Here we are, sitting 37-38, on the eve of an heroic victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Heroic, you ask? The Pirates, you ask? Yes, heroic and the Pirates.
In stunning fashion, the Chicago Cubs ended Pittsburgh's hopes of a series win and left Cubs fans everywhere asking, "Why am I excited?" This question is distressing, sure, but does it not bring back that sour taste we've all come to enjoy; some of us for decades?
These feelings of disappointment are perpetual, and must at some point become humorous. Cubs fans are as well humored as any because we have lost and lost again. Only when a pennant is hung before our noses do we become deeply agitated.
The kind of agitation that leaves co-workers, wives, husbands, and neighbors asking, "What's up their rear end today?" Yet, like a horse with a carrot dangling before its mouth, we commit each year to a cause that may outlive us all.
Every night, like many of you out there, I pick up my remote and hastily dial into ESPN to catch that day's Cubs highlights. So often I find myself asking, "Why do it?" Curiosity is a powerful thing, my friends, and so is allegiance.
Calming this inner dialogue, I never falter in catching the score, but my mindset has already changed. Instead of chucking my cracked and dilapidated remote against the wall, I now have a chuckle when Soriano wears the collar. And only once in my life have I ever felt sympathy for an inanimate object, as I now do for the remnants of a once pristine Gatorade cooler.
So instead of sucker-punching your cat or wheeling a roundhouse into your favorite Bonsai Tree, take a moment to enjoy the irony and absurdity in every botched pop fly, bases loaded strikeout, and over-ten LOB total in every Cub game. For the ship will someday right itself, and we will be replete.
Cubs fans need to tell themselves that it will happen; never lose hope. But until that day, until that flood of Chicagoans storms Wrigley, and champagne bottles pop high, we must embrace the humor in everyday Cub fanism, and enjoy every win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.