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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.

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?