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I’m writing this late, or early as the case may be in Chicago – after midnight. So don’t hold any grammatical errors, misspellings, or even illogical thought processes against me. I’m getting ready for a morning flight to Chicago, after having watched the Wild-Card game. It’s going to be the Giants on Friday at Wrigley Field. As the saying goes, you must beat the best, to be the best. And the Giants are currently what the Cubs aspire to be, three World Series titles in the past six years…Wow! If the Cubs could win just one World Series, my life might have a new meaning that I can’t quite comprehend at this moment.
I’m ready, the Cubs are ready, Cubs Universe is ready, and this is the year! And because of all this amazing synergy, I’ve decided that we will extend our Clear The Way fundraiser for the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation until the Cubs win the World Series this year! That’s right, as long as the Cubs are playing baseball in the 2016 post season, ALL PROCEEDS from downloads of our rocking Cubs anthem will go to the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation! It’s simple, download the song via SendOwl for $1.29 and all the money goes to the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation. Let’s help Anthony and his foundation fight cancer! The bonus is, on top of helping a great cause, you get a song that will fire up you and other Cubs fans for the upcoming playoff run! Clear The Way has special meaning to me, which I’ll get to shortly.
Yesterday on this blog I was chatting about the Cubs long history, and spring training when the Cubs last won a World Series title. It’s more recent history I want to talk about – spring of 2012. Theo Epstein had recently been hired to turn the Cubs train around. The setting was Fitch Park in Mesa. Cubs spring training was a few weeks away, but some of the players were there working out. I was also there watching, literally by myself, when I turned to see a vaguely familiar face walk up – it was Theo Epstein. I had never met him, but since he and I were the only two standing there, I went up and introduced myself. He was very cordial and shortly we were talking about his philosophy on the minor leagues, drafting players, and even some rudimentary analytics of what was to come. To me, this was fascinating stuff. And right up my alley. As prior to this chance meeting, I had written on this blog about what I thought the Cubs organization needed to turn things around. Not that anyone cared what I had to say!
At any rate, during our conversation I mentioned to Theo, when the Cubs were champs in 1907 and 1908, those teams had attitude (can you say John Lackey), a swagger, and a desire that wouldn’t be denied. I knew these things from having been to West Baden Springs, newspaper accounts of the day, and reading the great Cait Murphy book – Crazy ’08. Theo said he hadn’t heard any of this, which makes sense as he was still new to the Cubs. I said I’d pass along my Crazy ’08 book for him to read, which I did later that spring. I never got my book back, but I’ll settle for an invite to the Cubs World Series winning post game party instead! I think some of that 1908 mind set and culture was part of what Theo & Company put into their “Cubs Way” plan.
Shortly after that meeting, I began thinking about a Cubs rock song, a new song with a different attitude, no lovable loser crap, or curse lyrics. One that envisioned a new era of Chicago Cubs, as winners. A chance meeting with die-hard Cubs fan and mega musical talent Dango Rose from the band Elephant Revival in 2013 started the ball rolling. Like me, Dango had a vision of a Cubs anthem that fit a new era, but also had an old school rock feel, so we set forth in the creative process. It started with the two of us going back and forth with potential lyrics via emails and phone conversations. Eventually after two long years Clear The Way became a reality. Both of us are extremely proud of how it came together, and feel this song fits the current team and organization, while having a timeless quality.
To be able to offer this song to you for $1.29 with all proceeds going to the Anthony Rizzo Foundation during this year’s Cubs playoff run just feels right. Lets rock! Because – This is the year!