Before I OFF WAH!, good gadalmighty, the Cubs just had a huge week! I almost feel guilty writing this now after the other day, and I guess I should. Nothing has been won, yet, but in all areas - psychological, physical, mental, spiritual, philosophical, artificial, natural - that was a vicious beating!! I'm not sure what the mindset of the Brewers was, going into this, but whatever Uncle Lou fed our guys for breakfast, it was fortified with 8 vitamins, minerals, and whoop-ass.
In the quest to avoid the hundred-year-curse, and pulling out all the stops (and of course building small-time corporate synergies, like Harry's, The Cubs and Bud) Harry Caray's Restaurants have unearthed the West Side Rooters Social Club, which was founded in the wonderful old year of 1908, the significance of which I need not explain here, hopefully.
I remember watching Ken Burns' Baseball and in the turn of the century chapter, it described the exploits of the Boston Rooters - think it was for the Braves, rather than the Red Sox - but whatever. It was an organized troop of the so-called civic leaders of the day - businessmen and judges and such- who would go to all the games, home AND away, arrive at the parks en masse, start organized cheers, drink, raise hell, intimidate the fans from the other teams, etc. I suspect the same sort of thing went on with the West Side Rooters (in 1908 the Cubs played at West Side Park), because the Cubs' owner at the time ordered them disbanded at the end of the year, for "his own reasons".
Now we had the Bleacher Bums, of course. I think the Bums occurred more or less organically, just a bunch of lunch-pail guys who decided it was more acceptable to drink Together rather than Alone. And perhaps one or two of them may have had some recollection of the 1908 Rooters, who seemed to have more in common with the Boston outfit - guys in suits, so-called 'gentlemen' types, who would shout nonsense chants like "OOF WAH" and "Tinker's the Boy", which may or may not earn you some funny stares on the north side these days. Depends on how many blocks east of Wrigley you are standing at, I suppose.
I consider myself to be a pretty fair Cubs historian, but I don't recall reading anything about the West Side Rooters, but when I get home tonight, I can hit the Basement Library again to see if they were mentioned.
Anyway, Grant DePorter and the guys at Harry's dug it out, and have started a pretty nice deal - join the new Rooters, wear your button to one of their places during the Cubs games, and get your own pint glass with specially priced Bud products. Decent.
Anyway, next Friday, the Rooters are having their very own Tally-Ho Parade. A double decker bus, containing Ernie Banks and assorted random rooters playing brass instruments will load up in the Loop, and proceed down to Harry's new place (formerly Hi-Tops) for a pre-game party.
And guess who has a seat on the bus?
For sure, I will let you all know how it goes. OOF WAH!