When I first started making my opinions known about the Chicago National League Baseball Club, there was no Internet. There was barely color TV, in fact, and at the time I took up the cause, it was not a popular stance. If you were around in the seventies, you remember just how hopeless it was, being a Cub fan. If not, how can I describe it?
Picture the days when Carlos Marmol doesn't have control over his slider. Recall the futility you feel as you grit your teeth and pray that he finally manages to groove a good one over. Then multiply that by every single God-forsaken day between the time they broke up the Santo-Williams-Jenkins team in 1973, and the Ryno Game in 1984.
Most kids my age liked better teams; teams that were somewhat competitive. It's not as if I got my butt kicked on a daily basis - I've always been much too big and fat for that - but I have heard every taunt, jeer, and bad joke about the lady whose nine kids are on the loose at the ballpark, and are beating the Cubs 7-3.
But as Kurt said in our introduction, some people have Type O blood, some people are Republicans, others are Methodists, and still others are Italian. Me, I'm a Cub fan. My last boss at my last (legitimate) job would just shake his head at me every day and mutter "You really can't help it, can you?" Dumbass Cardinal fan...I assume that's why they laid me off.
When I first started making my opinions about the Cubs public on the internet, it was actually a 'journaling' assignment from my shrink. Get the bad thoughts out of your head; write about your feelings; what is upsetting you? I'm sure she intended that I would have jotted down sinister thoughts about my mother in a spiral notebook. Naaah, too conventional. I went out to Blogger, started something called The Uncouth Sloth (a pejorative nickname given to me by legendary Cubs internet pioneer Hawkeye), and figured hey, maybe some literary type would stumble across my angst and think "Gosh almighty, here is the next David Wallace Foster".
Damn thing is, what turned out is that I mostly wrote about the gatdamn Cubs. Naturally, though, this happened to be at the end of the Don Baylor era, and there just happened to be a lot of things that upset me. So, organically, the site evolved to mostly my cynical rantings about Andy MacPhail, Sammy Sosa and so on.
The motto of the site was "I do not swill the Cubs Kool Aid". At the time, management was trying to shove Corey Patterson, Mark Prior, and Hee Seop Choi down our throats as the next great nucleus to tip us over the top. Well, I knew that was crap. See, it is my job to be skeptical about each new five-year-plan Cubs management tries to sell us. I feel as if I have earned the right to be skeptical. This hasn't made me a lot of friends over the years, especially amongst the younger, more sensitive set. I must admit that after a while, I felt it safer to align myself with other like-minded bloggers. Kurtis, for example, was one of the Kool-Aid swillers until his heart got torn out in 2003. Soon after that, the idea for Goatriders was born, and here we are today.
I guess I understand if your Cubs history goes all the way back to the Bambi-esque Ryan Theriot, that you would have zero perspective on just how many times the Cubs have managed to fail their fans, not to mention all the different ways they've managed to do it. I am serving notice right here and now: I am a Cubs fan, always have been, always will be, and I have spent the money to outline in my will how I want to be buried in my Greg Maddux grey away jersey, and how large I want the logo on my tombstone. Every last one of us on this site care about the Cubs that much.
But I, and shall I say all of us here on GROTA, have absolutely zero tolerance for the "blind faith" fans who still stand up and clap "Let's Go Cubbies" while down 8 runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. The ones who think that Alf Soriano, ARam and Zambrano are going to have career years every year. The ones who close their eyes and wish real hard for a win, and bounce right back the next day if we don't win. The Cubs are not a casual thing to us. They are not just a pleasant day at the park. We want to see them win it all before we die. We want them to break the 102 year streak of futility. We want nothing less than a World Series.
If you think our perspective is warped, good for you, son. Stand still while I hit you in the head with a kleenex box, namby pamby.