As baseball once again rolls into the dog days of summer, we Chicago Cubs fans will once again struggle to find meaning to this season. As each division starts to take shape, we will find ourselves looking up at the Cardinals (again), and simply counting the days until football season starts. The annual “wait until next year” conversations will begin and the clock will continue ticking towards another year that we must add to the total that have passed since 1908. So why do we continue to torture ourselves year after year? The answer is that we just do. Cubs fans have long been used to dealing with the fact that perhaps it just isn’t in the cards (please forgive the expression). It does become frustrating, so I am here to explain how it is that I keep coming back every season to root for our beloved Chicago Cubs.
1. Make fun of the Cubs before everyone else does.
I know this may seem counter-productive to being a fan of any team, but when it’s the Cubs it really does become easier and easier to do. It’s not that I really always think that they’re terrible and they will never win a World Series. It’s the matter of having to listen to everyone I know that isn’t a Cubs fan tell me these things over and over and over again. And please don’t let me forget about the insufferable posts on Facebook, as if I’d somehow forgotten that the Cubs had just lost five straight games because Carlos Marmol is still on the roster. Therefore, I’ve found it much easier to stop people in conversation before they get going. It’s funny to see the looks on their faces as they begin to tell me how awful the Cubs are and I chime in with “Yeah, the Cubs suck. They haven’t won since 1908. I get it. Do you have anything else to contribute?”
2. Stop listening to St. Louis Cardinals fans
We need to stop comparing ourselves to the St. Louis Cardinals, period. The Redbirds certainly have their own way of doing things and it has worked amazingly well for them. If anything, a Cardinal fan makes himself look terrible when he insults the Cubs because he lowers his team down to the Cubs’ level (see how I made fun of them before you could). Again, I get it. Your team has won more championships. I am aware of your team’s accomplishments in relation to ours. If Cardinal fans want to be as classy as the media makes them out to be, then please just keep quiet.
3. Stop believing in curses.
We need to stop whining. It wasn’t the goat’s fault. It wasn’t the black cat’s fault. It certainly wasn’t Bartman’s fault. We lost.
4. Remember how great the Wrigley Field experience really is.
For those Cub fans who have never been to Wrigley Field, please put it on your to-do list. Through the great seasons and the awful seasons, the record doesn’t matter when you walk up the ramp and see this ballpark. From the ivy to the old scoreboard, there really is no experience like watching a ballgame here. I know many will say that it’s filthy and outdated and the possible renovation project is necessary and those people are certainly entitled to that opinion. Change can be a good thing. But if Wrigley Field stayed exactly the way it is now for another 100 years, I would be okay with it. Every time I walk that ramp, I turn into my eight year old self again. I remember every single reason my grandfather persuaded me to become a Cubs fan as a boy. It truly is one of the most special places in sports, and honestly, one of my favorite places in the world.
5. As hard as it may be, continue to be patient. You still love the Cubs.
This reason alone may be the only one we really need. Chicago Cubs fans are the most loyal fans in sports, and the reason we are that way, is because we have to be. Generations upon generations of us have watched in agony as our beloved Cubbies have knocked on the door of greatness only to be turned away time and time again. Believe me, it does get very frustrating. I will make fun of the Cubs. I have been to Wrigley Field and booed the Cubs. But at the end of the day, I will always come back. I continue to believe that someday, somehow they will find a way to win another World Series. Through thick and thin, I love the Chicago Cubs. I always have and I always will. That’s what being a real fan is all about.