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March 2017

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COMMENTS

They Hate Us ‘Cause They Ain’t Us

Written by , Posted in General

One memory that sticks out among the many to me during the Chicago Cubs’ World Series run was the day of Game 3 of the NLCS against the Dodgers. As I sat with some fellow classmates laying out our school newspaper and watching the game on a projector, a few of my friends (and a teacher) began talking about how the Chicago Cubs were “not a neighborhood ball-club” and “sold their souls,” highlighting the fact that the Cubs had expensive ticket prices and traded for accused wife-beater Aroldis Chapman. I continually heard the tired arguments that “the Cubs bought their success” or that “the Cubs were an elitist team.” While I aptly pointed out that not one Cubs’ infielder was signed out of free agency and the team overall had made two marquee signings (Lester and Heyward), the points that my fellow baseball fans brought up revealed a deeper undertone which conveys the question: How can baseball handle the Chicago Cubs as winners?

Delegitimizing the success of any team, from the Chicago Blackhawks to Real Madrid to the New England Patriots, is natural for any fan of an opposing team to cope with the frustration of their own team’s losing. Back when the Cardinals were perpetually successful in the postseason, many Cubs fans, including myself, would label the Cardinals as cheaters, crooks, jerks, etc., and their fans as a multitude of stereotyping and condescending labels.

For the last one hundred eight years, the Cubs have been the “Lovable Losers,” known for only their perpetual futility. Now officially the best team in baseball, the Cubs (and their respective fans) have received flak for any and all success the team has achieved. During the NLCS, Los Angeles Times sports columnist and Around the Horn contributor Bill Plaschke wrote an article complaining about the Cubs’ embracing the narrative of a ball club with a long-suffering fan base in disguise of a free-spending, elitist, celebrity-catering team which values winning of any form of morality (LA Times Cubs story). Ironically, what haters of the Chicago Cubs must realize is that all baseball teams, with the exception of a few small-market teams) “buys” success. The Dodgers, Giants, and Indians have all signed expensive players just as the Cubs have. Every team has celebrity fans, from Steve Perry in San Francisco to Arsenio Hall in Cleveland. Every team has its rich fans, its poor fans, and its middle-class fans. Every team has players with less-than-stellar characters. What separate the Cubs from the pack are the tangible aspects of the ball club, in the players’ athletic skill and the front office’s negotiating and scouting abilities, and the intangible aspects, such as the unwavering and loyal fans who watch their team in the greatest ballpark in the world.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    Hater’s will Hate, and we should all be Happy about it, because the Chicago Cubs are World Series Champions!! ( and yes that will never get old.)

  • Doc Raker

    You were in an academic setting and a teacher and young minds of mush jump on the “Bought their success”, “elitist team” , ‘sold their souls”, “not a neighborhood team” crap. Was the school newspaper printing stories of the glorious Carl Marx? So surprising

    • Buddy

      Carl wasn’t my favorite Marx Brother, but he was pretty funny in “Animal Crackers” and “Duck Soup.”

      • Doc Raker

        Not much of a fan of either, Karl or Carl. Good catch.

      • Buddy

        I wasn’t trying to correct you. Just another lame attempt at humor on my part!

    • JTBarrett16

      I’m going to say he was surrounded by a bunch of butthurt whiney sux fans. The last thing they had on us they no longer have. When the Cubs win it again in 2017, I’ll be worried about my friends who like the sux the way everyone was concerned about me last year

  • Doug S.

    I recall hearing years ago somebody saying they knew a guy that hated the Cubs. I asked ‘what for? – hating the Cubs is like hating the kid at school with leg braces’. What have the Cubs done to deserve the ire? No response worth repeating.
    To me, a lot of the perception going forward will be determined by how the nice people on this site and other Cubs fans behave, not the team itself.

    • JTBarrett16

      The only people who hate us are whiney sux fans, because they feel like they’re treated like 2nd-class citizens. I don’t see the union hating us. We don’t have any jerks on our team and we didn’t buy the team

  • SouthCarolinaCubFan1991

    Perhaps, friend, I could have saved you some time with the following advice: Never read anything Bill Plaschke writes and never listen to anything he says. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt back in the day, but after about the 3rd time I had the misfortune of listening to him on “Around the Horn” I washed my hands of em’