Northside Archives: The Origin Of The Disease
We’re 6 games in and everything is already full steam ahead downhill. The “bright” spot is that we appear to be a bit more competitive than our roster might have appeared at first glance. But even after 6 games it’s too early to say – all we know is that we we’re lacking in a variety of areas; most obviously we lack talent. It’d be easy to turn the page on 2012, and check back in with the team in 12 months. But that’s not our style…we’re Cubs fans.
This thing we have for the Cubs, it’s an affliction. Only truly sick individuals would hope against hope, year after year, with unwarranted optimism for a dysfunctional franchise to rise to the pinnacle of the sport. When, I ask you, was the last time the Cubs were legitimately considered a front-runner AND they delivered even in the regular season? Probably only 2008 would qualify in the last 20 years…perhaps even since WWII. That year notwithstanding, the Cubs habitually underdeliver when they have a “good” team; and they rarely overdeliver with a crappy team.
It’s impossible for me to remember a time when I wasn’t devoted to the Cubs. Most of my summers were spent waiting for stupid United Airlines and Budweiser commercials to end so that WGN would get back to the Cubs game. I listened to Harry Caray a lot more than I listened to my parents. I remember being outraged as a little kid when Eric Show beaned Dawson in the face; I remember when Wild Thing got the last out in Montreal to clinch the division. My parents’ first date was at a Cubs game – I was
doomed destined to be a Cubs fan before I was born.
If you’re like me, it’s a LOT easier to recall the string of disappointments. The success is never enough, and the failure is always too much. Trading for Calvin Schiraldi, not locking up Maddux, watching Larry Himes gut the team of all talent, Mark Prior’s career after 2004, every second of Blake DeWitt in LF…I could go on, and there are plenty of you here that are older than me who probably have a list twice as long. It takes time to get jaded. My Dad is always the first in our family to write the Cubs off in a given year – he’s rarely wrong. As I get older I tend to write them off sooner; the real question is how long can they stay relevant. If you have hope at the All-Star Break, that’s a good year. And yet I can turn it off. The Cubs are pseudo-family – I couldn’t turn my back on them if they fielded a 25-man roster of Neifi Perez’s. They’d still be MY Cubs.
Surviving The Season
On their worst day I’d still rather follow the Cubs than any other team. Whether it’s sitting with my family through this game and staying until the bitter end no matter how many thunderstorms threatened to end it early; unmentionable abuse annually at Dodger Stadium – never worse than after NLDS Game 3 in 2008; watching Ryno retire in the middle of a terrible season…it seems like somehow the Cubs always manage to supply enough entertainment even when they’re bad, sometimes ESPECIALLY when they’re bad! It’s been that way my whole life…
What is it that keeps you watching? What is it that keeps you coming back to this repeatedly disappointing franchise?