are pulling for a New York Mets-Kansas City Royals matchup, Zerkle is falling back on Chicago.

“If the Cubs [have to] beat the Cardinals, I really [expletive] hope they win the World Series,” Zerkle said. “I really do.”

After the Cubs clinched the game with a Stephen Piscotty stikeout, the pair of Chicago fans present cheered and the Cardinals fans solemnly packed up their things. One guy yelled nonsensicalities, but also proclaimed, “I’m drunk.”

Video by Nick Zazulia/Medill

The happiest person in the place was Tom Coyle. He  works at another bar, which he declined to name, and which he assumed was packed with Cubs fans. He is one, as well, by the way. He watched the game at Tavern on Little Fort to avoid getting pulled into a work shift.

“It’s [expletive] great. It feels so good,” Coyle said. “The great thing is we don’t rely on one guy, one pitcher, something like that; everyone contributes. The Cardinals are the Goliath of the Cubs’ psyche. Now that they’ve beaten them, they can beat anyone.”

Jannusch is disappointed that the Cardinals lost, for both personal and business reasons, but expressed confidence that patrons will still turn out for the rest of the playoffs.

“For the wild-card game with the Pirates, we had a lot of Cubs fans,” he said. “I’m not going to take down the Cardinals flag and pretend we’re suddenly anything [different], but I’ve always tried to keep it friendly.”

Photo at top: Mid-way through the game, a few passionate fans trained their eyes on the broadcast at Tavern on Little Fort. (Nick Zazulia/Medill)

VIDEO: Fan flock to Ernie Banks statue

By Benji Cohen

Prior to Game 4 of the National League Division Series, Cubs fans flocked to the statue of Ernie Banks to pay homage to a man who many is one of the organization’s all-time greatest players. Fans also shared their reactions about Mr. Cubs’ statue and how he might feel about the young and talented 2015 Cubs and their playoff run.

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Cubs fans hope to #flytheW after Game 4

By Brooke Rayford

Cubs fans showed up deep in Wrigleyville, Chicago on Tuesday afternoon, with confidence that the Cubs would clinch game 4 to end the series against the St. Louis Cardinals. If the Cubs win the National League Division Series they will go on to play the winner of the Los Angeles Dodgers-New York Mets matchup for the NL Championship Series.

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Quick Hits: Cubs-Cardinals Game 4

By Jordan Ray

Follow along throughout the day for quick hits and tidbits form around Chicago related to today’s Game 4 National League Division Series game between the Cubs and the Cardinals. 

THE LOCAL TAVERN MOOD AFTER THE NLDS CLINCH

  • At a Cardinals fan watering hole: “Welp. Sad Cardbar. Friendly, though.”
  • At a White Sox watering hole: “Some people excited. Some people not so excited. A whole lot of indifference.”
  • At a Cubs bar: C’mon? Do we really need to say?


  • LONELY AT THE CARDINALS BAR

    Reported by Nick Zazulia
    The unusual start time of today’s game — 3:37 p.m. — may not have been ideal for bars outside of Wrigleyville that cater to pre-game socializing. At 3:15 p.m., Tavern on Little Fort, a popular Cardinals bar in North Center was relatively empty.

    Tavern Cardinals
    A largely empty Tavern on Little Fort, a popular Cardinals bar, in North Center, shortly before game time. (Nick Zazulia/Medill)

    “Friday and Saturday were nuts,” Tavern on Little Fort co-owner Mike Jannusch said. “This game start sucks, but [attendance will] get going.”

    Sure enough, Cardinals fans began slowly trickling in as the game started.

    When St. Louis left fielder Stephen Piscotty hit his two-run homer in the first inning, the half-dozen strong crowd roared their appreciation, seemingly oblivious to the empty seats around them.

    “I grew up about 2 to 3 hours from St. Louis,” said Austin Zerkle, who has been living in Chicago for six years. “Being a Cardinals fan around here, honestly, is pretty okay because there are Cardinal bars like this. It’s a big city, so you can find places.”

    Tavern Cardinals
    Shortly after the game began, a few more customers had tricked into Tavern on Little Fort, a popular Cardinals bar in North Center. (Nick Zazulia/Medill)

    A Cubs homer made it clear that there weren’t just Cardinals fans in attendance. Kelly Tino, a Cubs fan, wandered in not realizing it was hostile territory.

    “I just knew this bar, and thought that we’d be able to get in,” Tino said. “I knew a lot of places would be packed.”

    She was surprised to be greeted by a chorus of laughter upon her entrance, when she learned the bar’s nature.

    “I dont like it. I don’t like it at all! I came out for the spirit, and you don’t really get that at a Cardinals bar,” Tino said with a laugh. “Everybody seems pretty friendly, though.”



    KEEPING UP WITH THE HASHTAGS



    GAME CEREMONIES

    Former Cubs All Star pitcher Kerry Wood will throw the first pitch at today’s game, Chicago Tribune reporter Luis Gomez tweeted this afternoon. He also reported that the Cubs will use a video of Harry Caray during the seventh-inning stretch.

     


    NOTABLE NUMBERS

    0: The number of times the Cubs have clinched a playoff series at home. 

    0.93: The ERA of Cardinals pitcher John Lackey in his four starts against the Cubs this year. Lackey is expected to make the start for St. Louis tonight.

    11: The number of World Series titles the Cardinals have won since the Cubs won their last one in 1908.

    12: The number of years the Cubs had gone without a home playoff game win before last night.

    100: The number of counterfeit tickets seized at Monday night’s game, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

    $115: The cheapest cost for a standing-room only ticket for Game 4, according to StubHub.

    $10,000: The highest cost of an outfield terrace box ticket for Game 4, according to StubHub.

    $132,053,951: The combined payroll of the Cardinals’ players, according to Spotrac.

    $133,194,000:  The combined payroll of Cubs players, according to Spotrac.

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