Living in Connecticut, it’s a rarity to find a true baseball fan born in raised in the state who is not a Red Sox or Yankee fan. Occasionally, you can stumble upon a pitiful Mets fan, but it is pretty peculiar to find a fan not associated with one of those three teams.
Well, here I am. One of the few Cub fans existing in Connecticut. We’re a rare breed. I’ve only encountered a handful of people who are true Cub fans in these parts. A surprising amount of Red Sox fans support the Cubs as their National League team, probably because they know the feeling of our misery, but true Cubbie blue fans are rare.
Being a Cubs fan in the Northeast is not easy. You’re loyalty must be resilient. You have to be strong enough to resist the temptation of the trendy and accomplished Red Sox and Yankees. While you’re peers are catching “the game” at the local bar, you’re most likely tuning into the game on your MLB Extra Innings Package alone in your room. Hey, I don’t mind the occasional night shared with Len Kasper and Bob Brenly, but sometimes it’s nice to have some company.
When I finally encounter a Cubs fan, it’s like your first conversation with a long lost friend. Both parties are so excited to find one another they don’t even know where to start. Should we discuss our dashed hopes from this season? Should we revert to Sweet Lou’s poor choice of relievers? Or maybe we should mull over Soriano’s misplayed ball off the wall.
It’s comforting to know that there really is a world outside the sphere of Alex Rodriguez, and a stadium exits out there where you can watch a baseball game without hearing the catchy, but none the less annoying “Sweet Caroline”.
The best part of reuniting with a fellow Cubs fan is the revelation that someone else understands. They understand that even winning seasons aren’t assured, and a year can be successful even without winning a pennant. Most importantly, they understand that baseball is not entirely about winning; it’s about loving a team.