Life As a Fan of the Game of Baseball… but also the Chicago Cubs

Life as a Cubs fan is actually pretty great. I’m twenty-nine and haven’t at any point in my life (except briefly in 2003, before the infamous Bartman incident — I’m linking, but if you don’t know of that which I reference, you’re not a baseball fan and can probably stop reading here) had any realistic hopes of the Cubs ever reaching, much less winning the World Series. As as interesting aside, my freshman roommate, fraternity brother and still a mate on the top of my “when I need a friend, I go to” list is a Red Sox fan, and 2003 was both our freshman year and the Aaron Boone incident. so basically both our hopes were crushed in the span of a few days. Makes for a life-long friendship at least. And, of course, next year I got to experience the miracle in 2004 and celebrate with him in the heart of New England.

But the cool thing about being a Cubs fan is that you just get used to not giving a shit. My heart rhythm would terrify any trained cardiologist during any Arsenal, USMNT, Packers match, but watching the Cubs is like sitting on the beach watching the waves roll past. There’s no investment in the outcome; you can just enjoy the quality of play, regardless of the team. The Cubs are probably already eliminated from the Division title or even Wild Card status, so it’s just about the game. There’s a reason why Wrigley is often referred to as the largest beer garden in the world.

There’s no better way to spend a summer afternoon knocking back Old Styles in the bleachers. It’s a cliché, true, but it’s as essential to summer as fireworks on the Fourth. But as a Cubs fan, you go to Wrigley or the Cubbybear less for the game (since the game doesn’t matter) than for the camaraderie. *Being* a “Cubs fan” matters more than being a Cubs fan. Most people think of Ferris Bueller or Bill Murray when they hear “Chicago Cubs.” Few my age probably think about Ernie Banks or even know who Hack Wilson was.

That doesn’t mean we don’t care about the franchise. We do. Deeply. If the Cubs reach the World Series in my lifetime, I’ll sell my car, donate blood, do whatever it takes to ensure that my ass is at Wrigley Field for every game. It just means (and perhaps this is a shoutout to the Ricketts organization, Theo Epstein, et al) that we don’t expect anything from the Cubs, baseball-wise. What should bother me, but disturbingly doesn’t, is that said fact doesn’t bother me. I’ve never had any expectations for the Cubs. I think of Wrigley not as a place where my hopes dream or die, but as a place where hopes don’t even factor into the equation.

I guess, in one sense, that’s liberating. I can watch Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter as a completely neutral observer. I can watch Miguel Cabrera, Yasiel Puíg, Masahiro Tanaka and just enjoy their greatness. I can’t say the same about a Tottenham-Liverpool match, for instance, or a Ghana-Germany match, much less a Gareth Bale goal. What does that say about the Cubs?


~ by Benji on 19 June 2014.

2 Responses to “Life As a Fan of the Game of Baseball… but also the Chicago Cubs”

  1. I wouldn’t count them out of the Wild Card just yet.


  2. I can’t imagine what that feeling is like coming from Boston myself, where every loss is is cause for criticism and scorn. I am also a huge Arsenal, (check out my Arsenal blog and as you say, each match could produce a heart-attack. I really hope Theo starts bringing you guys more success. What he did for the Red Sox changed the outlook of the entire city.


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