Cub fans have not enjoyed much winning baseball at Wrigley Field this year, but yesterday the crowd was treated to a legitimately exciting comeback victory against the Milwaukee Brewers. After tying the game with a 6-run sixth inning, the Northsiders eventually won the game 12-11, with a 3-spot in the bottom of the ninth. Then I felt the horror encroaching.
I could hear its beginnings underneath the rumbling crowd as the cheers from the walk-off victory subsided into a giddy chatter. There was a shift in the air the moment before it struck, and then there it was: the PA speakers crackled for a second before unleashing "Go Cubs Go" upon the elated Wrigley crowd.
The only thing capable of spoiling the miniscule joy I felt in this meaningless, but enjoyable, victory, was now being sung by every Cub gear-toting human at the game.
Why spoil this fun little moment with a song that celebrates winning as though it were something that frequented the Friendly Confines? Singing "Go Cubs Go" at the top of your lungs was fun in 2007-08, until the playoffs of course. Even as long ago as 2009 and '10, when Uncle Lou couldn't make the playoffs, the song had become ironic, in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way. I remember thinking at the time, "We're still doing this?"
Two years was enough... and here we are, about to usher the song through the end of its sixth season.
Everything has changed since 2007. The Cubs have new ownership, a new President and GM, a (half) new radio broadcast, new scouting and development programs, and they've had two different managers since then, not to mention an almost entirely turned-over roster. Carlos Marmol and Alfonso Soriano are the only two remaining Cubs from the 2007 team, with Kerry Wood's retirement and the trades of Ryan Demptser and Geovanny Soto earlier this season. Check out the 2007 roster here.
The Cubs are rebuilding, thankfully. We need to embrace this. The fans almost made a statement at the end of last season, as attendance at Wrigley finally took a dip, so why do most of us still seem to celebrate this relic after every home victory?
You... you can't actually like the song... do you? Most of the fans at Wrigley don't even sing the verses, despite the fact that the lyrics are displayed on scoreboards around the stadium every time the song is played.
"Go Cubs Go" simply represents another disappointing era of Cub baseball; one that is past and should be moved-on from.
If Cubs management cannot make this simple decision for themselves, Cub nation simply needs to stop singing. I truly believe the Cubs are finally on the right path, yet no success is guaranteed. Either way, there is obviously a bit of road ahead of us Cub fans before reaching a day when "Go Cubs Go" would actually hold meaning again.
Let us ditch this beaten, worn horse now. Cast it aside so that you may spare yourself from its sarcastic sting when, as you're singing it, you glance up to the flags above the scoreboard, and realize the Cubs are in fifth place, playing .385 baseball. Go Cubs go...