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Sports

Musick: Win or lose, Cubs' passion at Wrigley endures

Fans arrive Friday at Wrigley Field before the home opener against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Cubs lost, 7-2.
Fans arrive Friday at Wrigley Field before the home opener against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Cubs lost, 7-2.

about the closest thing that there is to it.”

You want to know the depth of Bonano’s dedication to the Cubs?

“I actually dropped out of school in 2003 because I was following that 2003 season so much,” said Bonano, who was pursuing a political science degree at Northern Illinois. “I fell some credits short because I just missed class after class after class.”

Bonano wasn’t kidding. At least, I don’t think he was kidding.

Elsewhere in the noisy bar, passion teamed up with poignancy.

Juliann Atkinson of Winthrop Harbor wore a button with a picture of her late brother-in-law, Chuck Gesky. Atkinson sat beside Sara Ames, Gesky’s daughter.

Gesky attended 30 consecutive Cubs home openers before his death in 2009. His family has preserved the tradition as a happy remembrance of their loved one.

It’s part expectant-father excitement and part in-memoriam bittersweet. It’s part skipping-school devotion and part since-the-’60s tradition.

“I love the team, I love the neighborhood,” Bonano said before heading to the park. “It’s very welcoming and open to having a party.

“And if you’re going to have a party about anything, why not have a party with the team that you cry and bleed with, year after year?”

After year, after year, after year.

• Northwest Herald sports columnist Tom Musick can be reached at tmusick@shawmedia.com and on Twitter @tcmusick.

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