I am very keen for rugby, ribs and Pizza this weekend as I anticipate Saturday's match between the All Blacks and the USA Eagles.
As I sit here packing on Tuesday night, less than 48 hours before I leave on Thursday for Chicago, I could not help but to think of the song "Sweet Home Chicago." It has a lot of meanings for me. I am married to a woman who grew up on the South Side of Chicago, by 107th and Western-You cannot swing a cat without hitting an Irish pub by where my wife grew up. I lived in the Chicago area as a kid from 1971-75 and as a family, my wife and my kids and I lived with my in laws for almost two years on the South Side. I have found out that some very good friends of mine from the New Mexico rugby community, Wally Minoli, Chee and Timaris Montano will be in Chicago for the game. Several members of the Metropolis RFC from Minnesota, my first club, will be in Chicago as well.
In the midst of taking in the rugby, it will be great to catch up with old friends, and also introducing my travel mate and frequent partner in watching sporting events, Tom Daniels to areas I know in the Windy City.
It's a city that may have some of it's issues, but I will always have a warm spot in my heart for Chicago for a variety of reasons-none the least of which is that Chicagoans are not fair weather fans-they live and die with their teams, and also the food is fantastic. Particularly ribs, deep dish pizza, the Italian Roast beef sandwich and Portillo's hot dogs.
I can hardly wait.