Spring has arrived, and the new baseball season is underway with the Chicago Cubs leading the National League’s Central Division. I have been a Cubs fan since about 1963, when my former favorite team, the Chicago White Sox, traded my favorite player, Nellie Fox, to the Houston Colt 45’s. Everyone knows the Cubs hold the record for championship futility, having not won one since 1908. They haven’t even been to the inappropriately named World Series in my lifetime.
I can’t explain why I have been looking at Cubs box scores and watching them on TV when I get the opportunity for the past 50+ years. My wife seems to have just accepted that her husband is usually sane, but occasionally not, as I express joy or frustration depending on the outcome of a given game. You know you have married well when your spouse at least makes the attempt to console or congratulate you based on the day’s results.
My goal is to actually watch a live Cubs game at Wrigley Field before too long or before it’s too late. I have seen the Cubs lose in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen them win in person. Given that they are off to one of their best starts in team history, perhaps I should stay away.
Baseball is all about blind faith and superstition, as opposed to rationality and reason.
The Cubs are sometimes referred to as the “lovable losers,” a title that attempts to explain their large number of fans despite their lack of championships. I’ve always hated the name because they’ve actually had some great players and teams over the years. Fate just seems to have conspired to keep them out of the Series. This year is going to be different.
I predict the Chicago Cubs will win their division championship, the National League pennant, and the World Series. While I’m sure I’m right, I fear the potential consequences. Could a Cubs victory coincide with the end of civilization as we know it? Will the presidency be decided by a Cubs win? Anything could happen, but I believe the risk is worth it.
Hope is a powerful force and, in the case of the Cubs, a real money maker. People like me keep watching and paying to attend games, hoping this will be the year when things change. But even optimists need occasional validation. A Cubs win probably won’t change the world, any more than the Boston Red Sox finally beating the “curse of the Bambino” did a few years ago. I guess I don’t care. I will just be glad to see the Cubs win the World Series in my lifetime, and my only regret is that Cubs great Ernie Banks isn’t alive to enjoy it, too.
My guess is that some misguided soul could construe my thoughts on the Cubs as advocacy and turn me into the state Elections Division for using City resources to demonstrate my partisanship. I would remind whatever Yankees or Cardinals fans who might be tempted to do so that the law only applies to issues scheduled to be on a ballot. Baseball is, or should be, one of the few safe subjects where I can show my biases without fear. As the song says, “Win Cubs Win.”