Just Like Clockwork: Chicago Cubs Continue Losing Tradition

Matt PicchiettiContributor IOctober 5, 2008

All is well with the world because the Cubs lost….excuse me; all is well with the world because the Cubs imploded...again. The sun will rise again in the East, there will be Monday Night Football, Frank Caliendo will continue to do one outstanding (and dozens of sub-par) impressions and get paid handsomely for it, and Chicago will mourn for the Cubs; just like clockwork.

I was worried for a while. The 97 wins, the back-to-back titles, the re-born Closer Kid K, the Eastern influence, and the great manager to juggle all those parts so well; I thought I was going to have to develop some real expectations, but the Cubs came through yet again.

Like a Shakespearean sonnet, Elvis, or lines from Caddy Shack, the Cubs’ futility is (pretty much) timeless. Theirs is a cyclical failure. Each season starts with such high hopes and hot streaks. The pundits all say that the Cubs can do no wrong. In the National League, they are one of the teams to beat.

Predictably, the Cubs win early season series. They hit for average and power; they pitch with energy and gusto! They are world-beaters, destined to break the curse! But, just as predictably, when the games matter, the Cubs fold faster than O.J. Simpson’s latest legal team.

With that cycle, millions of fans are able to dilute themselves long enough and well enough to ensure deep-seeded resentment and genuine anger when the Cubs eventually do crash. And they ALWAYS crash! It is part of the change of the seasons: the kids go back to school, the leaves turn color, football starts, and the Cubs underachieve.  

And I, for one, am thankful for that. I mean what if the Cubs finally did win? What would we talk about? What would happen to “wait until next year?” Think about some of the other dry-spells that could also be broken if the Cubs are able to succeed:

Pauley Shore could start making movies again! Think of it! Does the world need Bio-dome 2?

Paula Abdul might not do Idol all jacked up on muscle relaxers and box wine! Straight up now tell me, are you ready to watch a stone-sober Paula? Me neither.

The Bears could use an early draft pick on a successful, 10-12-year quarterback. What would Sid Luckman think if his passing records were eclipsed?

Ron Santo might...never mind.

My point is, if the Cubs won a World Series, part of a natural cycle would be broken. That breech, in turn, could allow more dry-spells to break with tragic, even dangerous results. Up would be down and back would be white.

The Cubs are doing the natural order of the world a favor by continuing to provide a template of self-destruction so effective that it would make Amy Winehouse blush. They are 0/100!! There’s some sort of twisted perfection there that, in some way, needs to be celebrated. Just look at all those zeroes. They are perfect and round….just like the World Series rings the Cubs seem to fear.  

It’s alright Cubbies, just wait until next year…again…just like clockwork.