It's bad enough living through the heartbreaking years of being a Red Sox fan pre-2004. I grew up with the curse of the Bambino and Dan Shaunesseys' shameless promotion of it for his book. Every year when things didn't go our way in so many ways it seemed I was doomed to forever be heartbroken by my team.
Then 2004 happened, and everything changed. I realized how depressingly self-serving being a miserable fan was, and how obnoxiously pessimistic we were. I looked through other teams in the league in similar situations and had hope for them to regain old standing and to have new hope.
When the Chicago White Sox swept the Red Sox out of the playoffs en route to a World Series Championship in 2005, I was not disappointed, I actually felt happy for the south-siders who had languished without a title nearly as long as Red Sox fans had.
It was about this point in my life when I actively began rooting for the Cubs. I had briefly flirted with the idea in 2003 when I was presented with the possibility of a Cubs-Sox world series, the only possible outcome at that point in time where i would not strongly mourn a Sox loss.
As someone who has now followed the Cubbies for a few years, this year was encouraging. With the talent they had acquired prior to the season and the trade-deadline deal that brought them Rich Harden, I began to believe that this might finally be the Cubs year, now that the Red Sox and White Sox were out of the way. I was actually looking forward to the playoffs with some excitement, hoping that the Cubs could easily advance.
Flash forward to now, the Cubs are down 2-0 in their playoff series against the Dodgers, and all anyone can mention after that error-filled performance from last night is the billy goat. I'm sick of baseball curses.
If the White Sox were finally able to win after the Black Sox scandal, there is no more room for curses in baseball. I don't want to hear about the goat, the black cat, and especially not about Bartman.
What is it going to take for these Cubs to win? They're definitely not over-matched by the Dodgers, and i don't care how good of a year he is having, I know firsthand that Derek Lowe is no ace.
Contrary to how this series has played out so far, given the choice i would take Zambrano and Harden over Lowe and Billingsley every day. Maybe it was a bit of a mistake starting Ryan Dempster Game One, but not enough of a mistake to get blown out in both that game and the next when Zambrano was taking the hill at home.
Now they're in a position were there is very little chance that they will win. Maybe this is just a test, they would not be the only team to come back from a 2-0 deficit in a divisional series. I mean, the Red Sox had to climb out of a 3-0 hole against the Yankees to finally reach the top. Maybe the Cubs just have to reach back and do the same.
I really hope they do, because somewhere, that day, Bartman will feel like a person again, and goats in Illinois will finally stop being persecuted.