By Brad Spencer
Don't you want to protest something? Don't you want to march up Clark Street with vile spewing from your inner soul? Don't you want to lie down and pretend to be dead on a dirty street in Chicago — at the corner of say Waveland and Sheffield? Don't you want to scuffle with police in riot gear? (Well, you may have trouble drawing the police into this confrontation. It's doubtful any uniformed officers would show up, considering the mayor's now sullied relationship with the Ricketts family.) But nevertheless, don't you want to stop the throbbing pain in your gut, the fierce frustrating force on your chest, the guttural death grip around your larynx?
Then, stop being a Cubs fan.
That's insane, sacrilegious! Them are fightin' words! Take that back before I take off my shirt and spill my Old Style on you! Cubbunites, circle the wagons (not the beer wagons. We'll need those for the celebration), we're about to have us an ol' fashioned scrap with derision.
They think us buffoons, clowns, drunks who don't give a damn about baseball or winning. But not only are they wrong, they are envious of our mortality. While not contentedly, we have died without the pleasure of a World Series Championship and for those of us presently among the living, we are prepared to die without the pleasure of a World Series Championship. Make no mistake, we want to win and we don't like to lose. But we will not relent! We will see a Cubs World Series title in this life or the next!
Why, why put yourself through such misery when life is so short and so is a drive to St. Louis or Milwaukee or the South Side of Chicago, for that matter — if you just want to boost your winning percentage by over 100 or so points?
Are you asking why do we stick with the favorite ballclub we have grown up idolizing?
Loyalty. It's not blind faith, buddy, or false belief. It's the idea that there's always a chance that eternal bliss awaits. Once it arrives, and it will — either on earth or on a floating space stadium in a far off galaxy — we shall be redeemed. For lack of a better term, the meek shall inherit the glory, all the glory.
But how do you put up with them being so lousy?
Well, we don't blame NATO or chock it up to just another rebuilding year. And it ain't Global Warming, curses by goats, The Friendly Confinement that is Wrigley or voodoo economics. It's not afternoon games in the sweltering summer heat or a bespectacled young man reaching for a foul ball.
You only want to believe we blame such trivial things. Perhaps you once suffered amongst us and now it makes you feel better about your own betrayal. But the truth of the matter is — and this may come as a shock to some — when the Cubs stink — as they do presently — we blame the players, the coaches, the executives and the owners. We hold them accountable. We seethe — trust me — we seethe with such ferocity our farmer's tans are no longer farmer's tans.
So even though the wounds aren't healing and infection is soon to settle in, still, deep down in the cavern of our battered hearts, we believe there will be some sort of a splendid resolution, a glorious finale, to being a Cubs fan.
And that is how we carry on, and that is how we survive.
Answer Book 2018
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