The temperature struggles to hit 40 degrees and a blanket of cold rain smothers the Midwest. It must be opening day for Major League Baseball. I am a Cubs fan. I root for the team that has now gone 100 years without winning the World Series. I’m the type of Cubs fan that is optimistic about an upcoming season, but before the ivy has turned green and the first pitch has even been thrown out, I have already prepared myself for a disastrous outcome.
I’ve seen teams fall apart. I’ve seen teams under-achieve in monumental ways. I’ve also seen teams over-achieve, only to have my hopes dashed in scenarios that are of biblical proportion. It’s all character building and probably makes up a good portion of who I am today.
For some reason, when I was 6 or 7 years old, I looked at the unforgiving pain inflicted upon family members and friends by the Loveable Losers from the North Side and decided I wanted to continue that pain for another generation. I will encourage my children to embrace this history, too. It is their duty.
I am now 30 years old and they appear to be no closer to a World Series ring now than they were 30 years ago. It used to seem like a ridiculous notion that I would not see the Cubs win a World Series in my lifetime. It is becoming a reality.
But there is safety in losing. Since this losing, and usually it’s in a painful manner, has become part of who I am, it almost feels unnatural when the Cubs win. I thought they had a chance to make it to the World Series last year, and while I was excited to see my team have a chance to win it all, it just didn’t feel right. Don’t get me wrong, I want to see the Cubs win. I just feel a little bit safer when they lose. It’s almost like the universe is in sync when the Cubs lose.
If they won, people who used to make fun of the Cubs, and me for following them, would wear cubbie blue and celebrate a championship. These are the people that jump on any bandwagon, and a historic bandwagon would be the ultimate. I don’t want to see those people wear Cubs hats or even talk about the Cubs in a positive manner. These are my Cubs. We lose and that makes us the ultimate non-fairweather fans. We are optimists that love our team. We root for them to win, but at least in my case, I feel safe with each loss, as long as that loss is painful.