Hi, I’m Chris Wanless. Welcome to Is This Heaven?.
Beginning as a project for a college course in 2013, Is This Heaven? has taken a number of forms in the years since. In fact, at the beginning, I didn’t even have a name for it–it was cpwanless09.wordpress.com. Wanting to come up with something clever to be know by, I came up with Is This Heaven? as a nod to Field of Dreams and the great state of Iowa, where I was born and raised.
What started as an academic venture soon morphed into a space for poorly thought out music and television reviews and tragic attempts at comedic list-making. Analyzing everything from Saturday Night Live to the real world merits of Taylor Swift’s 2012 smash “22,” I weaved my way between lanes with the enthusiasm of a getaway driver in a high-speed car chase.
The common thread through the years, though, has always been sports.
Growing up in Iowa, with no major professional teams in sight, people often wonder how one chooses their allegiances. For me, it was pretty simple.
My entire extended family hails from Wisconsin, where professional football is more religion than sport, so you wouldn’t be surprised to learn I was a Packer fan from the day I was born and that Brett Favre was my childhood hero.
I have to admit I was actually a Badger until I was 11 or 12, when my sister decided she was going to be a cheerleader at the University of Iowa. Going to games in Iowa City became my new favorite activity, and being in the stadium for The Catch made me a Hawkeye for life.
As for the other stuff? Blame television. WGN America was my only access to baseball on a daily basis, so Sammy Sosa and the Cubs became my team before I was old enough to understand what being a Cubs fan really meant. Chicago was also the source only televised hockey in Eastern Iowa. Some would consider me a bandwagon fan, but Blackhawks games have become one of my favorite pastimes since 2009–even when they’re not winning Cups.
My primary goal in keeping Is This Heaven? alive has always been to keep myself in touch and engaged with the things I love–allowing myself to be a fan while still maintaining a level perspective. In that sense, you generally won’t find much blatant homer-ism or hyperbole on this site, just honest opinions and analysis shaped by years of fandom and a life spent in Flyover Country. Thanks for visiting. I hope you’ll continue to follow along.