City hosts Cubs playoff rally

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September 30, 2008 7:41:30 PM PDT
Thousands gathered for a citywide rally at Daley Plaza over Tuesday's lunch hour.Tuesday's rally started at noon, but people began staking out spots early. Bob Lee got there at 4:30 a.m.- just like last year.

"Last year we didn't do so good. We got off to a rotten start. This year, forget the curse of the black cat and everything else. With the new faces on the team, I think we're going places," said Lee.

Cubs fans hope the North Side team is headed to a World Series win, somewhere the Cubbies haven't been in 100 years.

Mary and Jim Dulen may look like a poster couple for the Cubs. But, according to Mary, her husband's faking it.

"He's a White Sox' fan. He let me know that he was a White Sox fan when they won. 48 years of marriage, now he is a White Sox' fan," said Mary Dulen. "Oh, we got separate rooms since then."

"I could see them both get in the World Series, but I don't think that's going to happen," said Jim Dulen, who said if push came to shove he'd root for the Cubs. Or would he?

The first playoff game is Wednesday against the Dodgers.

"They are going to win. They are going to go all the way. We're waiting. I'm getting tired of waiting. It's been a long, long wait. 75 cents in the bleachers, I have been waiting since then," said Trudie Acheatel, Cubs Fan.

That was 53 years ago.

Jim Belushi was the emcee at the pep rally. The mayor, governor and some Cubs legends were also there.

The Cubs' first postseason game is Wednesday night on the North Side.

While fans filled Daley Plaza Tuesday to kick off the Cubs pennant push, city emergency officials say plans are in place to make sure safety and order are maintained during playoff games and celebrations.

Officials held a press conference to lay out their safety plans for the playoffs. Naturally, the big emphasis was on regulating alcohol consumption.

Fans did behave themselves at the rally Tuesday afternoon at Daley Plaza beginning with a famous Chicagoan singing a famous Chicago song - Jim Belushi singing "Sweet Home Chicago."

It would be nothing sweeter for Chicagoans than a trip to the World Series. But first things first - a postseason rally to get them fired up and the players pumped up.

"We need you guys for one more month, 11 more wins. So thank you very much, and let's go Cubs," said Derrek Lee, Cubs first baseman.

The cubs made the playoffs last year. But this year, the feeling is different. Not only did the postseason rally bring out more people, confidence was in the air. And after 100 years, patience has run out.

"I'm getting tired of waiting. It has been a long, long wait - 75 cents in the bleachers, I have been waiting since then," said Cubs fan Trudie Acheatel.

"We have this curse we have been trying to shake the last 100 years and it needs to go," said Cubs fan Brandon Hammer.

"This is our year. This is it. It is a great atmosphere at Wrigley," said Cubs fan Marsha Brawner.

There were even a few South Siders joining in.

"We are here to support the Chicago Cubs so they can make it to the World Series. Because it is a feeling like no other," said Sox fan Deborah Velasco.

The road begins Wednesday, and as the playoff bunting goes up inside the Friendly Confines, outside, police barricades are piled up. City officials say they are prepared and have a safety plan in place.

"Fire, police, buildings and other departments will be around Wrigley Field prohibiting illegal ticket sales, public drinking as well as monitoring any potential overcrowding issues," said Ray Orozco, Office of Emergency Management Commincations.

DUI enforcement will be top priority, authorities say. Officials say they hope a seventh inning break from booze during home clinch games at local bars will help.

"The first possible date would be Game Five on October 7. The sale of alcohol would resume after the game," Orozco said.

Wrigleyville businesses are also working with the city regarding patron capacity and making sure patrons do not leave the bars with bottles or cans.

Police Superintendent Jody Weis says there will be plenty of police resources at Wrigley Field.


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