Keep the Home Fires Burning

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Saturday was the second year in a row that I had ambitions to go down to the Brewers Artic Tailgate and document the assembled yokels waiting on line for single tickets. But once again, I skipped it because I was secure in the knowledge my season tickets were in the mail, and I was snug in my command post overlooking the valley.

I did, however, breeze by with my comrade Sam to review the troops entrenched along Miller Park. The winter skewed all the sights into a blurry burnt palette, the colors of the embers streaking away from camp fires in a high wind.

And there they were, All Along the Clocktower. Rosy-cheeked stoics sitting in miserable conditions, carrying a modicum of hope for warmer days.

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Yes, there are easier ways. Everyone in town had a lot to say about these dedicated few, and much of it was unkind. I even saw the term “asshats” being bandied about. The Brewers fans who are smug in the knowledge they secured a seat for Opening Day by purchasing a season ticket package, and therefore are mocking these plebeians, would do well to remember each of these unwashed few buying a standing room only spot keeps another Cubs fan from encroaching on their most cherished holiday. Because they will be there. And that could make it miserable.

So I say, to the Arctic Tailgaters, god bless your shivering, gin-soaked souls. For at least one night in the valley, crackles of life could be heard above the howling wind.

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I woke up to the 5 a.m. news doing a live-remote from the waiting line. The Tailgaters were now inside the Convertible Confines and enjoying hot chocolate and donuts. I rolled over and went back to sleep.

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