November 3, 2016
Goldendoodles at the SCOTUS, or the Cubs?
I was going to blog this week about the SCOTUS taking up a case about a kindergartener from Michigan who had cerebral palsy so her parents got her a white Goldendoodle named Wonder. The dog and the child were trained for a two week period. After the training, the dog could help her open and close doors, transfer from a chain to walker or walker from toilet seat. However, the school would not allow the dog. They claimed they were already paying for an aide. The child’s parents said that Wonder was necessary to make her more independent and compared what Wonder could do to what a seeing eye dog could do for a blind student. I think legal analysis, statutory construction, and precedent should all be thrown out the window and they should base their analysis on the picture below.
That ridiculously cute picture aside, I too, am an owner of a goldendoodle. And if Wonder is anything like Pippa, the school is making a sound decision by denying Wonder access. However, Wonder sounds wonderful, so we will wait for the wait for the result of fictionally titled case of Michigan v. Goldendoodles.
After this case, I could have blogged about a guy who wanted to withdraw his plea because he was confused. That case lacked any Goldendoodle content so that was passed on as well. So I am going to use this space to talk about the Cubs. An earlier post detailed a SailorsAllen special allowing Mille Lacs misdemeanors for $1908 (some exclusions apply) since 1908 was the last time the Cubs won the World Series. While this had a profound impact on many people I want to use this space to on a lightly read and poorly edited law blog to talk about what it meant to me.
I want to start by saying I grew up a Cubs fan even though I never lived in Chicago. The connection to the team is not as tenuous as the cool kids in middle school who liked Miami Hurricane football because they had the starter jacket. Or the nerdy kids who liked Duke because they liked fundamentally sound basketball and a high percentage of made free throws. My father grew up in Chicago. He grew up in a lot of places but spent his early teenage years in a suburb of Chicago. In what could only be later described as a period where he contributed close to nothing to the advancement of the human race. His father grew up in Michigan, and for reasons that I could not understand, liked the Cubs instead of the much closer Tigers. It probably had something to do with only be able to get one broadcast on the ole’ transistor radio. When they lived in Illinois, in a clearly different era, my dad would go games by himself and sit in the bleachers. Sitting in the bleachers in a ballpark that hosted their first game in 1914. When everything around their lives changed, the only thing that remained the same was the Cubs were losers. They lost with Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Ferguson Jenkins, Williams, Andre Dawson, Ryne Sandberg, Sammy Sosa (might have cheated), Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. When I was born, in Minnesota, I had no choice but to like the Cubs, which was not fun during the Twins “dynasty” between 1987 and 1991. I was three when the Cubs blew a 2-0 game lead in a best of five series to the Padres. I was in college at a bar in New Richmond, Wisconsin with a guy we called Furby when the Bartman wanted a souvenir. Bartman was a lawyer, which is another reason to despise him and another reason for Cubs’s fan to sue for intentional infliction of emotional distress. I had a front row seat to the tortured Cub fan base. I remember one occasion when my father and grandfather attempted to email the Cubs GM at the time, Andy MacPhail, with “suggestions.” Unfortunately for the entire Cubs’s fan base that email never got received because Zuckerberg and Jobs emailed the website instead of the address. Which is a shame because I am sure they would have assembled a George Costanza-like outfield of Griffey and Bonds while only giving up Tuffy Rhodes and Hee-Seop Choi. So with the sage advice forever lost in cyberspace, the Cubs floundered. I watched the Cubs lose in person in Colorado, San Francisco, Target Field and of course Wrigley. I watched them lose on TV with Harry Caray seemingly wanted to fall out of the booth during the seventh inning stretch rather than watch them lose. But in 2011, they hired Theo Epstein. A Harvard-educated sabermetrician who plays guitar with Eddie Vedder. The guy responsible for ending the Red Sox curse in 2004. In Theo’s first year they lost 100 games. My grandpa passed away in June 0f 2014, right around the time the franchise was heading the right direction. Theo drafted Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Kyle Schwarber, traded for Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell, Kyle Hendricks, and Jake Arrieta. In 2015 they hired wristband wearing enthusiast and 12-out closer advocate, Joe Maddon. They signed Jon Lester to be their ace, who in true Cubs’s fashion, was a legitimate Cy Young, but cannot throw a baseball to first base. Throwing to bases is so overrated anyway. I got to see them no hit in person person by Cole Hamels, which was awesome. They got close in 2015 but got blown out of the water by dominant Mets’ pitching. In 2016 their run differential actually suggested they were a better team than their 104 wins indicated. They traded for a guy who can throw 105 miles an hour to be their closer, and apparently assume the role of the only reliever in the postseason. I brought my three-year-old to a game at Wrigley where he was more interested in eating ice cream and watching planes than he was the actual game. Last night in a game that lasted 4 hours and 45 minutes that probably should not have been nearly as tense as it was; all the losing was washed away. I watched a euphoric fan base erupt in a catharsis in front of the relic on Addison and Clark. I am happy for the players. They were a great team and won given improbable odds of trailing 3 games to 1. But they are millionaires and get to play a game where you don’t get concussed on a regular basis unless your name is David Ross. I am happier for the fan base. Not myself, because 35 years is not an awful wait. Not for my three-year-old because he got a smore last night. But for my grandpa who waited his entire life and my father who probably took years off his own life, waiting. The pent up frustration of unfailingly loyal fan base is a sight to behold onto itself. So there you go. Go Cubs and Go Wonder.