No, it’s not the most important thing I’m thankful for…probably not even in the Top Ten. But I’m thankful for my Cubs; especially for what they’re not.

Thankful they don’t play home games in a war zone like Chavez Ravine. Thankful the franchise hasn’t become synonymous with the local laboratory co-operative owned and operated by a convicted felon. Thankful they’re not merely a cash poor feeder team with an emphasis on community pandering to stay occasionally competitive. Thankful their traditionally porous pitching staff doesn’t have to deal with Coors Field 81 times a year. Thankful Wrigley doesn’t need a roof to provide fans relief from 100 degree summer days of the Arizona desert…

…or the summer monsoons of Seattle. Thankful they’re not a Billy Beane experiment. Thankful they aren’t the Schaumburg Cubs of Chicago. Thankful their lineup cards aren’t casually dusted with cocaine. Thankful they aren’t so insignificant as to be shuffled between leagues while no one notices.

Thankful they aren’t the hated, free-spending whores in the Bronx. Thankful they aren’t owned by Peter Angelos. Thankful they didn’t trade half their roster to the Dodgers; or take on half the roster of the Marlins. Thankful Cub fans don’t need to be coerced to show up at the park…

…or that when they do, it’s not to a publicly financed stadium occupied by a team with zero financing. Thankful we didn’t just reduce our best player to a spectator, only to join him after defeat, left wondering ‘what if?’ Thankful we weren’t crippled by Bernie Madoff. Thankful the predominant cheer isn’t a ridiculous gesture that some have interpreted as racially insensitive. Thankful not to be affiliated with Philly in any way.

Thankful our fountains in the outfield aren’t more famous than the team. Thankful our heyday didn’t involve a womanizing CF who routinely jumped into outfield trashbags. Thankful not to be identified geographically as ‘the mistake by the lake.’ Thankful we didn’t nickname our stadium after a prison so the nightly attendance would feel more welcome. Thankful we don’t have a flamboyant and almost universally hated closer like Jose Valverde…

…or a former owner as incompetent, unlikable, and needlessly foul-mouthed as Allan Huber Selig. Thankful we’re not still employing Dusty Baker. Thankful Sister Sledge didn’t write our victory anthem. Thankful we didn’t have this conversation in jorts while cursing our beloved superstar of last year.

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