A handful of Chicago Cubs step up to the mic for a soulful little rocker about the team’s chances in ’69, and, gosh bless ’em, the thing ain’t half bad. In fact, I’ll give “Pennant Fever” a hearty recommendation for being by far the least embarrassing combination of sports and music that I’ve ever heard. And though that compliment sounds backhanded (the sports/music bar being pretty fruggin’ low), this single really IS a fun piece of music that transcends its natural haw-haw novelty status on every front. Yeah, it’s just a baseball-centric rewrite of “Fever,” but the singing is respectable, the backing is some exciting piano-driven jump biz, and the canned crowd noise that gets dropped in from time to time sounds more like explosions of Who-style feedback. Do I love this song? I THINK I JUST MIGHT! Sheesh, even the instrumental B-side, “Slide,” shocks with its funky organ tootling. Don’t forget the sleeve, either: Seven square-looking Cubs in street clothes are gathered in the studio, armed with lyric sheets and beer to sing the praises of their can’t-miss club (lookin’ good, Gene Oliver!). Too bad they ended up pulling a choke-job late in the season and finishing a distant second to the Mets. Oh well; at least we can sleep easy knowing we got this single out of it all.