Saturday, November 08, 2008

On Being a Cubs Fan

On Being a Cubs Fan

Many question the logic and sanity of Cubs fans because the team hasn’t won in 100 years. This is absurd. Each season stands alone and if there can be only one champion each year then why don’t the other 27 team’s fans abandon them in the off season as they would have Cubs fans? They claim it’s because their team might win, so might the Cubs, they claim it’s because their team has won before…so what? Each season is new. They claim it’s because they’re loyal, but no fan can possible claim more loyalty than a Cub fan.

It’s not about winning or losing. It’s much bigger than that. Some have called it an addiction and my friend has a co-worker/cub fan that thinks a twelve step program is in order but that’s nonsense. It’s always been about hope, and longing. The pain and suffering of every cub fan insures the hopeful spirit of optimism that is needed to get through the tough Chicago winter. Having fought the good fight each summer and usually having to lament “wait ‘til next year”, keeps us warmer than that quick-to-burn-out-fire that is the joy of a championship. As soon as a team wins the first thing everyone wants to know is “can they repeat?” Followed shortly by I wonder who they’ll loose in the off-season. For a Cubs fan all this gnashing of teeth is unnecessary. We don’t have to worry if they’ll repeat, they usually do! We know there will be bone-headed trades in the off-season, there always are! It’s not about pain, or suffering, or futility. It’s about realism! The world is hard. Not many get to enjoy “champion” status. But everyone can appreciate the journeyman-like attitude of the Cubs and their fans. They’ll be there, year in and year out, some years better than others, some years more painful than others but always there, always plugging away. Not for the glory, but for the game. Always to compete because it’s who we are. It’s who Chicagoans are. It’s why the cubs have the most loyal following across the country as evidenced by the attendance numbers not only at Wrigley, but at stadiums throughout the league.

Cubs fans increase attendance at even the worst team’s home games and it is few indeed the number of teams that can claim better home attendance numbers than the Cubs, especially when taking into account the smallish size of Wrigley Field. And speaking of Wrigley, I’ve cheered the Cubs at 6 different major-league parks and as for me, none of the stadiums, though newer or larger, can compare with the atmosphere of a Wrigley day-game. Especially in the bleachers on a sunny summer day.

In short, I love the Cubs, not in spite of their record, because of it. Win or lose the team plays, the fans cheer (and sometimes boo) and Ron Santo will always wear his emotions on his radio sleeve living and dying with each pitch.

Cubs fans don’t begrudge fans of other teams their loyalties, our dislike of even the Cardinals rises only to the point of simple loathing. How could…why would… anyone hate the Cubs or hate me because I am a Cubs fan?

The flaw in logic is not mine.

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