“C’mon Chapman – be a hero!” I found myself talking to the pitcher under my breath in my sister’s living room, watching the large screen. Then, double play, and it was over. Cubs win! Cubs win! I thought of my dad, since I’d just said his sentence. Although I’m a football girl now, my journey into spectator sports actually began in the city of my birth with baseball. Dad introduced us to America’s favorite pastime.
There we would be at Wrigley Field: my dad, younger brother, and me. It was the bottom of the 9th inning and one of the teams was down by 2 points. 2 outs, and 2 men on base. Batter up! My father would shake his head slowly, as he said in a rather ominous tone, “He’s gonna be a hero or a bum.” It sounded really scary to me, and I remember feeling bad for the guy with all that pressure. My little brother screamed, “Yeah!” enthusiastically, as he couldn’t wait to see the gore or the glory. He loved the either/or of these situations, the absolute goodness or badness of the outcome. He was really into the “win or lose” nature of the game.
I hated it. I would’ve rooted for the poor batter even if he were on the other team, any team. And I probably did. I couldn’t stand the thought of anyone being a bum or a loser. In my heart, I wanted everyone to be happy. I wanted a win-win. As you see, as a sports fan, I obviously still had a long way to go.
Now I get it. The Cubs are on the verge of something big. So are women! It’s our time. Now we know how to compete. We aren’t put off by the long hours of training it takes to compete. We don’t shrink from the head-to-head competitive nature of sports, nor are we strangers to the thrill of victory with all of its glory. Women today can fully appreciate the rewards of their dedication to staying in shape and pulling together as a team: family, sports, or workplace. We are incredibly good at figuring out what works, and we are amazingly resilient. Women start businesses at twice the rate of men, and statistics show that we are more likely than men to remain in business past the 5-year mark. We are women, hear us roar!
Please, Jon Lester, be a hero tonight!