?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
11 October 2008 @ 11:43 pm
Nick, Baseball, Chicago and the Cubs  
Last week, butterflykiki generously wrote FK comment-fic for me!  It's a bite-sized piece, slightly shorter than a traditional drabble, but it goes straight to a canon reference (baseball in Chicago) and potentially suggests a metaphor (escaping vampirism is like being a Cubs fan).  It made me happy.

From "Dark Knight":
NICK: It was time to move on. ... Although if I knew they were going to install lights at Wrigley field -- oof.
JANETTE: I hate baseball. Slow games make eternity seem so much longer.

For those of you not from baseball-playing nations, the Cubs are one of two professional baseball teams based in Chicago, a city Nick occupied repeatedly in the twentieth century (flashbacks of SD, AN, and BtL; plus Nick Knight's supposed birthplace in "Hunters").  Wrigley Field, which Nick mentions, is their home stadium.  And their century-long inability to win baseball's World Series -- yes, hardly "world" when it's just Canada and the US; never mind -- has become the stuff of legend.  It is the longest title drought of any North American sports team.

That Nick immediately raises the opportunity to watch professional baseball after sunset as a temptation to stay in Chicago even after, as he says, "it was time to move on," seems a likely indication that he is an active baseball fan.  If I remember correctly, however, baseball is never mentioned again after "Dark Knight" (not counting the softball game at the picnic in "Dead Issue").  So perhaps Nick is merely teasing Janette, knowing that she dislikes the game.  (And why does she really dislike the game? Story prompt!)  Or perhaps lacking interest in baseball is part of how he envisions Nick Knight, so it is only to Janette that he would mention an interest that belonged to another incarnation?

The idea of Nick as a Cubs fan pleases me because the experience of rooting for the Cubs can parallel Nick's struggles to escape his vampirism.  Their title drought began 18 years after he stopped drinking human blood, so that's not an exact match (unfortunately for storytelling symmetry).  But the team often almost makes it, only to fall short after a worthy effort, not unlike Nick's efforts.  And the fans get up and try again, believe again, hope again, every time, never giving up.  Like Nick.

 
 
 
greerwatsongreerwatson on October 13th, 2008 07:48 am (UTC)
Trust me, there are those who are from one of the "baseball-playing nations" who still need the explanation. Not everyone is a sports fan—and, from my perspective, that ficlet borders on esoterica.

(Have I ever even heard of the Cubs? I have heard of the World Series...vaguely. If you'd told me it was a football competition, I wouldn't have known you were joking.)

But it is a charming glance at Nick's prior pursuits.
Amy R.: Nick Againbrightknightie on October 22nd, 2008 04:34 am (UTC)
>"If you'd told me it [the World Series] was a football competition, I wouldn't have known you were joking."

It's one of the perils of sports fiction -- both writing and reading -- I suppose. :-)

In this case, both the author and her original intended audience (me) know the baseball references and the FK references, so it is my fault, not hers, that I did not provide more in-depth context for crossover audiences when mentioning her work.
greerwatsongreerwatson on October 22nd, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC)
It came clear eventually from the context. At least, I think so.
Christina K  (jackelope hunter!): Cubs!butterflykiki on November 3rd, 2008 02:55 am (UTC)
Heee, glad you liked it. Although I'm sorry that it didn't translate well outside of North America. (The Cubs have been losing for 100 years now. The last World Series they won was in 1908. Bah!)
huskieluv04 on October 13th, 2008 08:28 am (UTC)
You know, ever since I first saw Dark Knight, I've always been convinced that Nick is a Cubs fan! I'm glad that somewhere out there, he was every bit as grumpy as me when the Cubs got swept under the carpet.
Amy R.: Nickbrightknightie on October 22nd, 2008 04:15 am (UTC)
I'm with you completely. Of course Nick is a Cubs fan; I'll take it as given that it's written clearly right there in the script of "Dark Knight." And of course Nick is such a wonderful resource for sharing his fans' pain -- any pain. :-)

butterflykiki and neonhummingbird are the biggest FK/Cubs fans I know, which I mention in case networking is called for. ;-)
Christina K  (jackelope hunter!): Cubs!butterflykiki on November 3rd, 2008 02:55 am (UTC)
Seriously. This year was particularly disappointing. My dad is almost 70, for crying out loud. They havent' won in his lifetime. The comparison to poor Nick and how long he'll have been waiting was just too obvious.
abby82: FK--Nickabby82 on October 27th, 2008 07:42 am (UTC)
If I remember correctly, however, baseball is never mentioned again after "Dark Knight" (not counting the softball game at the picnic in "Dead Issue").

It's not quite a mention but during the episode filler sequence in "Dying to Know You" Nick does sit around with a baseball glove and ball. That then beg the question, what would motivate Nick to purchase a glove? You don't buy a baseball glove unless you intend to use it, either as part of a team or to play catch. It's pretty useless alone. It's food for thought and I think that's further evidence of Nick's active interest in baseball.

And since you mentioned the "Dead Issue" picnic, I use Natalie's attire of a baseball jersey when she and Schanke call Nick as evidence that Natalie is a baseball fan as well. I seem to recall that several fics reference Natalie as having attended softball camp as a kid.

Shameless plug ahead: Last year I wrote a Nick and Natalie attend a Blue Jays game fic entitled Of Friends, Foam Fingers and Frankfurters.

My entire view of Nick as a baseball fan stems from the DK quote and given that the Jays were frequent playoff contenders in the early 90s, not to mention their World Series wins in 92 & 93, I think Nick would relish the opportunity to watch the hometown team if he could.

Or perhaps lacking interest in baseball is part of how he envisions Nick Knight, so it is only to Janette that he would mention an interest that belonged to another incarnation?

I find this suggestion really interesting. I have to say it's something I'd never of thought of before perhaps because it goes against my personal fanon of Nick being an all around sports fan in all incarnations. But now that you mention it, perhaps the DTKY glove could be a remnant of a past incarnation he'd dug up?

The idea of Nick as a Cubs fan pleases me because the experience of rooting for the Cubs can parallel Nick's struggles to escape his vampirism.

Aw man I love how you and butterflykiki approach that. Oh Nick!

Now I'm going to feel terribly guilty if I ever consider rooting for the Cubs to choke in favor of their division rivals, my Houston Astros. ::hangs head in shame::


Amy R.: Nick Againbrightknightie on November 2nd, 2008 10:01 pm (UTC)
>"It's not quite a mention but during the episode filler sequence in "Dying to Know You" Nick does sit around with a baseball glove and ball."

That is an excellent point! Thank you very much for the reminder, and also for the interpretation of Natalie's jersey. These are wonderful tidbits, and can be turned usefully in either interpretation -- that Nick is openly a baseball fan while living in Toronto, or that Nick suppresses his fondness for baseball because he feels it belongs to his "previous life" and must be surrendered for anonymity.

Just for the sake of one possible story, what if Nick were extremely fond of baseball, and living in a World Series hometown there in '92-'93, and yet felt he had to give up public fondness for baseball as Nick Knight because he'd been too publicly fond of baseball when he lived in Chicago, and was afraid someone might somehow recognize him...

I have your "Of Friends, Foam Fingers and Frankfurters" still in my fkfic-l inbox. (I am a sloooooow fanfic reader these days, because I don't read fanfic while I'm writing it. But today is between stories, as "Fearful Symmetry" is finally off to the list, and my galpalficathon vignette is not yet begun; I will read your FK baseball tale this afternoon! Thank you for pointing out its connection.)

>"Now I'm going to feel terribly guilty if I ever consider rooting for the Cubs to choke in favor of their division rivals, my Houston Astros."

Nick can take it. ;-) Do you suppose Lacroix would favor the Yankees?
Christina K  (jackelope hunter!)butterflykiki on November 3rd, 2008 02:57 am (UTC)
Awww, thanks. (Just got linked to this) I'm glad it worked for you. I mean seriously, you have ot have *something* to hang onto after 100 years...