The Young and the Restless: I Can Be 17 and Sports-Jaded Can't I?

Joe WillettSenior Writer INovember 25, 2008

Note: I am going to attempt to do some more opinion based articles in more of a blog style than article style.  How will you differentiate?  The "The Young and the Restless" at the beginning of articles in this style.  These articles will generally jump around a lot between multiple sports and topics and deal with all things Chicago.

When I started watching basketball, this was the Michael Jordan that I was shown (above).

I started to become a sports fan around the turn of the millennium.  I'm post-Jordan, post-Payton, post-Santo, post-every-great-player-my-teams-have-ever-had.

I've been reading the book "Now I Can Die in Peace: How ESPN's Sports Guy Found Salvation, with a Little Help From Nomar, Pedro, Shawshank, and the 2004 Red Sox."

The book was written by Bill Simmons, a great writer whom I enjoy reading and do so with frequency.  He has talked about being a Boston Red Sox fan and of all the bad moves from all of his teams in general.

However, he was able to happily enjoy the great Larry Legend Celtics and a few good Patriots teams in the process of his Red Sox losing generally every season.

My team is mainly the Bears.  I got one good season out of them (2006) and that was really a great year.  I was able to attend upwards of eight games that season, including every playoff game since they had home-field advantage and my grandpa had season tickets.

There is no better bonding experience than going to a game with someone in your family.  Me and my grandpa have countless great memories, and even though the seats aren't great (we sit directly below the scoreboard) but we have made friends with everybody around us who has season tickets and that we get to see throughout the year.

Unfortunately, the Bears lost the Super Bowl. Why did they lose? The same reason the Bears lose every season, no quarterback. They have been on a perpetual revolving door of bad quarterbacks that just makes you cringe. Some of the highlites? Rex Grossman, Craig Krenzel, Jonathan Quinn (who is my personal favorite), Chris Chandler, Henry Burress, the list goes on and on and on. We even thought we were saved with Chad Hutchinson, thats how starved we were. Maybe that's why I don't get the Eagles' fans perpetual hatred of Donovan McNabb.

Recently, I was reading a Bill Simmons article at about how NFL stadiums have sucked all of the home-field advantage out of football games.  I have to agree with him on that, as in the past few seasons I have seen fewer and fewer people standing with me during big downs at Bears games.

As for the Bulls, I was able to just miss the Jordan Era, which really sucks for me.  Instead, I got years of mediocrity.  Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, all the Chicago Bull greats I missed.

Look on the bright side, I've gotten an up-close look at Joakim Noah, Eddie Curry, and good 'ol Michael Sweetney.

And then there are they lovable losers, the Chicago Cubs, I may have missed about 90 years of the supposed curse, but my Cubbie teams have been giving me false expectations for years.

I don't blame the curse, for years, it has been the lack of a third baseman.  Since Santo, we have seen third basemen be worked through the Cubs lineup like Rosie O'Donnell works through an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Then we get sent Aramis Ramirez, my guess is God threw us a bone, so now what was I supposed to blame it on.  Bullpen issues.  Joe Borowski was never a great closer, so we got rid of him.  Dempster was decent, he's gone, but now Wood is here and he's been great.

Unfortunately, he may be leaving, we finally get a closer and he's gone before I know it.  I was there for the infamous Bartman incident.  It was unfortunate that it happened, but we can't blame him for Alex Gonzalez channeling his inner Cubs-killer and letting that ground ball slip right though his legs.

Ever since then, the Cubs have been on a playoff losing binge like an 80's rocker at the end of his career does with cocaine, only ours is more deadly.

I may be just 17, going on 18 in a few months, but I really don't want to enter adult-hood without ever seeing a Championship with one of my favorite teams.  But with the Cubs gone after another first round exit and both active Chicago teams unable to escape mediocrity (Bears 6-5, Bulls 7-8) I have a feeling I just might have to endure that.

Now don't even get me started on the Chicago Fire.

I'm Joe W.


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