View Full Version : An MLB.com perspective, and my response...

10-06-2007, 09:31 AM
This article from MLB.com (http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article_perspectives.jsp?ymd=20071005&content_id=2252361&vkey=perspectives&fext=.jsp) puts out points that we've known all along about the Cubs and their stories (or excuses) of futility. You won't see anything new in this piece...the author might as well have done his research at this site. However, I felt the need to write him back. I liked what he said overall, and here's what I said...

Mr. Bauman,

First of all, great piece. I'm from Chicago...however, I'm NOT a Cubs fan. I'm a White Sox fan who has been saying for YEARS, along with other Sox fans, that the Cubs' futility has NOTHING to do with goats, curses, or any other sorts of hexes the press has been heaping on Cubs faithful for so long. Just please remember that the popularity of the Cubs, unlike teams like the Yankees, has NOTHING to do with success ON the field, but off-the-field mularkey and stuff like curses and the like. And it's something that even if the "real" Cubs fans won't buy, enough "bandwagon" people will soak up like a sponge.

The Cubs' national popularity has been built on exposure and marketing Wrigley Field as a tourist attraction, much like other attractions here in Chicago like the Sears Tower, Navy Pier, and Michigan Avenue. It would be one thing if the Cubs had a winning tradition, but we all know they don't. And in 2003, when it looked imminent the Cubs would go to their first World Series in generations but blew it, the masses initally blamed the misfortune on a fan who was trying to catch a foul ball instead of blaming the Cubs for failing to win games 6 or 7 of that series.

The marketing of this team over the years has produced a fan following unlike any other team in baseball. However, those who choose to be a part of this phenomenon have to accept the fact this team is about to face a futility streak unlike any in professional sports. "Real" Cubs fans are incensed that their team is that close to blowing anothe rpost-season opportunity. Those who are only in this for the party and "to-be-seen status" will only go to where there is the next keg of beer and something fun to hang around. "Real" Cubs fans here in Chicago are sick and tired of curses, goats, hexes, and such. But they're often being shut out by those who go to Wrigley just to socialize, get drunk, sing the 7th inning stretch with some D-list celebrity, and then blame a goat for their team's futility.

It's stuff like that that makes me not want to be a part of the whole "Cub Nation"...period. The White Sox, and just about every other team in MLB (with the exception of the Boston Red Sox until '04) don't blame their lack of success on hexes and the like. We White Sox fans knew from 1917 until 2005 that a combination of bad off-field management, on-field management, and players were why our team hadn't won in 88 years...and you didn't hear us fans cry to the masses, "Please feel sorry for us. Our team's cursed, and we can't win...boo-hoo, boo-hoo!!!". Instead, we got on our teams front-office to build a winner, and they listened. When fans don't show up for games, that tells the front-office something...either build a winner, or we'll go elsewhere. There's no virtue in people constantly filling up a stadium for a bad team with ownership acting like they don't care because money is coming in hand over fist. Ther e's nothing wrong with "loyal fans", but sometimes, people have to draw a line. In my opinion, Cubs fans are getting what they deserve because while the "real" fans are staying away from Wrigley, the "socialites" and such are flocking Wrigleyville, taking in "all-things-Cub", and putting money in the Tribune Company's pockets. For Cubs' fans sakes, I hope the new owners of the Cubs will take winning baseball seriously because the Tribune Company obviously didn't.

Sorry for the ramble, but I think you get my point. We agree that until the Cubs finally "win", this talk of curses, goats, Bartman, and other "vices" holding the Cubs back won't go away. However, I'm glad to say that since the White Sox won it all in 2005, less and less of Cubs fans are buying such drivel. You can have things like a manually-run scoreboard, ivy on the outfield wall, rooftops filled with packed bleachers, and a neighborhood filled with people if you want to. About 10 miles south, there a banner hanging above U.S. Cellular Field that says "2005 World Series Champions", and in this Sox fan's eyes...more will come soon. Personally, I'd rather have my team have a few rings to show off than ivy on an outfield wall...wouldn't you?

I think that pretty much says it all. What say you?

10-06-2007, 10:15 AM
Not all Cub fans are jerks.

My best friend is a long time Cub fan that wants the team to win and could care less about Wrigley/ attendance/ and all the other non-baseball "Cub Nation" crap.

A matter of fact he finds it a bit embarrassing that the "goat" and all these curses are associated with his favorite team.

Real Cub fans have felt this way forever. Same deal with Red Sox fans and the "Curse of the Bambino" and any other team out there with some supposed curse. It can make for interesting story telling but anyone who closely follows the game knows it is all a bunch of BS.

I know I would not feel a "bit" embarrassed about the goat crap if I followed the Cubs: I would be "very" embarrassed.

10-06-2007, 11:47 AM
I think this idea of a curse is just a fun way for Cubs fans to help deal with the pain. I can't imagine anyone really taking this curse stuff seriously. I think baseball, more than any other sport lends itself to playful superstition. When you look at the science and reality behind baseball it really seems like a magical game to us mere mortals. How can a human really pick up a 90 MPH major league fast ball, know when and where to swing to knock it out of the park? Yes we see it happen but there is only a very very small percentage of humans in the world that can actually do it and then only in a very small percentage of the swings they take.