Thursday, April 7, 2016

Are the Cubs Too Good to Be Lovable?

The Cubs are talented this year. Like, super duper talented. To the point that many people are picking them to win the World Series. As a lifelong Cubs fan, it's a little weird, as this is not what I have come to expect from the Cubs. The Cubs will forever be the Cubs of the 1990s. Teams that had unforgettably fun players but not necessarily good players. They had a miraculous run in 1998, and then had some nice runs in the early-mid 2000s behind some of the highest potential pitchers who never all came together at the same time before things fell apart. And then the Cubs dipped into that safe space of being bad.

Then the Cubs got new ownership who brought in Theo Epstein (and friends) and although the major league roster continued to suck, they were building something. And last year that something came together to get the Cubs to the NLCS. Even as a Cubs fan, I couldn't believe the jump they made in one season and how their young players performed. It was a crazy year, and I was only a little sad when the Mets pitching annihilated them.

So now the Cubs enter 2016 as the favorite to win the World Series. That's pretty dang cool. But the Cubs as a favorite doesn't seem like a Cubs team at all. They were the lovable losers. Now that they look like winners, do they lose their lovability as well? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is yes.

The lovable losers no longer apply to the Cubs. You loved them like a guy that you'd loan $20 knowing that we'd never get paid back. You loved them in the way that their failures made you feel okay with your own shortcomings. You loved them with no fear, knowing they weren't going anywhere, because they had nowhere else to go. You loved them as a friend. A best friend.

You can't love a Cubs team that is this talented like that. But that doesn't mean that this team can't be loved. You can't love this team like a friend. This is a team you love with passion. This is a team that fills you with lust. I mean, just look at Kris Bryant.
This man doesn't look into your eyes; he looks into your soul. This team makes you doubt everything you've ever known, because it doesn't make sense. This is a team that keeps you up at night wondering if this could actually be real.

But it is real, and it is wonderful. And you realize that it's time to let go of your inhibitions and love completely, even though, logically, you know this could break your heart. And oh god, you pray that this doesn't end in heartbreak, but you can't fight the way you feel. You're going to love them day and night, so you may as well spend as many days and nights with them as possible. Let them overtake you, because, win or lose, each game is a slice of heaven.

And hopefully, at the end of the year, this is that love you never forget.

So, no, these aren't the lovable losers of your childhood. But this Cubs team is definitely still lovable.

1 comment:

  1. Remember when the Royals won the world series last year? That was cool.