“Now look-a-here, fella. You got that eye wide open. An’ ya dirty, ya stink. Ya jus’ askin’ for it. Ya like it. Lets ya feel sorry for yaself. ‘Course ya can’t get no woman with that empty eye flappin’ aroun’. Put somepin over it an’ wash ya face.” Tom Joad, The Grapes of Wrath
Admit it, Cubs fans, we don’t really want this team to win. Cheering for a team that hasn’t won in over a century is a Cubbie-blue badge of courage that each and every one of us wears with pride . . . or abject humiliation of which we are proud. Deep down, we hope a World Series win will never force us to lose the emblem of our misery.
If the Cubs were to win it all, it would destroy our brand. That stupid, pennant-laden trophy would rob us of our most valuable and most pathetic commodity: our wounded puppy look. As long as we have donned the ubs-encircling C, we have known that nothing is expected of us. Some feel sorry for us. Others despise us. But whatever the reaction to our miserable appearance, no one ever thinks, “There’s a person just trying to be happy.”
That has to change, Cubs fans. We have to stop the whining, moaning, and woe-is-me-ing. We also have to stop the tidal wave of unwarranted optimism otherwise known as denial. The loyalty. They true-blue die-hardism. The foulweather fandom. It’s all a mask for our subconscious need to self-destruct. If we really want to be happy, we’ve gotta clean up and embrace real hope and genuine opportunity.
We’ve gotta cheer for someone with a chance. Yankees. Red Sox. Rays. Cardinals.
Wait, wait, wait. I’m kidding. I’m obviously kidding. I can’t take it any longer. This has been the worst week of my Cub blogging life. I mean, I’m used to writing crap, but it’s usually not this intentional. I know Cubs fans aren’t to blame for the team losing (though we do plenty that simply doesn’t help matters). I just wondered how fans would feel to be the butt of ridiculous criticism.
We call perennial All-Stars bums. We call future Hall-of-Fame managers idiots. We demand the firing of the most successful general manager in the team’s history on a daily basis. We wonder why the new owners haven’t won a World Series three month’s into their first season at the helm. I get it, the Cubs are losing, and not all their decisions have worked out or even made any sense. I just don’t comprehend the hubris.
I don’t care what the Disney movies taught you about dreaming big and believing in yourself, you would not do better at third than Aramis Ramirez. You wouldn’t be a better manager than Lou Piniella. You probably couldn’t hire a better GM than Jim Hendry let alone do a better job at it than he has.
Meh. Everyone’s entitled to their opinions, but most of them are better kept private, especially when they have very little basis in fact, logic, and at least a tiny sliver of compassion.