Anarchists Brunch - This Is It, Depending On What "It" Is

Most times, I arrive here on Sunday morning and no matter how bleary eyed I am (usually quite) I have some idea of what I want to write here. Sometimes I don’t, and I just start and see where it goes. This is one of those times. Because there really isn’t anything I can add at this point. There is nothing I can say that I haven’t thought before, such as it were.

There is some confusion on this last day of the season. Sure, the Cubs have something to play for, but I don’t get the impression Cubs fans, at least those not guaranteed to attend Wednesday, really care where that game is played. We’ll throw out Jake Arrieta anywhere and feel pretty confident. It’s just the inherent looniness that 162 games is going to come down to just one more.

And I think that’s where this unsettledness, if that’s a word and it apparently is because it didn’t get a red underline, stems from. I don’t know what to feel today. It could be the launching point for a month-long run (it really could). It could be the second to last game we get to watch this season. We’ve waited for this week for months now, and it could be over before we blink. Or it would just be a small part of a much larger picture. We don’t have any idea. By the time I come back here next week the season could have been over for days. Or we’ll be anxiously awaiting Game 3.

Maybe it’s a blessing. The last two Cubs’ playoff appearances were over so quickly that perhaps it’s best to cram all that angst into just one night. But if they survive that… well, the Cubs will actually win one game in the division series at least this time, right? Lester and/or Arrieta would have to assure that.

The wild card game has at least shielded us from thinking about what absolute torture a series against the Cardinals would be, and all the narratives that would come with it. Thankfully, even if the Cubs win on Wednesday we’ll only get one day to work ourselves into proper terror sweat over what comes next. No matter how that goes it’ll be the worst few days of our lives.

But mostly, I get the impression that most fans don’t want to even think about Wednesday too much. And not because of the Pirates or Gerrit Cole or the amount of random things that could happen that could see the Cubs lose. From what I can tell, most everyone thinks this is the most fun Cubs team they’ve ever followed. I know it is for me. And as many others have said, it probably won’t be like this again once the weight of expectations is added starting next season. This is strings-free fun, and we all just want to bask in it as long as we can. It seriously may never me like this in any of our lifetimes. For the next seven or eight or more seasons, every one will pretty much be title-or-bust. The head-rubbing, the pajama parties, the disco club, Starlin’s walk-up music, the Bryant bombs, all of it… it won’t seem so cute and funny after this season. It still will be entertaining, but it won’t be quite the party.

Almost feels like that last, really good high school party before you all leave for college. All your friends are there, everyone’s having a blast, maybe you even get to make out with that girl you’ve been chasing for years. It’s 4am but you don’t want to go anywhere until it’s time to watch the sun rise. But in the back of your mind, you know that once this is over, pretty much everything changes. And though you’ll remain friends and you’ll remember all this forever, a lot more is going to come with it. Distance, money, new relationships, jobs, it’s all going to alter the simple fun you’re having right now.

Well, it’s 3AM in this Cubs season. But I’m not ready to put the closing music on just yet. There has to be time for another drink or two, right? Maybe a dance? We can still make it to sunrise, can’t we? If it’s not going to be like this ever again, then let’s have it go as long as we can. College, life, work… all that can wait. There’s a Zeppelin song we really need to hear right now.

(Yes, Zeppelin was a key part of my high school partying experience. You don’t like it, stuff it.)


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  • There's so many Zeppelin songs to choose from! Right now, I'll take - Whole Lotta Love. Cause win or lose on Wednesday - that ain't gonna change any time soon.

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    In reply to SteveBB:

    I like when the levee breaks...goin to Chicago!

  • Well, now I'm feeling all sentimental. Good column.

  • I've been here before, so this time I'm keeping my powder dry, until I know, that I have something to celebrate beyond this wonderful regular season.

  • If it's Sunday......It's meet the.... Fels!

  • Sam,
    I've really enjoyed reading your stuff here on weekends. It means Sunday to me.

    The process of rebuilding hathat seemed to take forever actually took quicker than I dreamed. Rebuilding isn't linear, like Theo preached to us. This has been a way better year than I'd hoped for.
    An appropriate Zeppelin tune? There is only one, really: Celebration Day

    Her face is cracked from smiling, all the fears that she's been hiding,
    And it seems pretty soon everybody's gonna know.
    And her voice is sore from shouting, cheering winners who are losing,
    And she worries if their days are few and soon they'll have to go.

    My, my, my, I'm so happy, I'm gonna join the band,
    We are gonna dance and sing in celebration, We are in the promised land.

    She hears them talk of new ways to protect the home she lives in,
    Then she wonders what it's all about when they break down the door.

    Her name is Brown or White or Black, you know her very well,
    You hear her cries of mercy as the winners toll the bell.

    There is a train that leaves the station heading for your destination,
    But the price you pay to nowhere has increased a dollar more.
    Yes, it has!
    And if you walk you're gonna get there though it takes a little longer,
    And when you see it in the distance you will wring your hands and moan.

  • Shoulda been a black dog in the picture?

  • Today is the last day the Cubs will wear the 'surprising' label for, let's hope, many years to come.

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    Great piece. Nailed it.

  • Hopefully "Going to California" to start the NLCS on October 17th.

  • Excellent article as usual, Sam. Love the analogy of the last high school party. I've often said I'd like to remain 17 and a senior in high school forever. All fun and no real pressure or responsibility. That sums up this team. But, as you point out, that has to come to an end. For some, that is the high point of their lives (I'm looking at you, Al Bundy!), but for so many others it is just the first step to much greater things. That's where I see this journey headed.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I also sentence myself to several lashings for the use of the word "journey" commenting in thread so heavily featuring the mighty Zep.

  • Sam, I'm 55 and I saw Zep at the International
    Amphitheater way way back when. Excellent article. I prefer the game at PNC. Perhaps we would play looser. In any event, this has been the beginning of one hell of a ride....sustained success. On a side one, already booked our hotel for Spring Training.

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    Had to go to a funeral
    On the way - Rain Song was
    On from Zepplin - it was appropriate - deep cut
    Check it out

  • Nice Sam, I like the high school analogy. In baseball, like as a high schooler, you only figure yourself out in that way once. Next year will be different but it will still be fun.

    Apropos of nothing I've been a guy that has advocated dropping Go Cubs Go from post game celebrations for a long time. Last night I saw the great John Prine play and him talking about going to a game last month with his brothers. He mentioned how gratifying it was to not only see the Cubs win but to see people celebrating to his dear friend Steve Goodman's song and how happy Goodman would be to watch this and see that. Yeah, I can't actively campaign against the song anymore.

  • I actually got much busier with the girls in college.
    Let's have 4 years of that!!

  • Hoping to go up on the baseball stairway to heaven! Go Cubs

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