Ben Larson (@ben_larson6 on Twitter) is a student at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a self-proclaimed diehard fan of the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs have a long and sad history of postseason droughts and failures, and they have only made the postseason four times in Ben’s lifetime. Three of those postseason appearances resulted in the Cubs being on the wrong end of a Division Series sweep; the other resulted in Steve Bartman.
So for Ben, having his team in the postseason is not a pleasure he takes for granted. Once the Cubs locked in their spot in the Wild Card game and the Pittsburgh Pirates clinched home-field advantage in that game, Ben and his family bought tickets to be at the game.
Then Ben realized that his plans would conflict with his education. Here is the text of an email he wrote to his professor:
Subject: Re: Midterm
I’ll be perfectly blunt with you. My whole life my family and I have been die hard Cubs fans. Wednesday night will be the Cubs wild card game in Pittsburgh and we were able to get tickets. We were going to drive there and stay the night. I have been planning on doing this for awhile and then realized the exam was Thursday the 8 of October, the day after the game. I understand your policy but was possibly hoping you might have a soft spot for the Cubs since, well, it’s the Cubs and they’re in the playoffs.
Hey, it doesn’t hurt to ask, right? Apparently not. Here is the reply from his professor:
If it were any other team, I would hesitate. But, the universe gives cubs fans only so many post-season games. They must be savored.
I could schedule something for the afternoon of the 9th. Maybe 1 or 2pm?
Congratulations to Ben for his team’s success, and congratulations to Professor Dave for understanding that education is important, but baseball is essential.