Wait until next year

Another year is wasted. T-shirts with beer stains and tears permanently on them are now tucked away in dressers; hats are place neatly on bedroom racks, and bank accounts of many Wrigleyville residents are showing signs of normalcy — well, at least mine is. Yes, the Chicago Cubs 2008 season is over with…and man did I fight the keyboard to type that sentence.

Last Friday

I was on my way to a writing conference, after the second consecutive loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Just about every darn corner I passed, I looked at newspaper racks with the front page in the biggest letters possible, “Chicago Flubs.” What exactly is a flub? I clearly know the word choke or the phrase can’t hack it, but flub, come on. How much more spin can Cubs fans take year after year by Chicago and national sports writers claiming the Chicago Cubs are truly cursed. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS CURSES! Next year’s story, White Sox fan brought a Derek Lee voodoo doll into Wrigley. Give me a break.

The Cubs accomplished the best home record in the National League this year, and people are wondering why they couldn’t win one of the first two home games in the National League Divisional Series. I’ve got a pretty clear cut answer for you, too much pressure at home. I’m not one to make excuses, but let’s be honest — 100-year World Series Championship drought on the line embedded in the players mind by broadcasters, news and sports anchors, writers, and White Sox fans. The only way I got myself through game three, and believe me I don’t miss a game, was to mute the television and listen to WGN Radio with Pat Hughes and Ron Santo. Don’t get me wrong the broadcasters TBS graced us with are credible; you can argue Tony Gwynn is one of the best hitters of all time, but do I want to listen to nine innings of my team’s 100 year drought — no.

Next year
In a sad and sick way, I am glad the 100-year anniversary is over. Obviously the season didn’t turn out the way Cubs fans wanted it to. Maybe, just maybe people excluding the southsider’s, they’ll never stop, will give up on spinning the Cub’s organization with curses, black cats, Leon Durham, Steve Bartman, for the sake of the team and Bartman. I know it makes for a great story, but why are we creating all this extra pressure? Next time you see an interview with a member of the Cubs or coaching staff besides Sweet Lou, look into their eyes and tell me you can’t hear what’s really on the players mind and what they want to do to the reporter that just asked them that ever so popular question – “do you believe in curses and the 100-year stuff?”

Facts of life
The Dodgers were just better, clutch hitting, better pitching, no complete debacles in the infield, and in some cases were better coached. Are the New York Yankees kicking themselves for letting Joe Torre go? There were no ghosts, or curses, so stop writing about myths. How am I supposed to persuade my little nephew away from my brother’s team (god damn Yankees) with horror stories about the Cubs?
I will be there with you Cubs fans come April with all my Cubs gear, my hat, t-shirts, jerseys, beach towel, bobble heads, but with a couple changes. I’m boycotting Chicago sports media; thank god Jay Mariotti wasn’t around for this, and my television is going to be on mute and radio on, because at least I know Santo cares.
Wait until next year