I believe in the Cubs. The lovable losers from the North Side, believe it or not, are my heroes. In fact, I have actually come to admire the only team in Major League history to go 98 years without a World Series championship, because they possess so many of the qualities that I admire most.
The Cubs never give up. Even when they are pushed down, then stomped on, then crushed into the bottom of the National League, the Cubs and their fans stick with it and fight until the end. Year after year, a ridiculous sense of optimism surrounds the seemingly eternally doomed Cubbies. When most teams would put their heads in a paper bag and dismiss the season as a lost cause, the Cubs and their die-hard fans hold out hope for the kind of miracle that would turn things around. Anyone with that kind of grit deserves my respect.
Similarly, I love the tradition of the Cubs. Walking into Wrigley Field is like traveling into the past. It’s like stepping back to a time when people actually added up the score in their head from big manual scoreboard. Or like going back to when ivy, not advertisements, covered the outfield walls, and night games were considered ridiculous. The atmosphere of a Cubs game is like going to a circus where everyone is entertained and happy, even if the people they are watching are making fools of themselves.
My favorite thing about the Cubs, however, is that once in a blue moon season when the Cubs are in a pennant chase. A game at Wrigley Field with the Cubs on the verge of the playoffs simply cannot be matched. It’s almost magical to feel the excitement in the air as you step inside those hallowed walls. That kind of season seems to be a culmination of nearly one hundred years of hoping and dreaming; it is almost as if all the heartbreak and misfortune of the entire franchise is forgotten as the thought of the one magical season consumes the fans. There is nothing quite like it.
It would be easy for Cub fans to give up, or leave, but I admire the team and the fans for staying with it, in hope of the one season when 98 years of pain is washed away.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.