Century of Sorrow, and Still a Diehard Fan

Ricky ButtsCorrespondent IJuly 24, 2008

It is not an old subject.  I know, I have been asked since I was very young.  This is what happens when a lot of your friends are Yankees fans.  I am sure most fans have heard that famous question. "How can you be a Cubs fan?  You know they will never win!" 

There is something wrong with this question.  We all know the day will come that the Cubs are once again World Champions.

It is way, way, way too easy to love a winner.  I know this. I am a Bulls fan.  The '90s were a heck of a ride.  I am also an IU basketball and Notre Dame football fan, two of the most storied collegiate programs.

The Yankees have won 26 championships.  What is there not to like about that? Just the major disappointment every year other than those 26.  You don't feel that disappointment as a Cubs fan.

One thing can not be refuted: Cubs fans generally have a good grasp on baseball and its history.  We know our stuff.  That is because it is more about baseball than anything else. The love for baseball is what keeps our love for the Cubs so strong. 

We don't go to Wrigley to swim in a pool, watch trains, mascots, or all the other extra things ballparks have these days.  We go for the game.  A lot does come with this, that is true.  Old Style, bikinis, and heckling rival fans. But the aura is that of baseball.

I have heard the media call Wrigley Field on game day "one giant frat party."  That's because everyone is having fun, win or lose. 

I was at a game vs. the Expos, back in '96 I think.  Mel Rojas came in to pitch for the Cubs.  He walked the first two batters, then on three consecutive pitches gave up home runs.  Bam, bam, bam, thank you, ma'am.  That would be more than enough to silence most crowds. 

Not at Wrigley though.  It only got louder and louder.  True, it wasn't cheering, but the crowd was still having fun.  They covered the warning track with trash.  Rojas was from then on known as "Walk'em, Walk'em, Home Run Mel," at least in my household.

I have seen many things at Wrigley, including the last game that Ryne Sandberg played at home, which was also Harry Caray's last game before passing in February of 1998.  I had the pleasure of meeting him at the Cubs convention in January of that year.  

I watched  Sosa and McGwire both homer in an early matchup during their epic 1998 season.  I have met numerous legends: Banks, Williams, Grace, Sosa, Sandberg, Jenkins, and Santo.

Loving the Cubs isn't about winning or losing.  It is about staying loyal, having fun, and loving baseball.  I have a feeling that a lot of the same people that ask how we can be Cubs fans, will be fans when the day comes that they are in a World Series.  The only thing that will keep them from that is if their favorite team is in the other dugout.

Cubby blue runs through our veins.  It runs more deeply in some than in others.  No different than anything else.

Unlike a wife with a bad husband, we don't go looking for better.  We know what we are in and there is nothing anyone can say that will change our minds.  No matter how deep the blue runs.

One thing is for sure, I cannot wait to be in Chicago when the "curse" is broken.  It is going to be one heck of a party.