“I can’t quit you, baby
So I’m gonna put you down for a while
I said I can’t quit you, baby
I guess I gotta put you down for a while”
It’s unlikely, but a few loyal View From the Bleachers readers may have noticed that I haven’t been around these parts too much this season. As it turned out, just as the season was beginning, I was handed one of those “life changing events” (in this case, changing jobs and moving 1000 miles back to the Midwest from Philadelphia) and had to put the Cubs down for a while.
My break from the Cubs came at a time that could be described as a perfect storm: the Cubs were spiraling downward from a miserable season into what may end up being an historically bad season and I moved to a city (Milwaukee) where I didn’t know a soul…and not a soul knew that I was a Cubs fan. If ever there was a time to simply wash my hands of the frustration and heartache and walk away, this was it.
“I said I can’t quit you, baby”
It would have been easy. There’s no chance my cover would have been blown. I could have claimed to be a Yankees fan. I’ve been driving my wife’s car since arriving in town…my wife’s car with a giant Yankees sticker in the back window…I could have easily said it was mine. I’ve got pictures of me, in a Yankees hat at Yankee Stadium as they won their 27th championship. Who would think I wasn’t a Yankees fan?
Having lived in Philadelphia for the past six years, it would have been simple to proclaim myself a phan of the Phillies. I mean I was there when they won the World Series…how could I not have gotten swept up in the hoopla? All I would have needed to do was grow a little Utley soul patch and say a few derogatory things about ol’ Chawley Manuel. An easy sell indeed.
Of course, I could have gone the super easy route and bought myself a new wardrobe of blue and yellow, grown myself a handlebar mustache and professed my undying love of the Brewers. No one would have ever noticed and perhaps I’d even make a few new friends standing around a charcoal grill in the Yount Lot at Miller Park.
“Said you know I love you, baby
My love for you I could never hide”
Yep, I could have run and hidden from our shared tortured past and no one would have been the wiser. I could have been a free agent with an opportunity to choose a baseball happiness that I may never get to experience otherwise.
So you know what I did?
One week after I moved to Milwaukee I fought through rush hour traffic to get to Wrigley Field for the first time in seven years. My knees nearly buckled from excitement and I got goosebumps as I walked through the gates, just like the first time I visited the Friendly Confines 20 years earlier.
The next day, intoxicated by the fact that I could get to Wrigley on a whim, I signed up for the Season Ticket Waiting List…where I currently reside in slot number 151,743. Yes, we Cubs fans are far from being alone in our sickness.
Two weeks later, I attended my first game at Miller Park, by myself, dressed in my Cubbies best saying things like “Hey, this is my first trip to Wrigley North…is it nice inside?” to hecklers as they passed by.
And then last night. Oh, last night. I promised myself I wouldn’t do it, but I caved…I allowed myself to once again get caught up in a sense of overwhelming, unsubstantiated optimism about the future.
Look, it’s our young, potential future superstar shortstop talking about “winning his ring” with the Cubs.
And what’s that? Oh, that’s our latest can’t miss prospect – who no less than 6 hours earlier I was already preparing to label a bust – there he is going 2 for 4 and driving in the game winning run in his first game as a Northsider.
How could I have given this up? Being a Cubs fan is so much fun!
Just wait until next year…
“Oh, when you hear me moaning and groaning, baby
You know it hurts me deep down inside
Oh, when you hear me, honey baby
You know you’re my one desire”