Cubs Lose a Double-Header to the Padres...no big deal, right? But let me tell you why...
I am scared. And let me also say this…as a true Cubs fan, I have been programmed to have LOW EXPECTATIONS – and therefore I am never too disappointed. Right?
This mindset has worked for the masses (with few exceptions) for over a century. Losing is our “thing”, and as the T-Shirt reads: “Win or Lose – Cubs Fans Still Booze”. Yep, we survive season after losing season and clink our beers to the proverbial “Wait till next year” toast.
But WHOAAAA – WHOAAAAA – Time Out – This Year is DIFFERENT – 2016 - HOLY COW HARRY CARAY – COULD THIS BE THE YEAR!?! I am scared.
My fears began in March. We made the trip to Mesa to see the “We Made the NL Playoffs in 2015 Cubbies” in spring training. There was definitely an eerie vibe of HIGH EXPECTATION hanging in the hot Arizona air, as we watched the Cubs squash the ---(I forgot who) by an amazing score of 10 – 0. My Sports Guy has been holding his breath ever since.
Fast forward: We are completing our Snow Bird gig and have been faithful Cubs followers from across the miles for the weeks that have followed in the regular season.
My Sports Guy has been gazing longingly at the big screen, watching his team WIN and WIN and WIN… AMAZING.
Him: “Man, we should be there, we should BE at this game”…
Me: “Are you crazy? It’s freezing there (April) Look, everyone is wearing winter coats and scarfs,” I would yell from our palm tree shaded lanai, as I sipped my Mai-Tai. “Be patient. We’ll be there soon enough and you’ll have all summer to hang out at Wrigley.” I had to maintain control. April in Chicago is a rainy, sleety mess. Cubs or no Cubs.
So, My Sports Guy has compensated for his separation anxiety, ( i.e., not physically being AT every single home game, in case THIS IS THE YEAR) By CUBS TALKING.
“Do you know that Vegas is picking the CUBS to WIN the World Series this year!?! He says this 50 times a day to anyone that will listen. And then his eyes glaze over with an almost terrified hope. I am scared.
So, now it's the middle of May, and we are preparing to head back North. I have deemed it safe – winter coats are no longer a factor. He is elated, of course.
But wait…IS THE TIDE TURNING? This morning My Sports Guy is hunched over his computer getting the buzz about yesterday’s unfortunate game results. We watched the “Presumptive” champions (can you say that?) LOSE a Doubleheader to the Padres. Cubs break a 9 game winning streak and Went from 25-6 to 25-8 in one day. Not good. Now, do you see why I am scared?
I stop reading “Five Ways to Cure Morning Bloating” to study his face. His brows are furled up and I think I can see his temple throbbing as he searches for reassurance that this was only a fluke.
That “too good to be true” tiny warning keeps creeping dangerously into my brain. I am scared.
Another warning sign of the nail-biting to come: Last week my girlfriend Gail calls.
“Oh My God,” she says even before hello. “ Can you believe how fantastic the CUBS are doing!!! They keep WINNING and WINNING…” She is shrieking with high pitched excitement.
NOW, Gail and I have been friends since kindergarten. And, there might have been a time or two in all of these decades when we have had a conversation about sports, but it would typically go down like, “Too bad about the (Cubs/Bears/Bulls)” accordingly.
And I would typically reply, “Yeah, I know.”
And then the subject would be changed to something like…
“Hey, I just bought a new concealer cream that’s great for puffy eyes.” Or whatever else – you get the picture.
My point is – Gail is not an avid sports fan and now SHE is CUBS TALKING. She didn’t mention the Vegas odds – but still outside the norm. I am scared.
I’m guessing the Chicago stage is set for the Cubs road to victory...
What else will we encounter once back in The Windy City?
Will my cleaning lady be CUBS TALKING over the roar of the vacuum?
Will little children be CUBS TALKING on the playground?
My Plea: Get a grip North Siders. The High Hopes virus could be deadly. For your own good, put a lid on the apparently contagious enthusiasm.
I don’t want to be a Debby Downer, but what if on that victory trail, the Cubbies hit a few more speed bumps like yesterday…another game losing streak. Nothing they couldn’t bounce back from (positive note), but I can hear the moaning and the “Curse Talk” now. Oh, the despair of the masses.
Please, I know it’s been a famine for a long, long time, but don’t be too quick to jump on the “This is The Year” bandwagon. If our team fizzles – there will be utter devastation. You know that.
If the stats take a turn, there will be huddling in corners, the faithful doing the win/loss math, analyzing the plays, the calls and embedding the key moments that will make it or break it. How many years now and they are still talking about the Bartman ball.
I am exhausted just thinking about the tension that could be ahead. Will My Sports Guy survive the season? Scary.
And Finally...An Idea for Stephen King:
A scary novel about the 2016 Cubs…The last chapter would describe the 9th inning in the 7th game at Wrigley Field of a Cross-Town Series – between the CHICAGO CUBS and the CHICAGO WHITE SOX (now, that’s scary)…and it’s down to the last out…and oh noooooooo….Holy Cow Harry…
CUBS LOSE CUBS LOSE CUBS LOSE
And then, from all of the CRAZY BUILD-UP and OPTIMISM (I warned you) and the EXTREME DESPAIR of this LOSS…suddenly, CUBS FANS everywhere…world-wide…just simultaneously…
Just kidding.Not scared at all- super excited. Go 2016 Cubs. See you soon.
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