This post was orginally published October 9, 2009 on another site:
Yes! It’s true. I am a Chicago Cubs fan. This is the one team of all sports that I have always followed in good and not so good years. In football, I have migrated from Dallas to Green Bay to Indianapolis. I followed each of these teams because of a certain player. Who knows where I will land when Peyton Manning retires from the game. I love college football and enjoy watching many teams on Saturday, especially SEC teams. The College basketball season is very similar. However, this year looks very good for my Kentucky Wildcats. I stopped watching the NBA years ago and have no plans to return any time soon. Yet, through it all, I have always been a huge Chicago Cubs fan. I credit this to the availability of WGN television. The only thing better than watching an afternoon Cubs’ game on WGN is actually being at Wrigley Field for an afternoon Cubs’ game. I am thankful I have been able to cross ‘Game at Wrigley Field’ off the bucket list. Even with all the joys, there are always many heartaches that come along with being a Chicago Cubs fan. We begin every season with ‘This is our year’ and usually end the season with ‘Next year starts now.’ Win or lose, we always stick with our team. This year is over for the Cubs. We have been eliminated and are not be playing in the post-season. However the last game of the year looked just like the first game of the year. The camera panned around the stadium and the seats were filled with Cubs fans. Each fan looking for the ‘W’ to be raised at the end and listening for our theme song “Go Cubs Go.” Again this year, the Chicago Cubs surpassed 3 million in attendance. One of only 5 teams who have reached this milestone in each of the last six seasons. Next year appears to be very promising for the Cubs. Many of our star players will return next year to take the field looking to become champions. We witnessed many of our young guys come into their own toward the end of the season. Once again, we will enter the season with the third largest payroll ($135,000.000+) just behind the Yankees/Mets and right before Boston/Detroit. There is also excitement about the new ownership. On paper, the Cubs have everything needed to win the World Series. This should be our year. We will start the season that way and keep believing it until shown otherwise. Nothing should stand in our way.
But wait, we are the team of the curse (or should I say curses). Let me remind you of a few of them. The birth of the curse came in 1945 when tavern owner Billy Sianis was asked to leave a World Series game because his pet goat’s odor was disturbing fans. He was highly upset and in so many words pronounced a curse on the Cubs. The Cubs to this day have never returned to the World Series. Even in great years, the Cubs have always seemed to live under the curse. The 1969 Cubs included Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins. This was going to be the year that the Cubs would break the curse and enter the Promised Land. Then, It happened. The Cubs were playing at Shea Stadium when a black cat found its way into the Cubs dugout. You know the rest of the story. The Cubs lost the game, their lead in the Division, and a trip to the World Series. Fast forward to the recent past. The Cubs were winning behind the pitching of Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, and Carlos Zambrano. Then, It happened. The Cubs had the lead with a win and a trip to the World Series in their sites. A long fly ball was hit and Moses Alou was positioned to make the catch when a Cubs fan reached out and caught the ball instead of Alou. The Cubs ultimately lost the game and once again a trip to the Series.
So, here we are: “Next year starts NOW!” We will make great off-season decisions. Spring training will begin with much promise. The season will have its ups and downs. As each Cubs fan across the country watches the playoffs going on now and prepares for the World Series, we will be watching other teams but in our hearts we will be dreaming of next year. Let’s hear it: “Go Cubs Go! Hey Chicago what do you say? The Cubs are gonna win today!”