Why We Cheer: Why do we all love the Cubs?
We all became Cubs fans for different reasons and God knows it's not because of the winning. It either has to do with family reasons, being from Chicago, the greatness of BWF as it is called on this site or because of the copious amounts of Cubs games on national tv via WGN. For me it was a combination.
The summer (1991) before I was to enter the 1st grade my mother decided to go back to work. Therefore, daycare was needed for my brother and I. Sidenote: My parents moved to Dallas from Chicago in 1982. I was born Oct. '85 in Dallas and was promptly ditched with the neighbors on a January Sunday of 1986 while my parents went to New Orleans for a few days to see a beatdown of epic proportions in SB XX. Sidenote 2: As a born and bred Dallasite I'm a Cowboys fan so go ahead and hate me. I digress. Continuing, my mother did not trust any daycare places so we were left in the care of my recently retired and transpanted to Texas grandfather (played minor league ball for the Sox in the late 40s before blowing out his arm). My grandfather was the Cubs fan that epitomizes all Cubs fans. Even took his daughters out of school early for every Friday day game. I was able to play with friends in the morning, eat lunch, then work on my reading until the Cubs game started. I would then spend the next 3 hours learning about baseball and the Cubs. Greg Maddux and Ryno and the Hawk and Gracie had me hooked. But, this isn't really about me, all of us have a story about a player or a season that got us hooked. For me it was just spending time with my grandfather, which is getting to my point. After the 1992 season when the Cubs refused to resign the reigning Cy Young winner, he finally gave up on the Cubs. Swore them off completely. Became a Braves fan. Even went as far as to buy a new Maddux Braves jersey and a few years later replaced Ryno with Chipper Jones as his favorite player. I, on the other hand had not experienced the misery of being a Cubs fan or the disappointment of being let down my management for the umpteenth time. I still had no idea about the College of Coaches or the undying frugalness of the Tribune Company, so my love for the Cubs lived on. Instead my grandfather left me alone while watching the Cubs in the afternoon and we had our baseball bonding times during Braves night games (the only ones I'd watch were when Maddux pitched). This went on throughout the '93 season. He never once discussed the Cubs with me. So the '94 season rolls around and he's still my afternoon babysitter. I come home from school on opening day around 3 PM and lo and behold there is my grandfather watching the Cubs. He played it off like he didn't care and accidentally stumbled upon them and left it on "cuz it was a baseball game." Over the next 2 seasons this became a frequent occurance. My grandmother even found him cursing at Cubs score in the paper the next day on occasion. Even when the Braves won in '95 he couldn't be happy about it because even he knew he was still a Cubs fan. But as stubborn as they come, he refused to admit it. In '98 when the Cubs played the Braves he was pissed when the Cubs lost. Which brings me to my point.
Once the Cubs grab ahold of us there is nothing we can do. They are like a dibilitating, addictive drug. They torture us, make us cry, make us angry. And we are powerless to stop it. It doesn't matter how badly they hurt us, we keep coming back for more. We love the Cubs despite them not returning the favor. They are our family and we could never truly turn our back on them. Through all the pain and misery I have never spoken to one Cubs fan, no matter their age, that wishes they rooted for another team. The Cubs are huge parts of our lives. Most of us watch a lot of them games, spend hours discussing them (I spend roughly 2 hours a week talking Cubs with my dad), reading blogs about the Cubs. Hell, after games like today's which I watched in it's entirety, I made sure to catch the highlights on sportcenter, rewatch Geo's HR a dozen times on Cubs.com, and read all kinds of blogs about the game. We all love the Cubs because they make our lives better. Plain and simple. Through the good times and the bad, they enrich our lives. They give us something to believe in. We know they will eventually win it all and it would have all been worth it. Even if they don't ever win we will still have had the times of our lives at BWF, meeting new people, going on roadtrips, etc that we never would have experienced were it not for the Cubs. While I don't think I could honestly handle living the rest of my life without us winning the Series, I wouldn't want to be a fan of any other team.
My gradfather passed away in 2002 without ever seeing the Cubs win a World Series, but I know he's still watching every game. The bond I shared with him over the Cubs I have shared with my father ever since. The Cubs are a genetic disease in our family that I hope I eventually pass on to my kid.