Are the Confines TOO Friendly?: Is it time for a fan intervention?
"It's Gonna Happen"
That was the rallying cry all season long for the "Best in the NL" Chicago Cubs.
From Spring Training, through a hot start, through some mid-summer doldrums, becoming louder after the Rich Harden acquisition, but then quieted a bit during the struggle down the stretch
But then becoming deafening during the last week or two of the season as "Big Z" (Carlos Zambrano) threw a no-hitter in Milwaukee against the Astros and the Cubs, shortly thereafter, clinched home-field advantage.
After two defeats at the Friendly Confines and a flameout once again in the NLDS, one has to wonder what that means really. I'm a Cubs fan. I've lived on Waveland and currently just one block off of Clark. I can walk to games at Wrigley, and I can stumble home just as easily.
But am I a good fan? Am I an "enabler"?
My wife is a big fan of the show on A&E called Intervention, and I must admit I have been known to sit down and watch this trainwreck-of-a-show on more than one occasion.
What always frightens me the most are not the antics of the subject who will shortly sit through the climactic confrontation near the end of the show, but more the actions of the people around the addict.
I've seen a grandfather give hundreds of dollars to his granddaughter knowing she's going to use it to buy meth.
I've seen a husband go buy cases of those tiny airline bottles of vodka to help his wife "hide" her addiction.
I've seen two sons help their mother with almost every aspect of life, so that she may continue drinking her life and liver away.
These are the enablers. Every addict has at least one, and in the Cubs case, I think there may be millions.
We sit and watch during the glorious Chicago summer, never really worrying about the problems that are there underneath the surface:
Soriano's silly little hop, skip, jump (whatever it is) whenever he catches a pop fly, Z's "antics", the amazing, disappearing Japanese sensation, and sooo many others.
We drink an Old Style Light and forget that we are enabling this and the previous other 100 failed teams. We are not taking away the one thing that the Cubs franchise cannot live without, we will still still show up at nearly 40,000 strong for each and every game next season.
We read the newspaper articles about how Mark Cuban and his intense desire to purchase the Cubs and bring a winner to the North Side was used to merely raise the price tag.
We watch a lifeless team get swept for the second NLDS in a row. We cheer on a team that has now lost 9 postseason games in a row.
We watch the sign across the street in right field counting the years since the Cubs last champions as it grows to add a space for one hundred years of futility.
We do not do anything to help. We will fill up Wrigley on a miserable April day next season. We'll still sit in the bleachers during a 30-minute rain delay. We will still join an impossibly long season ticket waitlist. We'll still drink our Old Style and have a Chicago-style hot dog.
We'll still buy "Fukudome is my Homie" t-shirts.
That's what we do as Cubs fans.
We always will, and the Cubs know it.
We are enabling this franchise and their addiction to high ticket sales and mediocre results.
I've written this whole article wondering what I hope to accomplish with these words. The simple answer is nothing.
I'm an enabler too.
"It's Gonna Happen."
Maybe not this year, but maybe next. And I will be damned if I'm not going to be sitting there with my Old Style and hot dog sans ketchup in my Geovany Soto t-shirt cheering on the Cubbies. Hey, it's what we do. We are the biggest group of enablers in the world. It's a hard habit to break.
Maybe we should apply to A&E to perform an intervention on the Cubs.
"It's Gotta Happen" should be next season's slogan.
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