Everyone knows that the Cubs haven’t won a World Series in a long, long time.
In fact, the 1908 horse died a long time ago, yet continues to receive frequent beatings from fans and detractors alike. And, lacking in originality though it may be, the latter group does have a pretty fair claim to this dig. After all, haters gon’ hate.
But please, for the love of all that is Holy Cow, stop with the “my father died waiting on the Cubs to win and now I’m 50 and I’m tired of it” business. Or the “I’ll show them; I’m not buying any tickets this year.” Because guess what: Tom Ricketts and the Chicago Cubs don’t owe you a damn thing.
Maybe it’s because the ballpark is an anachronism, sprouting up out of the closely-packed condos and businesses that grow on it like lichen, a bricks-and-ivy beacon to a bygone time. Or maybe it’s because WGN made the Cubs so approachable with their daily broadcasts, pitching you Tru-Link fence, Empire carpet, and Old Style beer between innings.
Whatever the reason, fans have long felt an intrinsic tie to the team that goes beyond rational thought. But make no mistake: the Cubs are a business.
No one purchases a professional sports franchise as an altruistic act, their only motivation to bring a title to their loving fanbase. Perhaps one day UNICEF will get into the sports ownership business, but until then Tom Ricketts is the man to see.
It’s funny that so many want to take Ricketts to task over his spendthrift ways, claiming that his greed will be the team’s downfall. Perhaps they’d rather have the Tribune Co. back in control. No, as I noted in an earlier post, it’s not Ricketts’ failure to spend that’s the problem, it's his failure to act.
But all that aside, the Chicago Cubs are going to move forward. They’ll do it with or without a jumbotron in left. They’ll do whether the games are broadcast on WGN or the Cubs Network. And they might even do it by moving to a brand-new, publicly financed stadium in (gasp!) a suburb.
Because as much as you, your father, or your father’s father might have cheered for the team and as much time, effort, and money as you have spent supporting it, the Cubs are under no sworn obligation to provide you with some sort of proof that it was all worth it.
So even though Tom Ricketts does serve as sort of a de facto sovereign, there’s really no social contract in place here. I wonder what Hobbes, or even Inspectah Deck (whose technique of speech is deep, like Leviathan), would have to say on this topic.
I can’t really speak for either of those two great men, but I can say that Tom Ricketts owes it to himself to run his business in the most profitable manner. And, no, that does not mean a low payroll and fights with the neighbors. Putting a winner, a big winner, in Wrigley Field would mean an incredible windfall.
And even though neither you nor I deserve a winner, that’s exactly what we’ll get if the Cubs are successful with the plan they’ve been following these past few long years.
Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.