No offense Cubs' fans but you all need to settle down for a little while. I am not a Red Sox fan nor a Cubs fan (Although I do root for the Cubs in many games), but some of you Chicago fans need to learn from the Bo-Sox fans.
How many World Series have the Cubs won since 1908? I'll give you a hint, it rhymes with hero. How many times have you guys/gals had your heart broken? Count your fingers and your toes...and while you are at it...all of your friends' fingers and toes too.
The Cubs are a storied and renowned organization that have some of the best fans around. There is no disputing the support and dedication that the Cubs receive each and every year from the community. Cubs' nation is spread all over the U.S...even the globe.
About five years back the Cubs looked like a championship contender for the first time in a while. In Game Six of the NLCS, the Cubs experienced the type of heartache they didn't know was possible. It was most likely a very similar feeling to how the Red Sox fans felt in 1986 when Mookie Wilson's slow grounder rolled through Bill Buckner's legs as the Mets rallied in the ninth inning to beat the Sox in game 6 of the World Series.
The Mets went on to win Game Seven of the World Series that year leaving Boston fans everywhere stunned and heart sick. Thus, in 2003 when the Cubs lost Game Six and eventually the series to the Marlins, Red Sox fans knew exactly what the Cubs and their fans were going through.
Now skip ahead one year later to 2004. The Red Sox were playing the Yankees and Boston fans everywhere had seen this before; the Yankees dominated the first three games of the series including a 19 run outburst in game three. The Red Sox fans had given up hope and were once again feeling heart sick and hopeless.
Game Four went into extra innings but the Sox fans knew even if they won this game and the next game, their team still had to travel back to Yankees Stadium. Confidence remained at an all-time low. Two magical nights later, the series was 3-2 and the Boston fans realized they could be witnessing something historic...but they would never be confident because of their past.
Unbelievably, the Red Sox did what no team had ever done before... came back from a 3-0 deficit to win the ALCS. Best of all, it happened in Yankee Stadium...the place where so many of their dreams had been shattered and where their optimism was always turned into pessimism.
At this point, the Red Sox and their fans knew they had broken the curse, they had broken their bad luck streak, and best of all they had broken the back of the team and fans who had tortured them over the past century.
So you are probably wondering what this has to do with the Cubs of 2008, right? Well, here is my advice to Cubs' fans, always have faith but do not expect anything! All I have seen and experienced these past few weeks are Cubs' fans running their mouths and acting like a spot is already reserved for them in the World Series.
How can a city, a nation of Cubs' fans, a place where heartache is habitual, be overconfident about their team who hasn't won in 100 years? Haven't you people learned your lesson yet? Some of the best things in life happen when you LEAST expect it. Just ask those Red Sox fans...better yet, learn from them.
Those fans had no expectations after their team fell down 3-0 in the series with the Yankees, yet the players battled back and proved that anything was possible. A Cubs World Series championship is certainly not out of the question.
However, I ask Cubs' fans everywhere: Why in the world would you run your mouth, gain confidence and worst of all, tell everyone you know that you are the "team to beat?" Have you not learned anything in the last century?
I suggest the Cubs and their fans take one series at a time. First up is the Dodgers. This is team that does not have one of the better records this season; yet, they have a very dangerous and confident bunch of guys... along with a Manager who has won a few titles himself. On paper are the Cubs favored? Of course they are and of course they should be.
Yet, if I was a Chicago fan I wouldn't be so comfortable knowing that everyone is picking you to represent the NL in the W.S. The Dodgers have one of the best records in the MLB since late August and are basically a better team than their overall record shows because of the Manny Ramirez deal. Plus, Chicago has been struggling these past few weeks and other than Zambrano's no-hitter, he hasn't been super sharp in his last few starts coming off of the DL.
As a Dodgers' fan, I am expecting the Dodgers to play hard and take it to at least four games, probably five games. I think the Cubs have a great pitching staff and a solid lineup and they are certainly a very good ball club. If the Dodgers do not win, I will be cheering Chicago on all the way through the World Series because I would love to see them win.
Until October is over though or until your Cubbies are holding up the W.S. trophy, I hope the Chicago fans will take it easy in chat rooms, ESPN sites, and any other place they are running their mouths in. Because quite frankly, I would hate to see your hearts shatter into a million pieces, again.
Besides, I heard Steve Bartman has a brother still living in Chicago...