The Long Goodbye

Nearly 10 years ago, this blog was formed primarily to trumpet the idea that the Cubs were not a team destined to fail. That, in fact, a century of losing was not a promise of more failure to come. We still believe in this -- the Cubs will win, and it will be someday soon, although "soon" is a very relative statement. However, what we've also come to realize is that the history of losing will outlast this, the most optimistic of blogs. GROTA has slowly been fading away fr a while now, and we are at a point in which we will soon be shutting it down.

What it boils down to is time -- when the blog was formed, there were 4+ members, the majority of whom were relatively young (early 20's) and still unburdened with any serious responsibilities. In other words, we had a lot of time to talk crap on the internet. But in the past 10 years, we've finished school, our families have grown, and we've gotten jobs that, if they don't take up all of our time, then they certainly eat up most of our focus. It's not a knock against others who can manage both, but we simply don't know how. We can't imagine working our jobs, and having time for our families, and still finding the time to both relax and read and write about Cubs baseball.

Still, goatriders.org will continue to exist. We may revisit the concept down the road and continue blogging about the Cubs on a very sporadic basis. We may modify the site design. Or it may sit as an archive of a very eventful decade of Cubs baseball, where the team we've loved our entire lives finally began to step out of the "lovable loser" shadow and attempt to rewrite destiny.

In the meantime, we will be leaving Chicago Now in the coming days. We were invited to remain -- and it is very tempting to remain a part of this awesome network of blogs -- but we've simply realized that the energy to move forward just isn't there at this time. We wish this network the best, and are pleased to know that they are continuing to add talented bloggers to the mix (such as Julie Dicaro's).

The Cubs are a team that have evoked a lot of passion from its fans, and that will continue to be the case. We have always believed that Cub fans were a higher class than those of other teams. Cub fans are intelligent, passionate, and maybe a bit heartbroken at times over the string of baseball failures that litter our sportsfan lives. Therefore, we can only hope that Cub fans also have access to the best blogs.

We also hope that there can remain a higher level of discourse on any site in which the Cubs are the topics. We are all fans of the same team; we have all experienced the same hopes and defeats. Different people share their enthusiasm in different ways, but there is really no reason to flame or diminish a person's opinions with personal attacks and criticisms. Remember -- that guy harping about how Dusty Baker was the best manager in Cubs history is, in fact, a human being, with human emotions. We should come together in mutual respect, ignore our differences, and cheer on our hobby. This rule does not apply for Cardinal or White Sox fans, unless we are coming together to decry Yankee fans.

On a personal note, I shudder to consider the number of hours I have sacrificed for the blog. I'm sure it's been thousands. But since I co-started GROTA with Byron Clarke, Rob Letterly and Jason Rieger, I have had the opportunity to speak personally with players and journalists; I have been on the radio and ESPN; I have gotten to call out Jim Hendry to his face in front of thousands of fans... but, most importantly, I have gotten to know dozens of phenomenal people, people who I call my friends to this day. That's really what social networking should be about -- bringing people together. I'm sure we'll come together again, soon, when the Cubs finally reach their goal of a World Championship. GROTA may exist in archive, but I'm sure we'll blog about it on that day. We'll all share in that joyful moment -- and I hope you'll be there to commemorate it as well.

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  • just keep in mind: if/when the Cubs are in fact playing the last game of the World Series, 1) we will be there, somehow, someway, even if it involves termination/divorce/felonies, and 2) if the Cubs do in fact win it all, and the muddapuckin' Earth opens up the next day and swallows people whole, remember who told you up front what would happen. Mahalo!

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