Cancel Christmas, Kitchen's Closed
And so, with great disappointment, the 2008 season has come to a close.
We had another "incident" on the blog during last night's game. A fan who said he's been following the team for 50 years began commenting in the shoutbox, essentially saying that the first team in his lifetime to reach the playoffs in consecutive seasons needed to be dismantled, Lou needed to go, and essentially the Cubs needed to start over from scratch because they players are too damaged to win.
So, to recap:
During Game 1, we had Doom and Gloom Fans proclaim that the season was over, it was hopeless, and the Dodgers were the first team in history to clinch a playoff series after winning only the first game.
During Game 2, we had a fan say that it's clearly the curse, and you'd have to be an idiot to not believe that mystical powers were at work.
During Game 3, we had a fan proclaim the team broken, damaged, and in need not of repair but of dismantling.
But in the middle of all that were dozens of other Cub fans who, like me, were saddened by the performance of their team. We were made to feel sick to our stomachs. We got pissed, we swore, we cursed, some of us probably even cried.
I don't live on a hill, or behind a pulpit. I'm not looking down on people from a pedestal. I'm just another fan, like everybody else reading this blog, and I really have no place to preach at people. More importantly, I am certainly not a better fan than anybody. Anybody.
But I am very tired of certain kinds of fans. The pessimists, the woe-is-me's, the doom-sayers, I feel great frustration when I hear from those people. All along we've known a few simple facts - the Cubs were the best team to enter the playoffs, but the playoffs are a crap-shoot where momentum means everything. The best team got eliminated last night, and it happened because they lost their momentum very early in Game 1 and never found a way to get it back.
It's not about curses, it's about crap-shoots. As Billy Beane has always said, you can assemble a great team and put all the pieces together, but once they actually get there other factors come into play. So, to all the insanely negative fans who have allowed a lifetime of losing to distort their world views, I'm sorry, but I have nothing for you.
Go join a goth coven, paint your nails black, slap on the eyeliner and write poems about how you want to cut your forearms because it's the only way you can tell you're still alive, okay?
Now, last night, Colin and I made an executive decision to ban the comments of a flamer/troll who kept going on and on about how the Cubs were doooooomed and needed to be dismantled. I told that reader this, and I'll say it again now: I am over it. But if you - you, whomever you are, who's reading this - honestly feel that way, I welcome you to voice your views in the Reader Blog section. We won't delete it, we won't banish you, we won't punish you, and if you write it eloquently enough I'll probably even post it on the main page of GROTA.
You believe in curses? Post about it. We won't light you on fire and toss you off a proverbial cliff. You think the Cubs were doomed to lose after the game one fiasco, and they went on to prove you right? Post about it. But, to be fair, we've got readers - and Riders, for that matter - who will probably loudly express their views too.
What Is To Come
Let's end this post on a more positive note. I'm going to do a year-in-review podcast tomorrow. It will be shorter - 15 to 20 minutes tops - and it'll be more about what's happened at GROTA than it will be about the Cubs.
Based on our web hits, we've gained a lot of readers in the past year (and especially in the past 2 or 3 months). Point of fact, it's only October 5th and we're already close to halfway toward matching our total visits in all of October, 2007. Obviously, I would expect things to slow down again now that the Cubs are out of it, but I want all of the new Goat Readers out there to know that we're going to continue bringing you good content every day of the off season. We're not going anywhere, we hope that you go nowhere, too.
I've also got a few surprises in mind. Stick around, because I think you'll enjoy them.