Earlier in the week I wrote about the Chicago Cubs and how all we as fans have is hope. I received this wonderful response and would like to share it. So, my first guest post ever, courtesy of a San Francisco Giants fan, in support of our beloved Cubs.
Dear Teppi Jacobsen,
I happened to stumble upon your recent column on the Chicago Cubs...
I am a lifelong Giants fan who is married to a lifelong Cubs fan. I suffered through many seasons when any hope of a World Series was gone by the time June rolled around. I grew up in the 1970's, when Willie "Stretch" McCovey was in the twilight of his career. Our best player was a fellow named Jack Clark. Like your Cubs, my Giants never made the playoffs when I was growing up. (They won a division title in 1971, but I was too young at the time.) I didn't see them make the playoffs until I was an adult. Even then, we Giants fans suffered through the playoff heartbreaks of 1987, 1997, 2000, and 2003. In 1993 the Giants won 103 games and didn't even get a playoff game -- that was the year BEFORE the wildcard berth. Even when the Giants did reach the World Series, our hopes were dashed by an earthquake (1989) and traumatized by the Rally Monkey (2002).
Teppi, my Giants are a lot like your Cubs. Both franchises have been playing since the 19th century. Both franchises honor and appreciate their past. Fans of both teams have endured long World Series droughts. Both teams had to endure World Series success by the OTHER local team (A's in 1989, White Sox in 2005.) Both teams, under the direction of Dusty Baker, blew seemingly insurmountable leads in heartbreaking fashion (2002 Giants, 5-0 lead, 8 outs away from the title; 2003 Cubs, 3-0 lead, 5 outs away from the pennant) -- disasters punctuated by an image that won't go away (Giants: Dusty handing the ball the his starting pitcher; Cubs: THAT foul ball.) Both teams have celebrated sluggers whose reputations were tarnished by a steroids scandal.
Longtime Giants fans did not believe that we would ever get to celebrate a World Series title. Then in 2009 Tim Lincecum earned his second consecutive Cy Young Award. That day I posted on Facebook: "Next year, in lieu of ANOTHER Cy Young, Lincecum will settle for World Series MVP." My prediction went unfulfilled. (Timmy was runner-up, another Giant was named MVP.) But that next year -- 2010 -- everything fell into place. The team above San Francisco in the standing collapsed in late August. Instead of losing the 1-0 playoff game, we WON it. Instead of allowing the tie-breaking home run, we HIT it. And by the time we reached November 1, 2010, we didn't just hope that we would win; we didn't just believe; deep down every Giants fan KNEW that our team was going to do the impossible that night.
Teppi, what I'm saying is that if long-suffering San Francisco fans can savor the sweet taste of a championship, long-suffering Chicago fans can have euphoria too. If we can experience the greatest moment in Giants history, you can experience the greatest moment in Cubs history. I don't know if it will happen this year. But it will happen someday soon. And the day that the Cubs do play for the World Series title, every member of the Giants family of fans will be rooting for the Cubs. I promised my wife that I will wear a Cubs hat when they win the National League pennant. My father-in-law has been a die-hard Cubs fans for close to 67 years. Even while living in the Bay Area, he follows your team religiously. I look forward to the day when we can take a photo of the two of us in my Giants and his Cubs World Series attire.
It can happen. It will happen. But as a Chicago Cub fan -- you have to believe.
Union City CA
P.S. The Shawshank Redemption is one of my favorite movies.
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