- 1 year ago
Eight Years Later: A Crossroads
On this day eight years ago, a perfect storm of events changed the life of one unlucky Cubs fan and further perpetuated the losing mentality that has plagued Chicago’s north side for over a century.
I, myself, am at fault for allowing complacency and acceptance of defeat to inhabit my mind and deflate my spirit. A lifelong Cubs fan and pessimist, I am uncharacteristically pleading for those of you who bleed Cubbie blue to help remove the stigma attached to the longest-suffering franchise in sports.
Let today, the 8th anniversary of game 6 of the 2003 NLCS, be a crossroads.
While the Cubs usher in a determined, experienced general manager and attempt to turn the page on a century’s worth of anguish and futility, fans of the “lovable losers” should seize this metamorphic phase and alter their perceptions.
Sure. It’s been 103 years since the northsiders have won the Fall Classic. Realistically, you and I could be well removed from this earth when—and if—the Cubs finally bring a World Series trophy to the Windy City.
At the same time, Cubs fans, no matter the age or level of fandom, possess two things: faith and doubt.
The aforementioned items often go hand in hand with reason; however, it seems that Cubs fans often lack sensible reasoning. Instead, they demonstrate two extremes:
- An unwavering faith and belief in their ball club. Year after year, no matter what the circumstances, thousands of fans continue to fill the friendly confines and support the Cubs.
- An unshakable and deeply rooted doubt that things will change. Don’t lie. When Bartman touched the infamous foul ball in 2003, the thought crossed your mind. Oh no. Not again. You had seen it happen before, be it in 1969 or 1984. Admittedly or not, the Curse of the Billy Goat weighs on the minds of Cubs fans and is often used as an all-too-convenient crutch.
The Rickett’s family can pump millions of dollars into the organization, Theo Epstein can assemble the best front office in baseball and the Cubs’ farm system can reign supreme, but the Cubbies will never cast aside the 103-year old shadow unless fans make a conscious effort to change their thinking.
Shed the losing mentality by dismissing the “lovable losers” moniker. You might love watching them and they may not win many games, but disassociating the Cubs from failure is vital in writing a new, more successful chapter of Chicago sports history.
And instead of aimlessly throwing support behind the team, use an adapted form of Bill James’ theory of sabermetrics. You may as well familiarize yourself with it because Epstein will be implementing the methodology in the north side for at least the next five years.
Analytically, the rebuilding process that the Cubs are undergoing is one that will take some time. High expectations in Chicago should be reserved for the Bulls and Blackhawks. Be realistic. No team whose starting second basemen is best known for being a lovable purple dinosaur will be making noise in October any time soon.
But don’t let that discourage you. It is an exciting time to be a Cubs fan.
At long last, it appears that ownership and management are dedicated to making changes and moving towards assembling a competitive and competent ball club.
Keep having faith in your Cubbies. Just focus less on curses and losses and who made what mistake.
Instead, focus on the progress the team is making and that those positive strides will eventually allow the ‘W flag’ to fly proudly and often.
GO CUBS GO!
- 2 years ago
- 2 years ago
- 2 years ago
- 3 years ago