You may recall my encounter last week with the St. Louis Cardinal. Right now, I am about forty five miles northwest of St. Louis, prime redbird country. My nephew, a transplanted Chicagoan, has fallen under the influence of his father and become a "die hard" fan. Brian was not a Cub fan when he lived up north anyway, but for him to swear allegiance to the Cardinals at the age of twelve was painful. Poor, misguided boy...
As I was nearing the end of my entry about spending a few days with my niece I heard a loud pounding noise coming from the kitchen. I went in there to see what it was, and saw that a cardinal was continually flying into the window located above the sink that faces south. He did it (plea for help from an ornithologist: how does one tell a male cardinal from a female???) at least ten times, and he seemed to do it harder once he saw me looking at him.
I take this as another gauntlet thrown down from the powers that be who are trying to diminish the buzz I feel about the Cubs this year. And I can't help but compare the methods of the mascots: a cardinal thinks he can fly through reinforced glass to get what he wants, yet I picture a Cub just ringing the damn doorbell and asking for whatever he wants.
And a quick check of the standings reveals: Cubs are 4-4, Cards are 4-6; neither team is covering themselves in glory yet.
Of course, the only stat that matters in all this is 0-0, which is the record of these two teams in head-to-head contests. They don't play for another month or so, I believe, which is plenty of time for me to board my next plane and see a Cardinal sitting in the seat beside me.