You Know What The Mid-West Is? Owned by Philly Kids…
As a man in his early 30s, once that weather turns nice and the seaons change it means a whole heap of weddings are on the horizon. For the past 5 or 6 years I’ve been to at least two and as many as FIVE weddings in a summer. That five wedding summer was wild, the one weekend was a double dip with one on Friday and another on Saturday, still not sure how I made it through that honestly. Along with those weddings, many times a bachelor party is thrown into the mix. In my experience, those are a debaucherous precursor to the actual wedding, with plenty of drinks and Good Times to be had. See how I capitalized that Good Times there? That's because these particular Good Times are associated with a proper noun; my buddy Timmy “Good Times”, and that’s who the journey to the midwest i’m about to talk about is centered around.
I’ve known Tim since college; we met through a mutual friend and bonded over Philly sports and the love of a certain Youtube video about the “Funky Monkeys is coming” (if you haven't seen it, it’s video of an EXTREMELY ridiculous and profanity laced rant we watched back when youtubing stuff like that was king, google at your own risk...). We’ve grown up a bit since those days, and Tim and I were roommates for over 3 years before last year when he moved in with his at the time girl friend but soon-to-be Fiance. The wedding is this summer, so of course it was time to celebrate Tim’s last hurrah before those wedding bells ring.
The trip was planned around 2 main events: a Philadelphia Phillies vs Chicago Cubs day game in Wrigley field Thursday, and then a Phillies vs Milwaukee Brewers game Saturday. We were gonna kill two midwestern birds with one stone. That first bird came on Thursday, and we could not have asked for a better scenario: mid 70s, not a cloud in the sky and Aaron Nola was on the mound. We made our stroll down Clark street towards Wrigleyville and we’re feeling fine; partly because of the weather, partly because of the pocket beers a few of us took with us for the walk. Once we got there, we made our way up to the bleacher seats, where unlike the cheese bus from back in 4th grade, there are NO assigned seats out there. You could sit any and everywhere where you wanted, but you better be aware of your surroundings; I’ll explain that last point a bit better later. Once we found our way down to an open area of seats, we noticed little pockets of Phillies fans here and there, a beautiful sight to behold. We were obviously outnumbered, but Philly fans have not and will not ever be intimidated, so we sat down and made friends with the enemy.
The Cubs fans in our area we’re really cool, a couple guys behind us saved our seats while we went to get beers. Well some of us got beers, I got a frozen drink in a mason jar, cause when in Rome right? We had a nice little back and forth with a few fans, a few in particular heckled us because we were wearing matching “Waving Goodbye To Good Times” tees (thanks, Philly Drinkers), so they knew we were in a bachelor party. There were a couple women who just screamed “Tim you SUCK” over and over, so what did we do? We started our own “TIM YOU SUCK!!!” chant, because making fun of your friends to their face amongst thousands of opposing fans is a whole lotta fun. And remember when I said you have to be aware of your surroundings? I meant that. The same women who were chanting back and forth with us got into it with another group of women wearing Phillies gear, and apparently while our backs were turned, one of the Phillies fans asked one of the Cubs fans “What did the five fingers say to the face?”. The answer was a big ole’ slap that sent the Cubbies fan flying a few rows forward into our section, spilling a beer mostly on a fellow Philly fan we had befriended who we were sitting next to while a few of us caught some hoppy shrapnel as well. In a suprise development though, the Cubs fan got ran from the stadium and the Phillies fan got to stick around, because Philly fans are cooler and have never done anything wrong OBVIOUSLY. That would not be the last fight in the stands, as a few innings later fist were flying to our right, more fans getting into it. It was a wild scene. On top of all of that, radio host Jon Marks from 94 WIP aka Philly’s mouthpiece was in the bleacher seats with us as well. We chanted his name and got him to come down and chop it up with us a bit; he took a picture with the group and everything. A good dude, that Jonny Marks. As for the game, the Phills jumped out to a 7-0 lead, which made us public enemy number 1 at Wrigley, a title we gladly embraced. It got tight later on as a couple homers were crushed right into our section. If you look closely on the broadcast you can see us in the crowd, a little more nervous than when that 7-0 lead was propping us up. The Phills helped us out with a couple of insurance runs and in the end they got the dub, 9-7. 1-0 on the trip so far, lovely!
Friday was spent at top golf, a pretty dope experience if you haven’t been, highly recommended. Some other things transpired after that as well, but you’re not here for that, you’re here for sports right!? On to Saturday then!
Saturday started with a long train ride to Milwaukee. We just made the train on time, because everyone was a bit sluggish from the night before, but we made it there nonetheless. While we were waiting in line for the train we came across a couple who were both Phillies fans and had apparently seen us with our “Waving Goodbye To Good Times” tees from Thursday, because we ran that look back once again (don’t judge us, as a bachelor party we’re allowed to wear the same thing on multiple days, fashion doesn’t matter). Cool, we’re celebrities now! On the train we felt like anything but. We couldn’t find seats until we walked to the last car on the caboose; the Quiet Car. So i’m sure we looked like jerks walking on with half a case of beer ready to party. We respected the rules of the road and just ended up chugging our beers in the quietest manner, an mouse chug if you will. An hour and a half and 2-3 muted chugs later we were in Brewers country. We got off and had lunch at a really cool BBQ spot, I believe it was called Docs. Would also recommend, because they had an option on the menu to add two ribs to any order for just two bucks, and you should NEVER turn that down. From there we went to grab some pre-game libations at a random beer store. A cute pitbull pupper was inside hanging out in the store, a very good doggo. But I digress. We make it to the park and it was a really cool sight driving up to the area. The park looks like something straight out of X-Men, steel and stuff poking all over the place. Plus, they had a tailgate party just outside for the fans and one of the songs the band ended up playing was “Nothin’ But A Good Time”; how appropriate, right? We came across a few more people who recognized us from the Thursday game, so we shook some hands, signed some autographs, made some people’s days, ya know; normal celebrity stuff. We did come across some dude who decided to follow us into the park that on multiple occasions suggested to me that we steal an actual baby from the crowd; i’m just gonna blame it on the alcohol. Inside the park is very cool as well, very modernized and all that jazz. Our seats were behind the plate in the upper level, but a really nice view of the stadium and right in sight with the slide that Bernie, the Brewers mascot slides down after Milwaukee home runs. Again, nice people all around us, the group right in front of us were some cool seeming young kids, we had a nice chat about if they still like Ryan Braun after all that steroid stuff and we explained to them what a JD Hammer is (the next big time relief pitcher, that who!). The Phils started off strong, my new favorite dude Andrew McCutchen lead off the game with a bomb before we even got in our seats, and the Phils never looked back. We did get to see Bernie take the plunge down the slide cause one of the Brewers hit a dinger so I can check that one off the bucket list. Philly had 4 homers of their own in the game and came away with a 7-2 win. 2-0, baby!
So I may be burying the lead here with what i’m about to tell you, but every good story has a great ending (lookin’ at you Game Of Thrones, smh...). There was a post game concert by none other than the rap GAWD himself: Flo Rida! For a bunch of dudes who went to college and went to bars in the late 2ks, it was like going back in time. He played nothing but the hits: we got “The Apple Bottom Jeans Song”, the “OH HOT DAMN, THIS IS MY JAM” jawn, “The Song From The Final Credits To The First Hangover Movie”; the list goes on and on and on, you know em. I got danced on by random women, a bunch of Milwaukee dads I would've NEVER expected to know the songs killed it with a couple awkward two steps, it was a glorious 15 mins till we had to take our hour and a half Uber ride back to Chicago (shout out to our driver btw, that dude was a Milwaukee Bucks fan who drove a bunch of Phillies fans 90 mins to another state while the Bucks were playing an elimination game vs the Toronto Kawhi’s. We now both know the pain that is Mr. Leonard; good luck to my man’s son who’s playing hoops in college now). We got back to the place, went out for a couple Chicago dogs, watched Kawhi end another team's season, and then went out to Wrigleyville for our last night in town.
All the other normal bachelor party fun may or may not have happened, but in the end it was a trip centered around a couple of big wins by the Phils and my good buddy Tim. So thanks for getting hitched Timmy Good Times, we’ll do it again for the Wedding. But if “Old Town Road” isn’t played a minimum of 3 times at the reception I’m protesting the whole thing!
Ed Roseboro (@ESRosebud)
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