Here. We. Go
In some ways, it feels like we were just doing this. 5 months ago, to the day, our beloved Northside heroes were achieving the ultimate glory our fan base has been starving for since 1908. After waiting oh so patiently for 108 years, we enter the first season under memory known as a “title defense.”
Maybe it is just me, but that concept has not really sunk in just yet. Last year continues to play in my mind like a well written movie, but not really comprehended as a real event. I can pinch myself hundreds of times and the truth still prevails: The Chicago Cubs won the World Series in 2016.
These words take away the “maybe next year” and the “this is our year” desperation that has defined a fan base for over a century. However, without this burden, a new void exists. After lifting the 108 year pressure off the shoulders, I find it difficult/different to prepare for this season.
Gone are the irrational fears of being selected as the favorite. Gone are the lame puns, jokes, pokes at our artful take at losing. In it’s place is a stepping stone for something bigger. In a game that is hungry for young stars and a youthful market, here comes the marketing darlings in Bryzzo, Schwarber, and company.
Given all these things, my preparation does not change:
1.) Fantasy baseball guides have been purchased and read
2.) MLB the Show has been loaded onto my PS4, getting ready to not leave the system until November.
3.) My copies of Major League, Moneyball, and the Natural come out the week before Opening Day to hype up the beginning.
So tonight, I will plop on my couch at 7pm as Carlos Martinez takes the mound and pitches to Schwarber to begin my 162+ game ode to joy. I will wear my Kyle Hendricks World Series jersey in a Cub world that is so very different, but familiar as the routine I complete.
Everything and nothing has changed. And I love everything about it. Here. We. Go.