Obstructed View was launched on March 27, 2011 by four bloggers who had been writing about the Cubs on their own sites for a long time. Other than being white males about the same age who all grew up in the Midwest, these four have little in common. Aisle 424 likes mustard and relish on his hot dogs while drinking a Budweiser. And Counting prefers the dog plain and enjoys Miller Lite. Berselius looks forward to the chili dogs and drinking Bud Light. MB21 likes mustard and onion only while drinking a Miller High Life. Aisle 424′s favorite Cub of all time was the best Cubs player to ever wear the number 21. And Counting’s favorite was the best Cubs player ever from Dominican Republic. Berselius liked the best right fielder in club history while MB21′s favorite was the guy who sprinted out of the dugout and paid respect to the many fans each inning.
Tim should have been a White Sox fan. He was born in the South Suburbs of Chicago and his very first baseball game at the age of 6 involved the White Sox winning at old Comiskey on a go-ahead homerun in the bottom of the 8th inning. Harry Caray was still there and did his thing, there were fireworks, and he had all sorts of unhealthy ballpark food bought for him throughout the game. The next year, he attended his first Cubs game that ended as a 7-0 loss to the Phillies at Wrigley. That day, he learned from the gentleman in front of him that Dave Kingman was “useless,” Bill Buckner was “over-rated,” and that the Cubs were Mike Schmidt’s bitches. He also learned that he loved the Cubs. WGN broadcasting games during the daytime hours only served to deepen his growing infatuation.
One of the highlights of Tim’s entire life was being present at the Sandberg Game on his 12th birthday. If there was ever any hope that he would shake the addiction to the Cubs, it ended that day.
When he grew up and started making enough money to have a little disposable income, he decided to purchase season tickets for the Cubs because he thought things were starting to come together positively for the Cubs. That was 1998. Through the ups and (mostly) downs of the following seasons, he grew close with his “summer family” and eventually started the blog Tales from Aisle 424. Somehow people found it and he ended up getting to know Adam, David, and Jeff though their blogs.
When he gave up the season tickets after finally reaching an end to his willingness to spend ever-increasing amounts of money on a team that never has and (in his opinion) never will win anything with their current methods, he was provided an opportunity to segue into this new blog that brings together a combination of humor, opinions, statistical analysis, and just enough unfounded love for the Cubs to continue writing about them. Tim doesn’t get too heavily into the stat side of things, he is here mostly for his ability to make an inappropriate joke in any situation. Boobs.
Like most writers worth their weight in Cubs promotional giveaway Beanie Babies, Adam is a conflicted mess. His brain tells him the Cubs aren’t built to win now or in the future. His heart tells him there’s a chance the Cubs win the World Series every year, and those chances have never been better than now. His soul tells him he’s destined to suffer the fate his brain predicts and the disappointment his heart has set him up for. His gut tells him there really is something to the Koyie Hill mystique. His thumbs tell him otherwise. His accountant tells him he can’t afford to keep going to Cubs games. His therapist says to keep the faith and to keep seeing him every Tuesday at 6. His spleen cheers for the Indians.
The “And Counting” blogging lose-o-meter began at 101 in the hopes that the Cubs would win a World Series 101 years after their last championship, an impulse believed to have originated in a benign pituitary cyst. But his decision to follow the Cubs began 28 years earlier, thanks to Jesus. Ivan DeJesus. At that age, and at that stage in the Cubs’ love affair with failure, the only thing he found interesting about the Cubs was their shortstop with the name he couldn’t pronounce. The following year, a trade shipped DeJesus to Philly and replaced him with a foul-mouth shortstop, a clean-cut Hall-of-Fame second baseman, and a broadcaster who couldn’t pronounce half the names he said. Upon the arrival of Larry Bowa, Ryne Sandberg, and Harry Caray, pretty much every part of Adam became engrossed with Chicago Cubs baseball.
Adam writes from the heart. And the brain. And the soul, gut, and thumbs. But never the spleen. Expect to be thoroughly confused, but enjoyably so.
Jeff aka Berselius is a baseball nerd who kept extensive statistics of a basement dartboard baseball ‘league’ at the age of 8. He grew up in Orioles territory, but it was much easier to tune into WGN than get to Baltimore, and his midwestern family were all big Cubs fans. He didn’t become more than a casual fan until moving to Wisconsin for college. Fantasy baseball got him looking at all these newfangled baseball statistics, and the availability of WGN plus the carefree life of a college student racheted up his interest. Somehow he was able to stay a fan of the Cubs despite the fact that they lost every game that he attended in person until his junior year of college. The Cubs continued to give the True Wrigley Experience at every home game he attended, but the next win witnessed at Wrigley was a pretty good one. Sometime around 2004 he began catching nearly every game on the radio, a streak that was only interrupted by the doldrums of September 2006 and his wedding/honeymoon in 2007 (which overlapped with the Z/Barrett fight and the Lou meltdown). The 2003 team is his sentimental favorite, but he never had more fun than he did watching the 2008 club (still likely the best Cubs team any of us will ever see). He has a hard time picking his favorite Cub of all time, but it’s pretty close between Sammy Sosa, Carlos Zambrano, and Mark Prior (for what might have been).
The Sabertoothed Anteater was started in the spring of 2006 to vent all the offseason ramblings that could only be quenched by actual baseball. If you poke through the archives you’ll notice that a big pluarality of the posts were in March and April. After meandering the wasteland of the Cubs blogosphere for the every-moment-savored 2008 season, he found his way to the thoughtless and vile corner that was Another Cubs Blog and never left.
Berselius writes about baseball statistics, previews each series, bitches about mlb.tv at any opportunity, and posts the occasional all-facepalm postgame when needed. When he’s not writing about baseball he’s working on math that he understands only slightly more than you do.
Due to the fame of running the 176th best Cubs blog for 6+ years, David legally changed his name to mb21 in 2007 to protect his family’s privacy. He had no Cubs fans in his family, but he loved baseball at the earliest of ages. Growing up in southeastern Iowa, if you wanted to watch baseball on television, you watched WGN. Although he watched many games between 1980 and 1983, it was when he was 9 years old that he became a Cubs fan for life. The 1984 season was a memorable one to say the least. Little did he know that he’d spend much of his life chasing that high from 1984. He got a taste of it in 1989 and in 1998 it was overshadowed by the terrific home run race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. Greg Maddux is his favorite player of all-time and he watched many Braves games after Maddux left the Cubs. He was thrilled to see his favorite player finally win a ring, but it came with the wrong team.
dmick89 began blogging about the Cubs sometime in 2003 and along with two others he started the super famous Another Cubs Blog in January, 2005. At its peak, ACB climbed to the 176th best Cubs blog. He hopes to be a part of one that cracks the top 170 this time. More than that, he’d just like to see the Cubs win a championship, but has begun to wonder if that will ever happen.
Josh aka josh spent his formative years in Iowa, when WGN was king and Andre Dawson and Ryne Sandburg were…dukes or something. Those were his two favorite players growing up, incidentally, but he drifted away from the Cubs at college because of a severe WGN drought in the South. Consequently, he missed most of Sammy Sosa’s best years. However, moving to Chicago for grad school sparked his interest in the Cubs once again. Too bad it was for the 2002 season. Luckily, the very next year was the 2003 season. Josh, by then back in Iowa, used to drive to Hy-Vee and listen to the Cubs on the radio during close games. He would sit in the parking lot so he could scream and cheer if they won without scaring the bejesus out of his wife. Eventually, she decided to start coming along and listening as well. Who’s to say if those magical trips to the Hy-Vee parking lot helped or not?
Actually, he listened to all the post-season games there too, so….not.
On the other hand, Josh’s wife started the whole comics drawing phenomenon in their household, which eventually led to the Obligatory Baseball Blog and then to his new home here, so there’s sort of a world’s colliding thing going on that seems to work. Josh is a more recent convert to the advanced analytics scene and has never once done any fantasy baseball. Hence, the two characters representing two distinct sides of his psyche: the analytical urges to understand the game on a deep level, and the rootin-tootin urge for the Cubs to whoop some ass. And binding them together is the Hope Monster.
DylanJ was born in a secret military base on Baekdu Mountain. His coming was foretold by a rare double rainbow and marked the sight of a new star in the sky. After defeating Jaime Lannister in battle at the age of 15 in the 77th Hunger Games he became an internet expert at staring at minor league box scores. His thoughts on said box scores can been seen Mon-Fri at Obstructed View.
As a shiftless drifter, GW spent decades roaming the Upper Midwest, Appalachia, and the Deep South, ostracized by his peers all the while due to his strange love of websites. Recently, he has found happiness in a new business venture, acting as a Hobo Hotspot in the Texas Hill Country.
Myles’ first introduction the Cubs way of life was wondering why his brother cherished his Jerome Walton rookie baseball card so much when he was clearly awful. He learned to read from the sports section of his newspaper, and wondered why getting only 3 yards a carry was a bad thing if you had 4 whole downs to get 10 yards. He grew up listening to Harry and Steve every day and being a hopeless Cubs fan, and he’s never forgiven Brant Brown (and he’ll never forget, either). Although he’s been to around 30 games at Wrigley and the Great American Ballpark, his favorite memories of Wrigley field include watching Bret Boone go deep 3 times during the magical ’98 season (Tapani had 19 wins that year and a 4.71 ERA), and watching Rich Hill’s first win as a Cub and being personally flipped the bird by Eric Byrnes from the bleachers in center.
Eventually, he fell deep into the high-stakes, dangerous world of statistics, and graduated with an actuarial science degree for Purdue University. Learn from his mistake: don’t be an actuary.
Myles writes about sabermetrics and screws around in excel when he’s not writing about the Cubs, and he’s doing all of that while he should be working. When he needs to relax, he plays board games and the piano. He’s very good at the former and incredibly poor at the latter.