Nate Robinson is in the middle of Wrigleyville in a red Toews jersey bouncing up and down on the concrete like it’s a trampoline. He’s in the mad mass of Chicagoans, bodies all around him. Red and white and black all meshing and bumping into each other in a sea of fan-hood drunkenness, the whole of Chicago bending to the whims of Andrew Shaw.
Nate’s leading all those in the ring. Place is live. He’s in the middle of the mosh, in every way the eye of this storm. There’s iO on one side of him. Vines on the other. When he looks up and to the south, mixing with the twinkling blues and reds of the police cruisers, he sees Merkle’s. Still further, there’s Dimo’s Pizza. The sweat’s stinging his eyes and everything smells like a fair. The whole movement of people just bouncing, vibrating with him, moving like a wave.
Robinson’s holding a scepter and calling himself Loki, like he doesn’t know Loki was a villain. He bangs it on the ground time and time and again. With each bang he shouts the same thing.
“You shall not passss!”
He thinks this is hilarious.
“Loki runs this block! Ain’t no Hulks here!”
Robinson is wearing a wig. He and Kane and Toews became great friends over the course of the season and, since he was wearing a Toews jersey, he decided the best way to show support for Kane was in the form of an orange-ish, red-ish, mullet-ish wig.
The entire game he’d been drinking. He’d gone to Mullen’s and just set up shop, going to work on the bar, alternating between vodka sodas and Old Style for the entirety of the game. He’d got the crowd worked into a fever dream state during the commercial break right before the third period began when he attempted to back flip off the photo booth. He landed on his back. Everyone gasped. Then, suddenly, he’s on his feet again. Couldn’t have popped up quicker had he been half Wolverine and half Hercules. He was back at the bar before the end of third period began, ordering a round of Old Styles for everyone in there.
But now he’s in the mob, and the people are bringing ruckus all around him. Robinson’s height, forever his downfall, he now uses to his advantage. He finds a friend he’d met at Mullen’s. His friends’ name is Greg. Robinson felt he looked more like a tank, so that’s what he called him. Tank. Robinson gets on Tank’s shoulders and rises above the rest of the crowd.
In an instant the roar becomes a whisper. All in the crowd turn and look at their point guard, the people’s point guard. They stand still and wait for him to go on.
“This is our town, is it not? You are the ones who bleed for it. You are the ones who stand united in the arena bearing the same name. You have earned this. You!….Each and every one of you!….Have earned this!”
He raises his scepter high once more. It floats above the mass in his hand like a cloud about to rain joy.
“Be safe tonight!…Don’t be the dick who ruins this for the other people!…Love with one another and celebrate the loveliness of this town!…Don’t be a Carlos Boozer!…I say again!…Don’t be a Carlos Boozer!”
The crowd reacts in delight and the wave starts to get choppy once more.
“With me!…Don’t be a Carlos!…Don’t be a Carlos!…Don’t be a Carlos!”
The crowd chants along with him and the concrete of North Clark Street shakes like the core of the earth is rattling from some prehistoric sub woofer popping and booming off some UGK type stuff. It’s rhythmic. Melodic. A song.
Don’t be a Carlos.
Robinson, wielding the scepter, treating others in the body mass’ words like they’re baseballs and he’s at batting practice. He swings the staff, conducting his people.
When he’s heard enough, he holds the scepter horizontally over his head. Then, the hush.
“You know now how you must be. Go in fun!”
He releases the crowd and they vibe under the Chicago stars in the thick of the wet night air, hockey sweaters soaked with the sweat of a Chicago summer that just got a little better.