It’s here, the day is upon us when the beloved Chicago Cubs will take to the field in the National League Divisional Series. It’s been four years since they were last there but it seems like a lifetime ago when you look at all the changes to the Cubs roster. It’s even more staggering when you consider how long it has been since the Cubs have been in a World Series let alone won one.
I come from a long line of die-hards on both sides of the family and die many of them have. I even have a relative who died at Wrigley Field. For decades my family has watched the Cubs try and fail and try and fail again. So here we are, in the playoffs again and every Cub fan asks himself “is this finally the year” or “will it finally be different this time”? All I can tell you is hope springs eternal in heaven.
My father has been gone for 8 years now and in his 55 years he never saw the Cubs play in the World Series, that he could have remembered anyway. When I think of it now the suffering he endured during his life at the hands of one Cubs team after another it’s quite unimaginable. Add to that his parents, his brother and sister, virtually an entire side of my family that has risen and fallen in the time since the Cubs last won a World Series. That’s the perspective it needs to be put in. To many this just may be sport, not anything to get all caught up in, but those of us who have lived the life of a Cubs fan know that it is far more than that, it’s about hopes and dreams you’ve held since you were a child. Now it’s gotten to the point where the hopes and dreams of generations are being pinned on the Cubs.
I can honestly say though this team has given me a lot of hope but I am giving them the high expectations they should be riding on. This team was bought and paid for to win and win it should. The Cubs definitely have as good a shot as any other team. The regular season is over and the real season starts today. What happened before today means nothing now. We finally have a manager who cares about one thing and that’s winning. Lou Piniella doesn’t care about what the reporters say, what his players say, or what anyone has to say about how he runs the ballclub. He manages to win and that’s all there is to it.
So when I heard Lou speak about getting teary-eyed to the strains of “Go Cubs Go” piped from the Wrigley rafters when the Cubs win I think I realized that Lou really does get it here. The Cubs have been a franchise of hope surrounded by a century of misery, every Cub fan knows that. We also know the ones who have their seats in heaven now including Steve Goodman who wrote and sang “Go Cubs Go”. There are many that have come and gone over the years and many more who are trying to hold on so that they can see the day. That day would be when the Cubs win the World Series and all the nonsense of curses and goats and Bartman generated by lazy sports writers will be dead and buried – exorcised from our favorite franchise forever. Then again, as it should be today and as it should always be, it will be about winning.
I demand a World Series victory for myself, for my family and for all those who have come and gone who won’t be living to see it. The Cubs owe us that much and we should demand it from them. World Championship and anything short of that is a disappointment. Hope does spring eternal, but hope is not a method. The Cubs need to get it done. Go Cubs Go!!