As home openers for baseball teams go, not much changes year-to-year, though there are some big differences between this year's outing and the 2011 inaugural game.
One is the current — and very major — battle over ballpark renovations. The other is Colleen Henneman.
Two years ago, NPR's Chicago affiliate WBEZ (Chicago Public Media) was reporting live from outside the Friendly Confines when producer Justin Kaufmann happened upon "Number-One Cubs Fan," Colleen Henneman.
Henneman's drunken on-camera antics went viral soon after, as the uber-fan (donning a pink baseball cap) chatted about being the first person in line at the bar that morning, sleeping under a table the night before to score the best chicken wings and being excited about "hot guys who are up for anything."
National sports outlets like Deadspin had plenty of fun with the Henneman's drunken antics while Windy City-centric outlets like Chicagoist (and yes, HuffPost Chicago) caught the wink that it was all a fantastically-executed April Fool's Day prank.
"Colleen Henneman" was actually the creation of Kate James, co-founder of the Chicago-based sketch comedy group Schadenfreude. Kaufmann, of both WBEZ and Schadenfreude, was in on the gag the whole time.
James said she still gets recognized as Henneman every several weeks — "People will be like 'hey it's you! Go Cubs!' James told HuffPost Chicago — and that they're usually disappointed to learn she is not, in fact, the character she portrays.
One fan took the reveal particularly hard. After meeting a Marquette University student following a performance, James learned the young man had fallen from the roof of an apartment while drunk, breaking his pelvis and landing in hot water with his parents for drinking.
James said the after the incident he had sent them the video of "Henneman" and told his parents "At least I'm not her."
Though Henneman has apparently retired for the 2013 Cubs home opener, Kaufmann and the rest of the 'BEZ crew couldn't seem to resist a little hijinks (or "Hijinxx?") this year.
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