In the coming weeks if you pay attention at all to baseball you will be bombarded with tales of the Cubs’ “curse.” This curse is stupid, and entirely the creation of sportswriters who really should have to write something original to get paid but instead trot out this nonsense every year. Like the Red Sox were prior to their World Series win, the Cubs have been defined by failure and this curse that seemed to follow their every season. Unlike the Red Sox, I have never met a Cubs fan that really believes in the curse.
This doesn’t mean that any of us are optimists. We aren’t. I firmly believe that the Cubs will blow this, as they have so many times before (but believe me I would LOVE TO BE PROVEN WRONG GUYS). But I don’t believe it because of a goat or whatever crap ESPN and Fox and whomever is going to trot out until we are knocked out. These are the same networks and writers who portray Cubs fans as know-nothings who just come to the games to get drunk and don’t care about or know anything about what is happening on the field. They are lazy writers in other words because Cubs fans are obsessive and crazy and spend a lot of time worrying about Kerry Wood’s pitching motion (yes, even now). There are countless Cub blogs and podcasts and message boards. There are people like me (and my grandpa) who have watched the team since they were little kids but have never been to Wrigley. Baseball is a game about history and emotion and feeling connected to a community. I love the Cubs because I remember watching them in the afternoons with my Grandpa. And having a crush on Mark Grace. That is my only reason. I have never lived in Chicago (I grew up in Iowa though so what were my choices—the White Sox? SHUDDER). But I feel that connection. It is literally the only thing I have in common with my grandfather or cousin at all. So I watch them. And obsess. And silently acknowledge that they will probably lose.
But I think the fans of the Cubs deserve more than the crap on ESPN about how baseball needs the Cubs to lose because you can’t create that kind of futility overnight (sure you can, it’s called the Nationals). They deserve more than whatever crappy goat graphic TBS is going to trot out through every game (though how thrilled am I that the National League isn’t on Fox? SO THRILLED). Broadcasters and sportswriters should just cave and learn the sports that they are working with (this is a little unfair because some of these guys are talented and manage great articles about other teams so MAYBE they are bullied by their employers for this crap but if you can write something interesting about the Royals than maybe you can come up with something about the Cubs that doesn’t mention their last World Series?). As annoying as the curse talk was during the Red Sox run at least their fans believed in it. They were more obsessed with it than their team. They reveled in that, gloried in it, and some of them seem a little psychotic now without it. But Cubs fans really aren’t like that. So leave us alone.
Let us blow it in peace.