Chicago Cubs: Spare me the drama
Chicago Cub fans are at it again. Celebrating their long-suffering. Our man Ryan Aber wrote about five men — four of them Cub fans, the other one apparently with little direction in his life — who came through Oklahoma City on Thursday, part of a journey walking from Mesa, Ariz., home of the Cubs’ spring training camp, to Wrigley Field in Chicago. They are walking with a billy goat, in hopes of breaking the curse of the Cubs. The goat is part of some silly story from the 1945 World Series, the last time the Cubs won the National League pennant. You can read Aber’s story here.
But I’ve got to tell you. Cub fans wear me out. They love not the Cubs. They love being Cub fans. They love the idea of Wrigley Field being a ballpark haven, a 100-year-old place to go and drink away the day and not worry about mundane things like throwing strikes and cutting off balls in the gap and stroking hits with runners in scoring position.
Cub fans seem to revel in their losing. Cub fans seem to glory in their World Series drought. Someone asked me this morning if Cub fans would trade in Wrigley Field for a World Series title. Make a deal with the devil; OK, you end the curse, you get to win a World Series, but you have to move out of Wrigley Field and play in a 21st-century ballpark that looks like Cincinnati’s or Pittsburgh’s or St. Louis’. Would you do it?
Of course, most Cub fans would say no. They’ll keep Wrigley. But I have an even better question. Would Cub fans trade in their curse-status for a World Series? In other words, are Cub fans happier being lovable losers? I think the answer might be yes.
Way too much pleasantry with Cub fans. In Boston, or Cleveland, or Arlington, or any number of cities that endured a baseball success drought of some kind, the fans did NOT embrace their unfortunate circumstances. They didn’t like it. They didn’t like it one bit. But Cub fans appear to think it’s cute that their team always comes up short. Hasn’t won a playoff game since 2003. Hasn’t won the NL since ’45. Hasn’t won the World Series since 1908.
Even on Chicago’s south side, they didn’t think such misery was cute. Before winning the 2005 World Series, the White Sox’ playoff history was as pathetic as the Cubs’. But the White Sox fan base didn’t turn into a care-free carnival.
I blame a lot of this on Harry Caray and WGN, which upon cable television’s boom took the Cubs into home all across America. It became cool to become a Cub fan. The curses — the billy goat, the Lou Brock trade, the black cat, Leon Durham, Steve Bartman — became more badges of honor than anguishing shame.
So five guys decide to walk America, to get their kicks on Route 66, with a billy goat. All of a sudden, I think it would be a good idea if the Cubs indeed won a World Series. All these faux Cub fans might go away.
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