Friday, September 26, 2008

Rent-A-Fan: Cubs Loyalists, For One Month I Am With You

From The Sports Desk…

“Don’t let anyone say that it’s just a game.”
Eddie Vedder

Since my pathetic Seattle Mariners have been out of contention since about the third week of the 2008 season (they may have negative wins at this point, I stopped reading about them in June.) I have not paid as close attention to baseball as I usually do this summer.

The M’s have a bloated, underachieving roster that is peppered with bums who hit well before the Mitchell Report. When “The Juice” stopped flowing, so did dingers and RBI’s.

But come on, it’s the baseball playoffs, of course I’m going to watch. Jack Bauer doesn’t return until November and the Seahawks are only on once a week, what the hell else am I gonna do?

So. I have made a decision. A borderline fan violation. For the 2008 MLB Playoffs, I am kind-of-pulling for the Chicago Cubs. That’s right Windy City residents! For the month of October I am sort-of-hoping you will win the World Series!

Notice I said “pulling” for them. Not rooting for the Cubbies. That is a self-created loophole to help me justify this. The fact they are in the National League was the only way I could pull the trigger on this momentous decision. The AL? I hope they all get syphilis.

Ernie Banks.jpg
I have no real ties to Chicago. Never stepped foot out of O’Hare. Had a layover once. However, I admire your city a great deal. The working class mentality. Great architecture. Chicago blues. Stories of Al Capone and Elliot Ness. I still miss Sweet Lou Piniella chucking bases around the Safeco infield, he’s a great manager. There is a respect for a great sports town. Love Ernie Banks. Walter Payton was a childhood idol of mine. Still love Sweetness, bless his soul.

Wrigley Field is a marvel. I like the traditions you guys have. “Throw it back! Throw it back!” Chicago residents know how to be fans. They’re educated and loyal. Loyal to almost a fault.

The Cubs last championship? (Cubs Fans: You may want to skip this paragraph. Just scroll down. It’s okay.) That would be 1908. Stop counting on your fingers, that’s a hundred freaking years. Since then there have been collapses and curses. That damn billy goat! The Cliff Notes version of the Curse of the Billy Goat goes like this; Billy Sianis, owner of the local Billy Goat Tavern, bought two seats for Game 4 of the 1945 World Series. One for him. One for a bloody goat. Billy and the goat (see what I did there?) were admitted into Wrigley. But when the stink of the goat kicked up, complaints began to be filed and Billy and the goat were given the heave ho. Billy then somehow channeled evil spirits of Beelzebub and “cursed” the Cubbies. The Cubs lost the Series and Billy wrote to team owner Philip Wrigley from Greece, “who stinks now?” There has been a curse hanging over the stadium ever since.

(Cubs Fans: Maybe skip one more paragraph.) My personal theory is that Billy may have used the possession of a pet goat to his advantage. Perhaps the beast was used to summon the goat demon Baphomet. Entirely possible.

(Cubs Fans: Welcome back.)

Another reason I am justifying a little Cubs support is my loyalty to Chicago native Eddie Vedder. I know he wants them to win more than anything. Ed has been an outspoken fan since his youth. In fact, Ed just composed and performed a song just for Cubs fans. It’s great.

Sing it, Eddie.

A Cubs victory would be good for baseball. Good for history. Well, American history anyway. If I have to watch a World Series with the Tampa Bay verses Milwaukee I’ll lose it. No way I could watch more than two games before shutting off the telly and picking up my book. Give us Chicago/Boston. Or Chicago/Los Angeles. At least that’s interesting and watchable.

Chicago, we need to rid your great city of curses once and for all. Personally, I don’t see how blowing up the “Bartman Ball” and then serving the remains in pasta sauce didn’t work. If that was ineffective, man, what do you do? That should have guaranteed at least one ring. They blew the damn thing up and ate it. It should of worked. Science.

Admittedly, I am going to be really apathetic through all this. Really half-assin’ the whole thing. May even fast-forward through an inning or three. I won’t be pacing the floor in the bottom of the ninth or stewing after a loss. But I’m kind-of hoping this goes well for you.

Don’t sneer at my the power of my fanship, Cubbies. Don’t take it for granted. You should be excited. You are bringing aboard – on short term loan – a fan that witnessed a Supersonic championship at three years of age. Almost remember that. I was a cog in the machine that led to a Washington Husky national title in 1991. Sure, they crapped the bed for years after that, but I was there when we won.

It’s true Seattle teams were upset by the Nuggets when they had the best record in the NBA and pissed away a 116 game winning season and got blown out by Michael Jordan in an NBA Finals and lost in a recent Super Bowl, but I was integral to those near achievements.

Certainly, I can’t make things any worse.

Let’s go Cubs. I guess…


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