Goatriders of the Apocalypse

A Goat Riders of the Apocalypse Mission Statement

This blog is not a public service.

It is - at times - a source of news. Usually it's a source of commentary. We have a ShoutBox that allows you to engage your fellow Cub fans in conversation. We expect to get all kinds of dissenting views on all sorts of topics. For example, Mark DeRosa or Mike Fontenot? Milton Bradley or Adam Dunn? Neal Cotts or a bucket of spit? I don't expect anybody to agree with my opinions on any of these topics - and numerous others - and I don't even mind it if you tell me that my views are absolutely idiotic. (You probably won't change my mind but it has actually been known to happen.)

But there are a few important things that you have to understand about GROTA. I'll outline them as follows:

We are fans of the Chicago Cubs, not of Wrigley Field. We understand that people will have conflicting views about the fate of Wrigley -- should they knock it down, load it with ads, sell the naming rights, etc. -- but if you think it's more important to have cheap tickets at an unspoiled ballpark than to have the chance to watch the Cubs win a pennant, then GROTA is not for you.

We follow the Chicago Cubs because we want them to win, not because we identify with them as losers. We understand, again, that some people would be just as happy to go to a game at Beautiful Wrigley Field whether the Cubs are 62-100 or 100-62, but baseball is a game, the purpose of which is to win. I will never tell a reader that they shouldn't go to a game if the Cubs are a bad baseball team. However if you tell me that if I cheer on the Cubs with the expectation that they win the World Series, then I'm "following the wrong team," then GROTA is not for you.

We also support the Cubs optimistically, but we're realistic about the nature of the world and of a billion-dollar sport. And no, "greenies" are not "like Red Bull." They are amphetamines that are an explicitly banned substance that absolutely serve as performance enhancers, by the way. While we at GROTA dread the day that a Cubs star is caught with a needle, or fails a test, we are not so unrealistic as to believe that it will never happen. And at this stage, we know better than to think that such "cheating" is done by a minority of players. But we understand that some people want their game to be pure and would like to "think of the children" when taking a hard stance against steroids. But if you tell me that "cheating" is not a part of baseball - ignoring more than a century and a half of stealing signs, loading bats, doctoring balls, and doing any little thing to gain an advantage - then GROTA is not for you. (I'm not saying you have to be pro-steroids to read GROTA, on the contrary we'd lose pretty much everybody if that was a drawing line, but I'm asking that you not be so stupid as to think that there's a team out there that doesn't cheat somehow, someway, every single game.)

And most importantly, this blog exists because we genuinely believe that the Chicago Cubs are not only capable of winning the World Series, but will in fact win it soon! We're here because we believe that this organization is not defined by its history of losing, but instead by its potential to win! Above all other things, THAT IS WHAT THIS BLOG IS ABOUT!!!!  WE'RE THE GOAT RIDERS OF THE BLEEDIN' APOCALYPSE!!!  DOES THAT NAME MEAN NOTHING TO YOU?

Ahem.  Like I said. This blog is not a public service. I welcome debate, I love being proved wrong, but I really have zero tolerence for the blue-koolaid swilling "I love Beautiful Wrigley Field and their lovable loser Cubs" mentality. I can't force the internets to block that kind of person from reading GROTA but I wish I could because the person with that kind of idiotic, unrealistic, frustrating attitude brings nothing to the table and flat out embarrasses me as a Cub fan.

For those of you who disagree with me or feel that I have overstepped my boundaries, then I QUIT YOU TOO!!! (Just kidding, actually I apologize. I know that not everybody sees it my way and I accept that. But there's seeing it differently and seeing it wrongly, and the kind of Cub fan I've been writing about here is just. Plain. WRONG. Like the mulleted Cardinals fan, the Koolaid-Swilling Cubs Fan is a blight on our kind and make me feel ashamed of us. I wouldn't even send that kind of person over to BCB ... instead, the forums on Cubs.com would be most appropriate. So go there instead and enjoy it, because GROTA ain't for you.)

Maybe I touched a nerve

I said "If all you care about is winning you have chosen to support the wrong team" , which you took to mean "You shouldn't care about winning".

You are a Cubs fan (part of the same tortured fan base as me so I feel your pain), but you are a Cubs fan who wants to 'win no matter what'. 'Winning no matter what' is fairly easy to be against on principle. Where do you draw the line? To what extent would you go to ensure victory?

Would you advocate sabotaging an opposing teams gatorade, or hold a players family ransom? I hope not- but if you say 'all costs' then you are saying as long as you don't get caught then it was for the good of your personal apocalypse and therefore OK.
I don't think you should be shocked to see that someone disagrees with such a blanket statement.

I will support the Cubs if they win or if they lose, I love Wrigley too, I love going to games, I love the neighborhood, I enjoy myself but do not for one instant under any circumstances assume that I do not want to win a WS. Do not assume that I am part of some horrible subculture who is secretly hoping against the Cubs fortunes.

I want the cherry on top- I think we can win it all without selling everything else out.

Do naming rights, adverts everywhere, and cheating mean your team wins a ring: nope: make the playoffs and winning 11 games is the only thing.

I do want to make my position clearer since it seems to offend you so much. I read your stuff on occasion- sorry I don't fit the bill as serial poster or a die hard GROTA fan. I was not looking to pick a fight. I just thought your post was a bit knee-jerk and you were not taking the time to see what you are really advocating.

We can have pointless arguments about revenue and dollars and the increased (or decreased?) chances that a higher payroll wins you a ring, but I'm addressing the 'win at all costs' mentality.

We can also argue about 'cheating' but obviously stealing bases is not cheating, stealing signs is only sort of cheating (like timing a pitch in the batters box), and greenies were not cheating until recently. I am not interested in a chemical evaluation of greenies vs redbull vs caffeine vs milk (MLB says no more greenies so now if you do them you are definitely cheating). We could turn this into some moral relativism argument more suited for philosophy class.

You know what is the worst case scenario to me: Cubs fans turn slowly year after year into fans who only care about the team when they win, that we destroy what is great about the franchise, that we win a WS and it is a hollow event because only a super mega-corp could afford to send their CEO and CFO to sit in the 16th row of section 236 in the new Nintendo Field brought to you by CITGO in Elgin.

If that is what you are willing to give up then I hope your mission fails.
I will gather our forces outside the Ivy'd walls and stand with the rest of the Cubs fans who love our park, revere our history, and support the team win or lose. We will defeat you sir and the goat you rode in on. Smiling

Its always been popular in blogging land to diss everyone else who disagrees- but I think we are all Cubs fans and I am sure you do not want the above situation to occur. I am sure you have some regard for Wrigley and the history (even if you hate the losing part you have to acknowledge it). It is not too late to see the error of your ways sir, you can still repent.

Even a blight on your fandom can make a web site these days (http://torturedfanbase.com) so I'll go back to my site and leave you alone -especially if it is a gathering place for folks who only care about winning at all costs.

You compare me to a mullet-ed Cardinals Fan because I don't want to ruin what I love? If this was an earlier time I would slap you with a glove and challenge you to a duel. You have offended me and numerous other Cubs fans I am sure.


I don't know the history here, but I think you miss the point of Kurt's post. And my other comment was written before I read yours. I want to emphasize, he advocates that they play to win. It's logical that if they aren't winning that they try harder. By that I mean that the team should take steps to field a more competitive team. Apparently, that might include doing some things that some fans would object to. So where do you draw the line? If you don't want to make sacrifices (history or tradition) in order to win, then does that make you less of a fan? No, but maybe it makes you a different one. I don't think anyone would say they should win at all costs, but, rather, they should make an honest effort that is at least consistent with what other teams are doing. Is that too much to ask for? If you don't ask for or even demand that, I think you're a complacent fan.
By the way, I can't speak for Kurt, but this is what I see at a glance.....

Playing to win is great

But I'm not willing to sacrifice Wrigley Field. There is no 'which one is more important' because they are the same- they come as a whole in my book.

Move the Cubs from Wrigley or blow it up, or slowly erode the nature of it, and it's just not the same anymore.... it is not the victory that I have been waiting for.


I wrote a reply mocking yours, especially those parts about about doping the Gatorade and holding people for ransom. Those are what theologians refer to as "crimes" and would result in someone going to jail, rendering the issue of winning a baseball game moot. It seems like a waste of time for the original author to omit those things from a win at all costs preference, when, really everyone rational knows they're already excluded.

But anyway, the post got too wordy, so I deleted it and settled for this quote from Billy Madison.

"... what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

Good day.

Well, if you read what I

Well, if you read what I wrote the first time around, it was a response to something written by Wayne asking "would you trade a Cubs championship for Wrigley Field."

My response was basically "you don't need to, the Cubs have proven that they make enough money at Wrigley to be competitive."

But as for the specifics ... I've been following the Cubs since before they installed lights. I can honestly say that having been to the ballpark, the lights do not detract from the experience of watching a game there.

I've been following the Cubs since before the expanded the seats behind home plate and added advertisements there. I can honestly say that I've seen hundreds of games on TV and never once have I said "DAMNED ADVERTISEMENTS! THEY RUIN THE EXPERIENCE!" In fact I don't even notice them.

I've been following the Cubs since before Under Armor bought the ads on the outfield doors. I can honestly say that those ads do not steal my attention when watching a Cub outfielder make a stellar play.

Lastly, I've been following the Cubs since before they sold the naming rights to the bleachers. I've been to the ballpark since that happened and, again, I've seen plenty of games without once feeling as if I've lost something because a baseball has been hit into the Bud Light bleachers.

So if you have seen as many games as me - and I'm sure you have - and if you've been to more games than me - and I'm sure you've done that, too - I have to honestly wonder if you've been watching the same team as me at the same park. Because what bothers me none and what detracts from Wrigley not at all seems to be more important to you than the intended result of the changes - a competitive, winning ball team that brings the north side a world championship.

I don't know who you think you're kidding, but if a World Series isn't the end-all be-all for you then you are NOT a Cubs fan. You're a Wrigley fan. Accept it.

And as for "spray paint a Sears logo on the ivy," I'd suggest you look up the definition of the word "hyperbole."


What ads?

Also Andrea, it's really not

Also Andrea, it's really not a matter of "dissing anybody who disagrees."

The simple fact is that whenever I encounter a Cubs fan who feels the way you do, I feel terribly ashamed for sharing a passion for the same team as people like you. I feel embarrassed. When they say that Cubs fans aren't good fans it's because of people like you who love the ballpark more than the team, who have cultivated the reputation of not even knowing the score after the game ends.

It's humiliating. That's why I've so strongly criticized your take on the subject.

It is Andre by the Way

As far as the reasonable 'you don't need to, ...." then I agree- but the comments that made me spit in my coffee were more the " I'd burn Wrigley down and spray paint the Ivy".

Hyperbole aside:
I do feel like the advertising degrades the experience, and I am not the only one. I wouldn't trade Wrigley for a WS- I want a Cubs WS in Wrigley.

I am a fan of the Cubs and as a part of that, as an extension of that: Wrigley Field.

This question reminds me of the Judgment of Solomon:
Would you cut my baby in half? Would you cut Wrigley from the Cubs in order to get the WS ring?

Who says Cubs fans are not good fans? You should not buy into this garbage.

Anyone who says I am not a good fan is a) uninformed b) usually a Sox, Cards, or Brewer fan who follows it up with 'Wrigley is just a giant beer garden' or some other recycled witticism.

To top it off you are "Terribly ashamed or humiliated when you meet a Cubs fan like me?"

I am sure there are a great deal more things to feel so strongly about about than a fellow Cubs fan who loves Wrigley Field.

I think you are missing out on some of what makes it fun to be a Cubs fan. I think you are so caught up in the 101 years thing that you have lost perspective. If fandom to you means tearing everything down for a WS then I am fine with falling out of your definition of a fan.

And the personal attacks: saying I'm not a fan, I'm an idiot etc...? Pretty lame.

Sorry, but I haven't called

Sorry, but I haven't called you an idiot. I do however feel that your opinion about Wrigley Field being more important is absolutely, completely, unrelentingly idiotic. I know it doesn't feel this way to you but there IS a difference.

Like I've said in everything I've written on the subject, there's no reason to get rid of Wrigley. Realistically speaking, though, the ballpark does need some serious, heavy upgrades. Hopefully they can figure out how to do it without changing how it looks ON the field while perhaps expanding the upper deck by a few thousand seats and giving the players enough room to actually be comfortable in the clubhouse.

Nevertheless, I'm a Cubs fan, not a Wrigley fan. If I prefer the Cubs play at Wrigley it's only because I know they can make more money doing so, and if they make more money at Wrigley it means they can afford a bigger payroll, which itself means they can improve their odds of winning.

Anyway, in the name of "reading comprehension," let's look at the section in question.

I wrote: "Anybody who would actually choose Wrigley over winning isn't a Cub fan but instead is a fan of a beautiful ballpark. These people should buy and wear Wrigley Field jerseys, not Cub jerseys. But I'm in it for the team. I don't care what happens to Wrigley; they can rename it, they can spray paint Sears ads into the ivy, it doesn't matter to me. Not to mention that if I knew with absolute certainty that a Wrigleyless Cubs would win the World Series I'd volunteer to blow it up myself."

Then, without missing a beat I say "But since we can never be certain of anything, then the question of Wrigley becomes one of income and that feeds into the second part of this article. . .One reason to keep Wrigley Field around is this simple truth: Wrigley without a competitive Cubs team is still worth two million seats a year. Wrigley with a competitive Cubs team is worth more than three million, regardless of the cost of the tickets."

Since you clearly zoned out after "spray paint" and "blow up," I'll clarify for you. We'll use a logical argument.

If the Cubs were guaranteed a World Series championship at the expense of Wrigley Field, they should be rid of Wrigley. The Cubs would NOT be guaranteed a championship at the cost of Wrigley Field. Therefore, the Cubs should not be rid of Wrigley Field.

Keep reading it until you understand that I'm not ACTUALLY advocating they spray paint a Sears logo on the ivy or blow up the ballpark. Then read this:

If Wrigley Field was in any way proven to be holding the Cubs back from being a competitive team of the same caliber as organizations like Los Angeles, New York, Boston, and even St. Louis, then GET RID OF WRIGLEY FIELD.

And if you really can't get past that concept, if you can't find yourself able to agree with that, then please Andre, please quit reading this blog. It's not for you. We're here because we think the Cubs not only COULD win, but SHOULD win. If you can't get past THAT concept, then you're here for the ivy, the manual scoreboard, and perhaps for the beer.

Sorry, sir, but no team is bigger than the place they play at. Not the Cubs, not the Red Sox, nobody. But if you disagree, then please help yourself to one of these: http://www.wrigleyvillesports.com/Chicago-Cubs/Clothing_2?range=1%2C9%2C16

WOOO!! Bricks and ivy!!

Logic has no place on the internet

No need to argue semantics on your post. I'm glad you toned down the rhetoric a bit from the original screed complete with burning Wrigley in the background.

I totally misunderstood when you said you would burn down Wrigley if you thought it would help and somehow interpreted it to mean you would burn down Wrigley if you thought it would help.

Thanks for helping my reading comprehension, I am a completely illiterate baboon who can barely use a keyboard.

I have done some thinking and I think I understand whats going on. You are (or would be) willing to sacrifice Wrigley because you watch most of the games on TV and don't get there much. I know most people don't get to the game all that often and I don't mean this in an unkind way. It is just a fact that there are lots of challenges for people from out of town to get to the ball park.

So that means you don't get to see the awesome freecreditreport.com advert (all that's missing is the enzyte, cash4gold, and shamwow signs*), you miss the silly luna jingle after a double (although i think they stopped that), and what was once a very nice and uncluttered field of play now has CBOE, VanKampen, UnderArmour, and god knows what's next slapped up. Ironically the CBOE is the only one that is unobstrusive. You might only see these when the TV pans past them and they are interspersed with all the other commercials so it's no big deal.

I'm not saying you are less of a fan, or that I am so great because I go to a lot of games - I am just saying that it sucks you don't get to more games because you might appreciate Wrigley more.

I completely love going to Cubs games at Wrigley, I also like to keep up with what people are saying about the Cubs. Don't worry, I wont litter your website with my crazy ideas about not burning down Wrigley. I just thought you went a little overboard and my big mouth just had to say something.

I do think the Cubs should win- I never said otherwise. You must have mistaken me for a Sox fan or something, but seriously, the only people I hear talking about taking down Wrigley are the Sox fans in city hall.

*all scams: use annualcreditreport.com if you want a real free credit report, enzyte is unregulated and shamwow is just a shammy


So, in a nutshell, are you just advocating that they play to win?
Frankly, I've always been dismayed by anything less. There's nothing wrong with having a competetive nature, contrary to what some people tell me.

Not riding Kurts tip or n e

Not riding Kurts tip or n e thing but this was a good article It actually put things in better perspective for me....however I still don't understand how baseball didn't catch Manny before being on steriods lk say the past 5 years (15 negative tests) and lets say he took them recently why would he?When did he?Did he take them last year? When he went to the dodgers to show the Red Sox he could still hit?Did he take them during the offseason to prove the 29 other teams why they should have signed him or figured out a way to put them in there lineup?I don't imagine him taking them after the season because of what he did in the second half of last season/playoffs.....Therefore proving that he did not need them....its just kinda odd to me Kurt Whats your take on the situation cuz no one seems to have the answer for my question I no u will step up to the challenge?Everyone give there opinion!

Technically they STILL didn't

Technically they STILL didn't find a steroid in Manny but that's because a lot of the top-of-the-line drugs can't be detected currently. (For perspective, I'm pretty sure they re-tested an old sample of Barry's that was clean the first time around but later turned up positive results when the testing caught up with the drugs, but I'm not 100% positive)

Basically if a steroid is masked from a test, it will still have effects on the body that can't go undetected ... like in Manny's case an artificially raised testosterone. Additionally my understanding is that the 'roids will lower your natural ability to produce testosterone as well...

So, since they can't trace the drugs he's on, they found another drug he was trying to use as a masking agent. This masking agent supposedly a) lowers your testosterone artificially and b) restarts your ability to naturally produce testosterone.

Therefore Matt, the short answer is that he has probably been using his entire career - just like a lot of guys - he's just been able to stay ahead of the game until now. And even now they didn't catch him for using, they caught him for trying to HIDE that he was using.

HGH is undetectable in urine

But it causes you to decrease your testosterone production, causes your balls to shrink, possibly infertility, and a host of other side effects.

What Manny apparently had was HCG which is used to return your body to normal by sort of kick starting your testosterone production. It is also used for infertility treatment in men... Manny could have gotten a waiver from MLB if he was really having infertility problems. HGH can be found in blood tests but those are harder to obtain.

It seems pretty obvious that this was not Mannys first time using, just his first time getting caught.

Why did Manny take them: I doubt we will ever know.

Chicago Tribune's Chicago's Best Blogs award