Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Looting, shooting and polluting: Or why Cubs fans should root for them to lose

chicago cubs jose cardenal photo: cubs - jose cardenal - 1970 - baseball card josecardenal.jpg
There are two very good reasons that true Cub fans (I'm not talking about the bandwagon Johnny-come-lately variety who call themselves Cubs Nation) are actually rooting for the Cubs to lose against the Cleveland Indians in the 2016 World Series.  The first, most obvious and immediate reason is because that a Cubs win (in a city that has so much gun violence that it has been dubbed "Chiraq" by Hollywood film maker Spike Lee) means death and destruction.  Plain and simple.  Shots will be fired, windows will be broken, people will get mugged, cats and dogs will be having nonconsensual sex in the streets.  Which is all pretty typical for a autumn night in Chicago, but all these atrocities will be exacerbated (big word, I know - I had to google it) to an alarming and dangerous degree.

The second reason, and less obvious reason, is that a large part of the charm and appeal of the Cubs has been the "lovable loser" archetype they represent. Cubs and especially Cubs fans are unique. They have been loyal to their club for over 100 years despite the losing seasons, despite the groundballs between the legs of tall goat-teed first basemen, despite the interference of the Bartmans, despite the curses of goats, and despite the predictable late season collapses that have earned them the acronym Completely Useless By September.  And the result has been that baseball has taken on a meaning of something greater than just winning or losing on the North side of Chicago.  No, on the North side baseball is about the experience. Its about the fun and the life and humanity. Its about Jose Cardenal tipping his toe on home plate as he scores a run -as if he is an old woman testing the temperature of a hot bath. Its about Ernie Bank's enthusiasm for playing two in the middle of the long hot, dog days of August. Its about a beer-stenched, speech slurring Harry Carry singing Happy Birthday to Bill Buckner's mustache in a vain attempt to keep a rally alive. 

And all of that changes if the Cubs win.  All of it.

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