Monday, September 24, 2007

Pride before the fall

It’s not easy being a Cubs fan. You have to be equal parts optimistic and pessimistic. You’re always sure that this year will be the year we finally win it all. You’re always sure that this year will be the year they break your heart so irreparably that you can no longer function.

Every spring, we watch this year’s club with the hope of all hopes that we might actually reach and win the World Series. So you’d think that when the team starts playing well towards the end of the season, only a few games away from winning the division and ensuring at least one round of playoffs to look forward to, that the over riding emotion would be joy wouldn’t you?

Not so.

These are the times that try men’s souls. You see. To believe is to be lied to, yet again. These are, after all, the Cubs. They have this way of seducing their fans, reluctant to believe that the heartache might finally be over, into believing that it will.

It’s at that precise moment that they let you down again. It’s not that they try to let their fans down, of course, call it a curse, call it tradition, call it what you will, it just seems to happen.

And so here it is September again, and the Cubs, after this weekend are in position to claim the division and head on to the playoffs. What’s more, they are finally starting to play like we fans thought they would in April. The second half of the season has been a good one for the Cubbies. They are actually one of the hottest teams in baseball right now.

Enter heartbreak. I can’t see it yet, but I can smell it coming. You see, this team is inspiring belief. This team is making us fans think that maybe, just maybe, this could be the year.

And that is dangerous. If history repeats itself, as it’s prone to do, that means the heartbreak will be coming soon. Fans have dubbed this team the Cardiac Cubs. And before it’s all over, they may put a whole bunch of us in early graves, it’s true.

But when you’ve been a Cubs fan all of your life, when you’ve experienced a third of their 99 year World Series draught, when you bleed Cubbie-blue, you can’t help but start to allow some of that hope to creep in. You can’t help but to believe. You can’t help but to be taken in again. You can’t help but commit.

Only time will tell if these Cardiac Cubs are heart breakers, or menders. I freely admit, that most of this season, I have been convinced that this team would not, could not possibly compete with the elite teams of the National League and would be annihilated by the American League should they make it to the Series.

But now? Now I’m starting to buy it. Now I’m starting to believe. Now I’m starting to hope. Now I’m starting to think that this could really be it, the year we win it all.

Pride comes before the fall.

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