Maybe It's Time for Cubs Fans to Loosen Grip on Tradition, Embrace Change

Maybe It's Time for Cubs Fans to Loosen Grip on Tradition, Embrace Change

We May Be Through With the Past, But the Past Ain't Through With Us. But we're getting there.

The theme for this blog post comes from a great movie. Some won't get the featured image; the cool kids will. Thus I digress...

As many of you may have read earlier this week, Cubs Insider blogger Justin Jabs (@justinjabs) took some jabs of his own at Ryne Sandberg. There were some pretty heated words as to why he wants to see Ryno and the Phillies crash and burn. Talk about smacking a hornets' nest with a broom. You can imagine the laptops and various mobile devices that blushed from the salty language they heard from their owners that night.

I didn't entirely agree with Justin's take--wasn't supposed to--and I'm certain that was not his point. He had an opinion and the balls to lay it out there for people, and for that, I applaud him.

But his post--and the subsquent responses to it--got me to thinking about the true underlying tone here. It's that many of us, as Cubs fans, are still too connected to the past, set in our ways, and digging in our heels when it comes to change agents. Under the Theo regime, like it or not, we are in for change.

Because of the years of misery and mediocrity, we attach ourselves to this sense of ownership of black cats, ivy, a '69 team that blew their bottoms out down the stretch, Harry, WGN Radio, day baseball, no signs in the outfield, etc. We have woven tradition into our thinking and (perhaps) lack of reasoning and, to a degree, have demonstrated that preserving the past is a decent trade for not winning. We're the lovable losers, right?

Well, now we have a regime that has come in, grabbed the end of our Cubbie woobie and are shaking the hell out of it. They're whipping out the cobwebs and flipping Cracker Jack crumbs everywhere, and in the end are also disturbing the sleepy, cozy fanbase beneath all of those things that have built up around us while we were laying there all these years.

I've both worked under and have been an agent of change with different groups, so I've come to understand the anxiety and resistance from those who don't particularly like change, but I can tell you that after 100+ years without a World Series title, I for one am ready for change.

And that was why I was comfortable with Theo, et al coming right out and telling Ryno he would not be considered for the managerial position when they gave it to Sveum. It was their first #2 pencil fill-in-the-hole next to "Moving forward." They have their script in place, and a big part of that is not to celebrate the past as much as it is to leave it there--in the past. Besides, would you rather not have had Ryno as a manager in the fist place vs. him being the lame duck they had in Dale Sveum?

indyThere's a very symbolic scene from one of my favorite movies that can best sum this up. Not just with Ryno, but with WGN Radio, the jumbotron, no more Old Style in the seats, signage in the outfield and other changes. As Dr. Henry Jones said to his son as he scraped for the Holy Grail: "Indiana, let it go."

We are on the cusp of something great here. Between the prospects clawing their way up, the spending money coming our way and the leadership that has made this happen, I'm ready to move from the past and into the future.

Don't get me wrong. I will always love the memories and the file footage of Ronnie, Ryno, Woody, Maddux, Harry and shots of the ballpark before lights. But what I want are memories in 10 years and more of celebrations in pinstripes at Wrigley Field. I want "All the Way" to be a song we celebrate; not one we listen to while crying in beer. I want to know what it is like to be a fan of the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Yankees, Cardinal, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Giants, Marlins (FML), Cardinals (double-FML), Mets (triple-FML), White Sox (aw, screw it), et al. I want to know what it feels like, if even just once. Don't we all?

Great, then I believe it's time to let go of the past and to believe this group is going to give us those memories.

Then again, knowing our luck, Kris Bryant will be commandeered by Hare Krishnas and go into a lovely life of handing out flowers at the Terminal 3 entrance at O' Hare.


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  • Theo may be a change agent, but his boss, Tom Ricketts is not, between his "I met my wife there" and the various misconceived Wrigley 100 promotions, many of which feed on that failure. At least this week there is Ernie Banks, who did make the HOF. All Ricketts seems to want to do is be a John Henry on the cheap.

    And while I can see why Theo would want to depart from "The Cubs Way," which included Ryno, even though that's what Theo called his training manual, I don't see that his alternatives (Sveum and Renteria) are any better.

    Maybe after the Cubs get a new TV partner, they will do away with such traditions as the cleavage shots, televising the 7th inning stretch singer, etc., but superimposing the selfie cam on the cleavage fan cam doesn't hit me as a step forward.

    And at least Ricketts has so far resisted bringing SaMee back, although I still wonder what is in store for 100 years of Wrigley in the 1990s and 2000s.

  • Jack, I am assuming you are glass half empty kinda guy.

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    1. Read what I posted (under "Track record suggests") about what Rozner said today,
    2, I don't see where the "half full" part yet exists. The ML club isn't any better, the stadium isn't any better, and the manner in which either is promoted isn't any better, and relies on (as Jewel says in its ground fish ads) "traditions of the past."

    3. But maybe you mean "half full" as in the Saturday Night Live "The Final Days" sketch where David Eisenhower (Chevy Chase) told Nixon (Dan Aykroyd) "You know, I was talking to two reporters from the Washington Post this morning, and they said they thought you were half crazy, but I told them I like to think of you as half-sane!"

  • In reply to jack:

    "I don't see where the "half full" part yet exists. The ML club isn't any better,"

    You don't see that the Cubs have won more than lost in the last month? If you do see that they are getting better, open your eyes.

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