So many times in past years I’ve written that its’ great to be a Chicago Cubs’ fan.
So many times in the past I’ve been disappointed.
A long time ago, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t jump on the Cubs’ bandwagon early, since it always just leads to more disappointment.
This year, though, it’s hard to keep quiet.
The Cubs are off to their best start in more than a decade. Yup, you have to go back to 1906 to find another Cubs team to equal the fast start of this year’s team. And, oh, how I hate saying that. One jinx after another jinx after another jinx have befallen Chicago’s Northsiders and I don’t want to be part of another. But, if you go back to 1906, you’ll see that the Cubs won a record 116 games that season and won the World Series.
That’s right, the Cubs won the World Series. They also won in 1907.
There’s nobody alive today who saw that happen. Shoot, there probably aren’t a whole lot of folks still alive who rooted for the Cubs in 1945 – the last time they played in the World Series. And, remember, that was during the World War II years when much of the Major League talent pool was off fighting in that war and wouldn’t return until 1946.
So, I suppose those of us who follow the perennial losers should temper our enthusiasm. It is, after all, too early in the season to start dreaming about a pennant, let alone dream of a World Series win.
Just remember what happened a year ago. Cubs fans found themselves caught up in the fervor as Chicago won 97 games last year. Shoot, that’s good enough to win the pennant just about every year … except when you’ve got St. Louis and Pittsburgh in your same division.
Still, the Cubs earned a Wild Card berth and beat the Pirates. Then they beat St. Louis and those of us who believe that "next year is here" watched in dismay as they lost the National League Championship Series to the New York Mets.
So, we can only sit back and watch this year. It’s a long, long season and we’ve seen so much disappointment.
Remember a decade ago when the Cubs let a series with the Florida Marlins slip away? That was just one of the heart-breaks along the way.
Perhaps the biggest, though, came in 1969. Remember the ’69 Cubs? The lineup was loaded but the Cubs faded late in the season and grasped defeat from almost certain victory.
So, the smart thing is just to keep calm and let things play out. The season is nearing its quarter mark, but there are still more than 125 games to play. That’s a lot of baseball and a lot of things can happen in that time.
I’ll tell myself to keep calm. Don’t get too worked up. We’ve been there before and we’ve been disappointed before.
But, I think of the Boston Red Sox. Boston had gone nearly as long as Chicago without a World Series win. That ended though during the past decade.
So, why can’t the Cubs do it, too?
I’m just going to stay calm and enjoy things as they are now. I’m not going to feel pennant fever. I’m not going to dream of a World Series, let alone a World Series win.
If you’re a Cubs fan, remember, it’s just a game. It’s not a life or death matter.
No, it’s far more important than that.