For Cubs Fans, the Winning Makes it Worth It

For Cubs Fans, the Winning Makes it Worth It

I'm in the midst of a crazy week, so forgive me if I'm more disjointed than usual. I just got back from a trip to see family and I'm about to hop a flight to Las Vegas in order to blow through the last of Cubs Insider's petty cash. After getting back on Friday, I'm heading to Chicago for a bachelor party. I packed three separate bags on Thursday and I am not sure whether I've got enough underwear for the week, so I hope my fellow bleacher denizens are cool with me going commando on Saturday.

Unconditional love

Prior to heading out of town for my nephew's 1st birthday party, my kids had sporting events to attend. My daughter had a soccer game at 8:30am, and my son had a t-ball game at 9 and a soccer game at 10:30; Addison would have pulled double-duty too, but I guess family comes first.

As an aside, I'm the manager of the t-ball team and I've got some real first-world problems when it comes to setting the lineup. You see, out of the 8 boys on the team, 4 bat lefty. But that's not all: of those 4, 2 throw right-handed and one, my son, can switch-hit. The opposing managers have a really hard time deciding which tee to bring in from the equipment shed and it's led to some confusion.

Anyway, one of the other parents was helping me in the effort to herd the boy-sized cats out in the field, and he was wearing a Cincinnati Reds shirt while doing so. My son told him, in no uncertain terms, that he didn't care for the shirt because he doesn't like the Reds. As the dad was relaying the story, I felt a sense of pride well up from within: I was doing a good job as a parent.

Of course, this falls in line with the time my son refused a drink from his uncle because it came in a White Sox cup. Or the time when he refused a drink from his grandfather because it came in a University of Georgia cup and the logo is similar to that of the Green Bay Packers. So yeah, I'm doing things right.

We eventually made it down to Evansville, IN for the party and later retired to our hotel for some fun in the pool. So there we were: our kids, their 5 cousins, and a supremely obnoxious group of birthday-party-going tweens. The hotel bar TVs were locked on the NBA playoffs, so I fired up the MLB At Bat app on my phone, pulling up the WGN audio in order to drown out the poolside cacophony.

When I heard the expectant tone of Pat Hughes' voice calling a long shot by Castro, I got excited, straining to hear the result. I thought he said "Gone!" so I pumpep my fist in celebration, but it was in fact "Braun," the Brewer who made the play at the wall. Talk about premature gesticulation.

Later, as we all relaxed back in the room, I asked my kids why we like the Cubs. "Because they win," came the answer from my son, God bless him. Oh, I only wish that was why. I asked if I only love them when they behave well; after all, that might mean that I wouldn't have loved them the previous night or that morning.

I think they were too absorbed in Despicable Me to follow the conversation further, but it's something I have continued to come back to since writing about the permanence of the Cubs mystique, particularly when they do finally win. Without getting into some sort of drawn-out existential treatise, I really do believe that the losing has something to do with why we're all fans.

It's not just about waiting 'til next year, but next game. Because, even as bad as we all know this team to be, it doesn't stop us from tuning in and watching, believing (or at least hoping) that they'll win this time. And so it was that I dialed up 720AM from 300 miles away, listening through the crackle of lightning, as we drove home on Sunday.

And for anyone wondering, I did try to use the MLB Audio, but the app is smart enough to know when your auxiliary cable is plugged in and won't play the broadcast stream. But the terrestrial signal was enough for me to hear Starlin's 2nd homer of the day and 4th overall in what is sure looking like a resurgent season. As an unrepentant Castro apologist (the player, not the Cuban dictator), it did my heart good to see him square the ball up those couple times.

And so I ended the weekend on a happy note. So maybe I need to revisit my son's answer from the other night; I mean, he didn't say "because they win a lot." We've all got different reasons for being fans and probably have different feelings about the current and future direction of the team. But I'd venture to guess that, despite the scarcity of it these days, we all love when the Cubs win.

I think we love the Cubs not just
because of something, but in spite of everything. They've given us little other than hope, and that in alarmingly short and intermittent bursts. But when they win, oh, when they win...

Follow me on Twitter: @DEvanAltman

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of something, but in spite of everything. They've given us little other than hope, and that in alarmingly short and intermittent bursts. But when they win, oh, when they win...

Follow me on Twitter: @DEvanAltman

Thanks for reading; if you enjoyed it, please share with others.  And if you'd like to be updated on my future posts, and those from the rest of the Cubs Insider team, you can subscribe below.

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.

And be sure to like Cubs Insider on Facebook.

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  • Are there left and right handed Ts?

    Your son indicates that even at that young age, the brainwashers are at work on him.

    The Cubs did not lose on Monday. However, I doubt that MLB.tv had "Meet the Browns."

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