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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Sports > Baseball > Forever Loyal (Chicago Cubs)

Forever Loyal – A Salute To The Cubs Fans & Their Field


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Content: B-



When recently watching and reviewing Ron Shelton’s 1988 classic Bull Durham for this site, it was more pertinent than ever in reminding us of what baseball is really supposed to be all about.  Now, an interesting new DVD joins it about Chicago’s extremely beloved Cubs team appropriately titled Forever Loyal.  Though the team is still in the Major League system, they have amazingly retained the spirit of what the game is all about thanks to how fans in Chicago have stuck by them.


Inside Chicago: Wrigley Field (2001, under 30 minutes) immediately gets to the vital point that the team has not sold out their history or heritage for the race for new stadiums that are often not needed, cost too much, and have a watered-down design so long-standing game records can be easily broken for free publicity purposes.  That the MLB feels this is appropriate is sad and even corrupt, matched only by their allowing cities (with taxpayers’ money, of course) to go to war and by them free or practically free stadiums.  The Cubs have Wrigley Field, which they would not dare tear down, because baseball is about the experience, not overblown contracts and high ticket prices.  They embarrass the excess of the league with a place of baseball so heartened, it feels like a revival.


The Cub Fan (1999, under one hour) offers the how and why the Cubs have the following they have, though having stuffy columnist George Will (who I am no fan of whatsoever for reasons beyond his politics) expressing his support of the team has the feeling of a huge deficit of enthusiasm.  All I could think of was the late, great film critic Gene Siskel and his always-stunning support of the city’s hugely successful basketball team The Bulls.  Maybe The Cubs need a Gene Siskel to get that pennant, but as of this posting, they came the closest in years, which brings us to our sole extra.


Fandemonium: 2003 In Wrigleyville (about 9 minutes) is a short-but-funny piece that offers the humorous pop tune “When The Cubs Win The World Series” by a band called The Cleaning Ladys, with lead male vocal.  It sounds like it was made during the early 1980s, which could be true considering how long it has been since they did.  They almost made it, but this is not horseshoes, so maybe next year.  When (and fans will say when, not if) they make it, I and any other viewer of this fun DVD will be primed about what the impact will really be.


The full frame image is all on professional color NTSC video and sometimes offers older film footage and stills, but this is just fine for such a production, as is the Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo.  It may not offer any surround information, but everything said and done comes through loud and clear.  Forever Loyal adds up to the kind of model that can help bring back real baseball and it cannot be soon enough.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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