Wednesday, November 12, 2008

we're on a break

Today's guest post is actually the first one I received--even before I realized I ought to think about having guest posts this month. I can't even say why I saved his for today. It just felt right. There's not much I can say about my brother, except that I love him as much as he loves the Chicago Cubs. But I guess that's saying more about his love for the team than anything else, because if you've spent any time reading my posts, you know how much I love my brother.

Apparently, he still loves them even after the disappointment of this past baseball season. This post was sent to me on October 8, after the once-promising Chicago Cubs were eliminated from the playoffs.

In 2003 as I sat in a local bar in Cajun Country sipping on the last of my Bud Light, I drowned my sorrows as I watched my beloved Chicago Cubs once again find a way to collapse. I thought to myself How much more can a long-suffering fan endure? The previous night I had been in the same bar watching the events of Steve Bartman as he reached over the stands to basically rip out millions of Cubs Nation hearts and end any hope of the world series. That incident, not to mention an Alex Gonzalez error in the infield, changed the complexity of the enitre series and led me to sorrows the next night. I could not explain it. I was not in Chicago, thank the good lord. I could not believe my eyes and thought nothing could be worse.

Let's fast-forward to 2006, three years after the Bartman incident: new team, new life etc. Alfonso Soriano, D Lee,* Aramis Ramierez--this was the year; we caught the Brew Crew to end the season and won the NL Central. We were on fire going into the playoffs facing a difficult road, but it wasn't impossible. I, however, was nervous as usual but enjoyed the fact that the Cubs were not the front-runners for the NL pennant, but they still had a legitimate shot. Game 3 came before I knew it and the brooms were out already in Roll Tide Nation, where baseball was just an afterthought because Nick Saban and his 4 million dollars had entered 'Bama. I was ridiculed because I was a sucker for a team who just could not win the Big One or smell anything close to it, but I hung in there, thinking that things could not get any worse.

This year was different. I'd had my heart broken twice. I'm not old enough to remember '69, '84 and '89, but I had read and heard enough about "the goat," etc. to believe many others were suffering far worse than I.

2008! One hundred years without a title, a weak NL--the cards just felt right and this was the year. I went to Chicago in May after graduation to see the Cubs as much as I could: six Cubs games in a span of two weeks, even inviting my roommate from LA (Lower Alabama) because I wanted him to visit the Friendly Confines the year that the Cubs were going to finally go All The Way. By mid-September, the Cubs had acquired a pitcher who would complete the rotation and take them to the promised land. Big Z threw a no-hitter, the first since 1932. We had wrapped up home-field advantage. Many said this team was better than every other team that had a realistic shot. 97 wins, an NL best. Repeat NL central champs, All-stars galore. The stars were aligned...

I had been counting down the days until late October. My flight was on stand-by and my mom had already talked to several connections about a game-three ticket to the World Series. "Go Cubs Go" became my ringtone as well as the first song on my iPod. Man the Kool-Aid was tasting great. I was talking so much garbage that people were starting to believe. Game 1 against the Dodgers came quick, and I was ready to see history made in front of my eyes. I was decked out in my Cubs gear, including my new pajamas (thanks mom), standing with excitement as I watched. Then happiness quickly turned into sorrow when James Loney hit a grand slam and Game 1 was over quicker than Usain Bolt in the Olympics. I should have learned my lesson from '03 and '06. Big Z took the mound in Game 2, and an error occurred at every infield position. It looked as though I was watching a movie; it was like God was just standing there as the ball was hit and he paused it and moved the ball, laughing his fanny off in sheer enjoyment.

An erie feeling came from my stomach, and just like that we were SWEPT in three straight games. I was sick with disgust, heartbreak and betrayal. First off, I know it is just a game and no one should care about something that they can't control. My love for the Cubs goes deeper than anything I can imagine. I have read many columns and read the newspapers; many fans are saying that it will never happen. I have even heard of drastic approaches like going to the South side or the Red Birds. And many have given up and said To hell with the "loveable losers." It has been almost a full week since the nightmare, and I sat there and watched the BoSox win yet another series and get one step closer to the World Series. They got over the hump in '04 after 86 years. Even without Manny they are still winning. I'm really not asking for much, just one series. One great October. One magical season that is complete.

One column writer went as far as to say that he broke up with the Cubs on Saturday night. I'm not going to go that far. However I think I need to re-evaluate our relationship until I can get a committment to winning. Until then, we are definitely "on a break."

*That's my favorite player!


Anonymous said...

Its been a hundred years.

You're just getting warmed up.

SupaCoo said...

Sorry bro, they just wouldn't be the Cubs if they actually were still playing at the end of October. (I love them too, the other 11 months of the year at least.)

Psychic Pimp said...

Oh Cadiz's little bro, the excitement of having your team win it all is sooo exilerating. I do hope you get to experience it in your lifetime. But at this rate, you may need to start at east contemplating liking other teams.

Go White Sox!

Sphincter said...

Hey, I live in New England. And until recently, watching teams blow it out their butts at crunch time was all we had to hold on to. I'm no sports fan, but it depressed even me. Now, it's a new world around here. I'm convinced that your time will come.