Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Are Cub fans special?

This is inspired by the Cubs blog known as Another Cubs Blog (always give credit where credit is due). 

I think that a fairly typical result of long, boring winters is that eventually pretty much everybody turns introspective.  We've sort of been debating different kinds of Cub fans here, although I think that what I wrote earlier this week was more of an acknowledgment that not everybody is the same kind of Cubs fan as me, and that's okay.

But in general, are Cub fans special?  Are we unique?  Are we better than the fans of other teams?  Are we different?

I would say definitively that no, we aren't inherently different.  The difference is that there are more of us.  Consequently, we could argue that there are more intelligent Cub fans than there are, say, Rays fans.  There are more passionate Cub fans.  There are more idiotic Cub fans.  There are more racist Cub fans.  A "problem" with being perhaps the second most popular baseball franchise in the country is that the Cubs cannot choose who their fans are or what they are like.

I wouldn't even say that we are unique in the pain we feel.  I think that once your team reaches a championship drought of a couple of decades or more, then you've already probably reached your saturation point in terms of misery - although maybe some Cub fans are just a little more pessimistic than the fans of any other franchise.  (Or perhaps a lot more, I'll concede the possibility.) 

Anyway, while we can perhaps prove that the most passionate Nationals fan is on the same level as the most passionate Cubs fan, if ever a fight broke out between the two groups of passionate fans the Cubs would surely win by sheer numbers.  Also - and this is perhaps the important part - while Cub fans may not be unique, it remains true that individually no two fans think alike.  I once had my balls busted because I was quoted as saying that a Cubs World Championship would at least momentarily bring me joy on the same level as the birth of my first child, but for me I think that's true.  I wouldn't assume it to be true for anybody else, and since this is not the Cubbie Gestapo I'm not going to punish or judge you if you don't share my opinion - nor do you really have the right to punish or judge me.

Like I said earlier this week.  It's a damn awful big world out there.  There's room out there for jabrones like me, even if my very existence and use of this pulpit drives you batty.

Funny you mention ACB, which

Funny you mention ACB, which is a great blog, too. They had a great thread a couple of weeks ago that drug the Chicago media through the mud, and probably correctly.

I don't know that our fan base is better, worse, or more diverse than that of the Yankees, Red Sox, or Phillies. But, the media's ability to pander to fans' doubts or anxiety here is galling.

You're right in that Cubdom is a spicy mix, and that it's a good thing. However, insipid beat writers struggling to make deadlines keep turning over the same tired storylines, which skews how we're presented and received.

I have been trying to deal with the specialness of Cub fans

- fans in other places are better informed about their baseball, ex. New York
- fans in other places are more passionate/obnoxious, ex. Massholes
- fans in other places are more uniform in their attitude towards their team, ex. Cardinal fans. You met one, you've met them all
- but no fans anywhere are more patient, and have suffered more pain, than the Cubs fan. That really isn't a function of the fan; it's a function of the team they back.

My goal for the last 11 years is for all of us to speak as one, and force management to make true progress towards a championship. It is coming around somewhat lately. But there are still too many kool-aid drinking sheep who still clap in the ninth inning when we're down by 12 runs. As long as they exist, the ownership will never truly feel the pinch, and will never do everything it takes to bring a winner here.

Teams owned by individuals driven by ego try to win within their budget. Teams owned by corporations only try to win when their fanbase forces them to. That is the nature of corporations.

I'm not sure where the Ricketts lie in this spectrum.

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