Today's piece was written by Don Nelson (twinscubsfandon) and he has been a practicing Cubs fan since 1969. He lives in suburban Chicago and frequently talks about starting his own blog, which, he notes, requires a lot less energy and commitment than actually doing it. He works in advertising and carries a 1970 Don Kessinger baseball card in his briefcase.
The beauty of having your favorite baseball teamís season reach a virtual end before its actual end is that you can get a head start on your season retrospective. (ì2005: A Kansas City Royals Year In Reviewî could have been penned in mid-May.)
When I look back on the Cubs season, one of the more noteworthy events, I think, was the Red Soxí visit to Wrigley back in June. Youíll recall that series offered a satisfying result (two Cub wins out of three), the proverbial ìplayoff atmosphere,î and a lot of media blather about how the two franchises simply belonged on the same field.
You know the blather: two grand, old clubs with similarly painful histories (at least until last October), both playing in quaint, big city neighborhood parks before insanely devoted fans.
Well, a few weeks back, I vacationed in Boston and made my inaugural visit to Fenway, and the experience crystallized a thought I first had back in June:
The Cubs and the Red Sox are not birds of a feather. Cub fandom isóand has been for as long as Iíve rooted for the teamóa whole lot more pathetic way to spend your time.
The numbers confirm it.
Going back to 1969, my first year as a fan, there have been 35, overlapping 2-year periods (1969 and 1970, 1970 and 1971, 1971 and 1972, etc.). The Red Sox have put together consecutive winning seasons 25 times; the Cubs have done it 4 times.
Since í69, the Red Sox have been to the post-season 9 times and to the World Series 3 times.
The Cubs have been to the post-season 4 times and to the World Series...well, you know.
None of which is to suggest that the Red Sox havenít inflicted more than their share of emotional scarring on all of New England. Youíve got the heartbreaking loss to Cincy in 1975. Bucknerís error and the loss to the Mets in í86. To say nothing of Bucky Dent in í78, Aaron Boone in í03 and a host of other catastrophes Iím not enough of a Red Sox fan to recall right away.
And the Cubs? Again, in my lifetime as a fan, you have 1969, Durhamís error and the ensuing loss to San Diego in 1984 and Steve Bartman, et al in 2003.
All in all, the Red Soxí failures seem more devastating because they were so high profile. But thatís really the point: at least the Red Sox got to play the big room. And this is an essay not about breaking hearts, but about being feeble. And on that count, I feel comfortable saying something Cub fans almost never can:
The Cubs rule.