Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Real Winners in Chicago are the Cubs Fans 2.0 (Edited and Re-Cut version)

This year in America we've had a lot of firsts. We've had the first African-American nominee for president. We've had the first woman candidate for vice president. We've cheered as Michael Phelps won the most gold medals in an Olympic games. We've seen the Tampa Bay Rays snatch their first playoff berth. Among all that change, one thing remains consistent – the Chicago Cubs haven't won a World Series.

The Cubs have been out of the playoffs for what feels like a century. But wait, that's not even just a state of mind anymore. It's a reality.

It's been 100 years since the north side Chicago team won a pennant. The last time they set foot on a World Series field was in 1945. Needless to say, disappointment is a common feeling for a Cubs fan.

My experience as a transplanted Cubs fan who is coping with this year’s embarrassing shutout against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS is a bit different since I was in Washington D.C. during the playoffs. I can only assume that most North Side residents' heads hang low and jaws are still dropped. Harry Caray would be ashamed.

So they lost. They lose every year. And, they have for a 100 years. I hate to say it Chicago, but I think you secretly love it.

Take a minute and think about it. If the Cubs ever won a World Series, what in God's name would you do with yourself? You would probably say something along the lines of, "Good! I can die happy now." You'd parade around the streets of Chicago bragging to every White Sox fan you saw or you’d high-five any Cubs fan you ran into. From October to next April, you would wear your pin stripe jersey with pride because you have a World Series Champions patch stitched into the sleeve. You would smile and say, “All my dreams have come true." But ... then what?

Your expectations are set by the win. Greed would consume you. One successful trip to the fall classic and you’d want more and that’s because -- as the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees have shown -- just one World Series championship is ever enough.

It would be a shame to see such passionate fans go from bleeding Cubby bear blue to turning green from greed. That's not what Cubs baseball is about.

Face it, there are no other sports teams in all of America that have the same passion for their team. Cubs fans are a rare and special breed. Red Sox fans claim that they understand, but they don't. The Yankees, whose past is as deeply rooted in history as the Cubs club, are winners and the Cubs are not. But that’s just it. That’s Cubs baseball.

Losses don’t define the Cubs. They stand for more than that. They are the heart and soul of a huge harem of people from Chicago. Consider yourself lucky Cubs fans, you have the only good story left in baseball that continues to be told and isn't finished yet.

Think of it this way -- as long as there's baseball in this country the Cubs will always be on top -- not because of World Series wins, but because of their fans and their love for the game and team. The Cubs created the history, but the fans created the legacy.

So, to all the Cubs fans out there...'til next year.

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