Goatriders of the Apocalypse

A Farewell to the 2008 Chicago Cubs...

I have to thank the Cubs of 2008 for all of the happiness and wins this year.  It was a momentous, incredible season.  I don't think I have ever cheered as loud and as hard as I did this past summer.

And despite a disappointing end, this season went a long way to renewing my faith in the team...and emboldening and strengthening the hope I have for this team that I hold deep within me.  I have to tell myself that I cannot let an unfathomable final act diminish any of the joy and delight that his summer brought to me.  Yet, I can also allow myself time to grieve; as ridiculous as it will sound to some, these past two days felt to me as if I had lost a dear, true friend.

Because of the somewhat operatically tragic and crushing blow delivered to our season and the heartache, pain, and sadness it brought to me, I had to wonder, how are other Cubs fans reacting to this hard-to-believe ending?

Well, check out this article...

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/1204322,CST-NWS-cubsfan06.a...

Pretty bleak, eh?  I had to wonder what the intentions were of the person who wrote, "Dear Chicago Cubs 2008; It really hurts knowing I'll never see you again. We had some great times."  Man...can I relate to that one person.  Was this person merely saying farewell to the team of 2008?  I have to hope that's the case.

Or was it something more?  Abandoning the team as a fan?  Suicide?  As preposterous as it may seem to some, those last two, drastic options have actually been considered by more than one Cubs fan since this past Saturday night.

I want to find these people, grab them, hold them, hug them, tell them it's going to be all right.  I want to tell them that it's okay to cry...to scream...to yell...to curse...to be depressed...to feel completely numb.

But it's NOT okay to stop hoping...we cannot, we must not EVER give up on our dream.  I want to tell them that we can NEVER abandon this life, give up this or any of our dreams, or desert OUR team; we cannot do any of those things because those are decisions for the weak-hearted.  And...true Cubs fans, the ones that have been there their whole life...are NOT weak-hearted.

There are two very special people I owe many heartfelt thanks to for reminding me of all of those things this past weekend.

Cubs fans have to find a way to yet again renew their passion.  I want to remind those people who have lost all hope that, as Eddie Vedder says in "All The Way", his song dedicated to the Cubs and their fans, "we are NOT fair-weather, but foul-weather fans".  We are there through the best AND the worst.  We're not like Dodger fans...who fill their park for only half of the regular-season games but pack it to capacity once their team is on the brink of the Playoffs.  In defense of this fact, some people say, "Well, what do you expect?  It's LA."  Or they'll say, "Well, most stadiums around the country don't sell out EVERY game.  Most regular-season games are played in front of half-empty stadiums."

My point exactly; it's not like that at Wrigley Field.  We fill that stadium for every, single game.  And some people would say we're "losers", or "idiots" for doing so...for showing such devotion and loyalty to a team that "can't win".  But, we don't pack the place wall to wall for 81 games because of those reasons; we do it because we hold onto hope...we have faith...we believe.

I want to help Cubs fans cling to hope, give them some of the strength that those who love me have helped me to find within myself.  Reassure them that if we just keep believing, holding on, waking every day knowing that SOMEDAY our faith will be rewarded...that's enough to keep us hanging on.  Isn't it?

I want to find those people who have "given up"...and I want to make them promise me that they will never lose their hope.  If I can find the strength to come back again, so can they; I want to make them promise me that.

It HAS to happen eventually...

 

...doesn't it?

Regardless as to whether it's next year, the year after, or ten years from now, I will keep hoping, believing, and cheering.  And with help from those who love me (special thanks to Jennifer, George, Ana, Mina, King, Emily, and Jim)...I will find the strength to hang on.  I'll hold that one, beautiful vision in my head and use it as inspiration to come back again next year, to risk suffering the same heartache.

To quote Eddie Vedder again, I will look to the memory of the day I was "blessed and healed...the first time I walk[ed] into Wrigley Field" and remind myself that it is a journey, a long voyage, one filled with both joy and misery.  I will cherish the notion of the "magic in the ivy", the vision of sitting in that ballpark with some of the people I love; Jennifer, Ana, Mina, George, Mindy, my Father, my Mother.  I will hold onto that feeling of joy, love, and comfort and remind myself that part of the joy of winning the big one...is enduring the process of getting there.

I will take it day by day...I will wear my Cubbie blue with pride...and I will know that it means more than just the symbol on my chest or hat...it means that I have a strength and conviction that's rare to find.  I will summon the courage to hold my head high, I will remind myself that "in a world full of greed, I could never want more than" one dream, and I WILL in my heart of hearts...believe...

...someday...we'll go all the way.

Thank you, Chicago Cubs....see you next year...

...I promise.

Accountability

I love the site....and yes I will remain a Cub fan, but management and this team must be accountable for what happened. If this was Philly or New York pitch forks and torches would be in use. I don't advocate that, but as fans we should display our displeasure at the Cubs Convention, letters to the team, sports radio, blogs, and at games. I am sick of this! If we are going to lose hell lose with some heart. If Soriano is a problem drop him in the order or we will boo his ass and boo Lou for making the decision that puts the individual above the team.

I will be very angry if the team stands pat. Get the team sold and make some changes so we are built better for post sesaon. Don't anticipate Dempster having a career year....heck take the money and get a big game pitcher like Lowe! Hopefully the new owner demands results. Look at Boston and how they retool. They won in 04 and 07 with a different team. The Cub way would be well we won 97 games....that means squat. If we go in as a wildcard and win the crown that is the goal. THe goal is not to be crowned the NL Central champs.

As a 4th generation Cub fan and a season ticket holder I demand results. We did our part. But they folded up their tents when they went down by 5 (game 2) and down by 2 (after the slam). They quit. They were not the same team from the season. They quit....and I will hold them accountable.

The Cubs cheated on me

Your optimism is like marshmallow fluff. Yuck!! I'm sorry but this post is just pure drivel. I mean aren't you sick of being a loser? This playoff "performance" is akin to learning that there is no Santa Claus (there isn't) or all the citizens of Whoville gathering around to sing even after the Grinch stole all their goodies. Yes, great analogies but there's no Grinch to come sledding down the mountain announcing that there's a do over and we get to play some more baseball. And even if there was some more baseball to be played do you think that this team of pantiewastes would want to. Hell no. There is not one gamer on this team (well maybe Z and Lilly and Reed). This team gave up on us. They weren't prepared, out of their element, out classed, out everything. It's like catching a wife cheating on you. You might forgive her, but it will never be the same. I live within shadow distance to Wrigley and I have been fighting off gag reflexes coming home from work everyday since the debacle. You know I would be much more forgiving if they would have shown up and fought for a few innings, but they never did. Oh I'll still root for the Cubs but I'll be very wary of them. I'm going to be checkin cell phone records. I'm going to be scrutinizing her every move. Because no one will ever get to me like this 2008 team did. I promise you that. Scarred for life

Fluff and Drivel?

Look, I'm sorry you don't agree with my outlook, but...this was the only way I could cope with my heartache. I HAVE to try and remain optimistic, not just about the Cubs, but about many things in my life.

See, I was recently diagnosed with a mood-disorder and I'm prone to depression and suicidal thoughts. Seriously. If I DON'T try to remain optimistic...then it's very hard for me to cope with just about anything.

I can understand if you don't agree with my outlook. Just please refrain from calling it "fluff" and "drivel"; because this writing and my attitude are what get me through most days. Believe it or not, for some people (like me) just trying to make it through one day can be an endless struggle that you wouldn't believe.

Yes, I'm tired of the Cubs not performing up to me expectations in the Playoffs. But, just because they didn't achieve their goal in the Playoffs this year doesn't mean they are automatically "losers". (And I try not to equate my sense of self-esteem with the performance of the Cubs...although it is difficult not to sometimes) They won 97 games this year and brought me a lot of joy and great memories. I won't forget that for the better part of six months, I was as happy as I've ever been as a Cubs fan. You might try remembering that when you feel like a "loser"...

I'm not sick of being a "loser"...I'm sick of people calling me one and thinking of me as one. But, like I said before...I feel like they're the ones who are losers. They don't "get it". Being a true Cubs fan takes patience, endurance, and passion...and even though we seem to be put through hell for some strange reason, I WILL keep rooting for the Cubs.

And, for the record, I live in Los Angeles...and their fans are saying the same things about their team now that many Cubs fans have been saying for the past few weeks. "The Dodgers are giving up!" "The Dodgers have no fight!" The only difference is...Dodger fans in LA tend to be a little more cynical and less devoted than Cubs fans. Sure, they're there during the Playoffs, but during the regular season, they couldn't care less.

I'm sorry you feel so betrayed...I'm sorry you feel so hurt. But, remember, you're not alone. Most of us were disappointed...most of us were hurt...but, we all choose to deal with it in different ways. I dealt with it in my way, you deal with it in yours.

The difference is, I would never say that your post is "fluff" and "drivel". I try to have a little more respect for others and their opinions.

Not a true fan!

I came across this post and let me say this 1st! I'm a die-hard Red Sox Fan. My father, his father and grandfather were born in Boston. My Great Grandfather was the Banker back in the 20s for the Sox. So before you critique my post realize i am a 4th generation Red Sox fan who grew up knowing disappointment year in and year out.

I can't believe there are Cub fans out there who would bash another Cub's fan for his philosophy in being "at peace" with the 2008 season. Sox fans are the ones that beat each other up (or used to) year in and year out because we lost. I didn't do that. And I was taught that by my Father. I was taught that being a Red Sox fan (like a Cubs fan) is something no one else can experience. I remember 86 like it was yesterday. I didn't understand. My father did. He was at peace. He didn't "curse" his team. He didn't "bad mouth other fans. He knew that was part of being a Red Sox Fan. Really, who wants to be a Yankee fan. Being a Cubs fan is completely different. The aura of Wrigley and Fenway destroy Yankee stadium. Oh wait... Yankee Stadium is destroyed! See, right there is reason to embrace your Team, your organization, your CULTURE! Be glad your team has history of die-hard fans. The fans who go to every game NO MATTER WHAT. Who come back each year and sit in the bleachers NO MATTER WHAT. Be glad your organization doesn't demolish an historic stadium because they want to make a bigger buck. Will the new Yankee stadium be nice, probably. Will it be historic, ABSOLUTELY NOT! Only Wrigley and Fenway can now say they have history.

The two gentlemen who bash "Chicagocubsfan23" need to take a deep breath and realize there's more to your team than winning. Realize that your day will come. I believed that day would never come. Especially in 2003. Sox and Cubs fans had almost the exact same outcome to their Championship Series.

And yes i know! We won, heck we won 2 in 4 years. Is it sweet, yes. But it still doesn't compare to knowing that I rooted for a team year in and year out when they DIDN'T win it all. I'm not a band wagon fan like some of my friends who say they started liking the Sox in 03. They will never know what I went through, what my father and his father went through all those years and finally saw.

You will have your day. Yes you might be 60 years old. Yes, there will be family members who might not see it happen. But know that you root, cry, cheer, hope and pray for a team. You root for a "Faith" that re energizes each February. The Faith that Your team will one day be Champions. And when it does... Take it from this Sox Fan... it will be the sweetest day you will ever remember. Why do i know this...

Where was i the day the Sox won it all? With my Father, at Cardinal Stadium Game 4. It wasn't about being at the game so much as seeing a 62 year old man with a tear in his eye at the clinching World Series game with his son and on the phone with his Father who was 90. Wow, that's what i remember. 40 years from now i probably won't remember who was playing 1st base that night (yeah right, Big Papi). But i will remember being in the stands on that final out and hugging my father.

The Faith and Culture is what being a Sox and Cubs fan is all about. I'm sorry these other two Cubs fans don't get what being a True Cubs fan is all about. Chicagocubsfan23, Congratulations on coming to peace with your demons and your Faith. You will now root for your team harder each year. You will still be disappointed if they lose next year, but you will always know there is a next year. You will always know, I root for something bigger than just a "Sports Team".

Re: Marshmallow fluff post

Wow. Your post is a bit harsh. I actually really liked this post. You can tell he is really hurt, but he's dealing with it the best way he can. Of course you are entitled to your opinion, but to direct your anger and resentment of the Cubs to this person? This person is just trying to make sense of it all, trying to move on, trying to express themselves in a way that makes them feel better and maybe, makes others feel better too. (I know it made me feel better) You say his post is "just pure drivel". Come on. There's no need for that. If you're a true Cubs fan, then you should understand this person's post. We all dealt with the end of the season in different ways. You don't know this person at all. I don't know this person at all. You have no right to attack his feelings/his opinion. That's how he feels. He needed to express himself and what he was going through...what's wrong with that? I can understand that you're pissed off, wary, scared, "scarred for life" as you mentioned, but remember, we're in this together...or we should be. Attacking each other's posts won't do any good...I loved the '08 Cubs...I was extremely disappointed at the end of the season, but I will come back next year and root again...why not? I'm not a loser. I don't feel like one. They're my team...they are his team...and they will always be.

Chicago Tribune's Chicago's Best Blogs award