Baseball in Paris
At about 7 a.m. Paris time, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. I was completely alone in my hotel room as I watched history being made on my 13-inch screen. To quote Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
When I flew to Paris I knew that my team was going to the playoffs and that I was going to miss it. I searched on forums for possible expat Cub fans living in Paris to watch the game with, but to no avail. I looked for sports bars that broadcasted American sports, but most of them closed after 2 a.m., which was before many of the games even started. And so, I had to rely on the most glorious gift known to baseball fans abroad: the Internet.
Before each game I would run to the corner store to get French game day snacks. I would change my VPN on my laptop so that I could stream content from the U.S. and used an HDMI cord to display it on my television. After that I’d sit back and watch the game until the sun began rise, screaming at the screen periodically and bantering with the sportscasters. It was not ideal for someone who has grown up waiting for these very moments, but I had come prepared. I did this for each game of the National League Division Series, the National League Championship Series and the World Series. It was exhausting.
After missing class a couple times due to lack of sleep, I began perfecting my routine. I went to bed like I was in third grade again: very early. I got completely ready for school when the game started. I set a multitude of alarms. I made it work. That is until last night, when anxiety and excitement took over and I was unable to do anything but furiously text my friends and family about the upcoming game, read prediction articles and pace frantically about my room. For those of you who watched the game, you know the tension only increased from there.
After 10 innings, the score was tied at six when Zobrist doubled to give the Cubs the lead. I realized that this could be it, and that I may be alone in Paris when the Chicago Cubs win the World Series. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Finally, it was the bottom of the tenth with two outs. Montgomery pitched to Martinez, who hit a slow bouncer to Bryant. Bryant hustled to the ball with a grin on his face while tears began to fill his eyes. The throw to first baseman Anthony Rizzo was in time and, just like that, the Cubs had won the World Series. I was breathless. I no longer cared that I wasn’t singing in the streets of Wrigleyville or jumping for joy with my family in the living room. I may have been in Paris but I was present for history.
While I could drone on and on about the emotions my city and I will be feeling for the next few months, I would like to continue to give advice for future study abroad students as I have in past posts. So, for those of you who are avid sports fans and will be studying abroad during your favorite sport’s season I suggest you follow these tips. First off, make sure you know how to change your VPN so that you can stream U.S. media. UIC actually offers this service through viscosity, all you have to do is download it and log in with your UIC username and password. I would make sure you do it while in Chicago just in case you encounter technical difficulties. Second, make sure you bring an HDMI cord because who wouldn’t rather watch it on a big screen? I had to order one while I was here, which was a major drag. Lastly, I’d suggest putting your phone on do not disturb, since you will most likely be behind the rest of your friends watching the game. I realized that after a few home runs were spoiled for me. Thanks, Ivan!
Lucy Teruel is a junior majoring in communications and minoring in political science. Born and raised on the North Side of Chicago, Lucy loves music, French, shopping, going to the gym and traveling. She’s also an avid sports fan with a particular penchant for the Chicago Cubs. She hopes to one day become a sportscaster, so don’t be surprised if you catch her on the nightly news a few years from now.