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In honor of actor Andy Garcia and his (unintentionally) hilarious reaction to Sofia (Mary Corleone) Coppola's death scene in "The Godfather, Part III."
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To be or not to be...Cubsessed

Posted 05-08-2009 at 04:28 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 05-14-2009 at 09:21 PM by TommyJohn

"Cubsession" n.-An obsession with the Chicago National League Ballclub, Inc. Said to afflict several rooters of the *sneer* other team in town, if one does truly exist. *sneer*

I have been thinking about "Cubsession," that fine, badly overused word coined here on WSI, lately. I have several rambling, disjointed thoughts about it. I just thought I would share a few in the privacy of my own blog, where you are free to come and read it if you like. It isn't on the threads for everyone to use. I don't know if I will put any coherent thoughts together on the subject. I don't know that this blog post has a through-line. These are just some things I have to say on the subject.

First of all, I will admit to enjoying the "cubsessed" threads and posts in "What's the Score?" They make for some the funniest, most entertaining reading material on this site. First, there's the initial post about the Cubs-let's say it's a Tribune fluff piece on Aramis Ramirez's down home remedy for treatment of hangnails. The poster will express disbelief that a paper would print such lightweight crap. A few will agree. Then on comes somebody to drop the "Cubsessed" accusation. The next person will accuse that person of being Cubsesssed with Cubsessors. On comes a third person to say that if the piece were about how AJ treats toe fungus, we wouldn't see this thread or have this discussion. Then comes someone else to say that no paper would print an article about AJ and toe fungus, so the point is moot. The whole thing will devolve into a pissing match between two posters-accusations of "hating the Cubs more than you like the White Sox" and "Cub fan in disguise on Sox fan forum" will fly around, until everyone tires out and the thread dies a lonely death, or the mods step in and close it and it fades into oblivion. I mean, what's not to love about these threads? They are like a WSI/internet version of daytime TV talk shows-really bad, almost pathetic when you think about it-but on another level irresistibly entertaining.

I am of two minds on Cubsession. On the one hand, I hate it. I hate it because we as fans should not concern ourselves with the North Side ballclub and its fans. It only feeds and seems to prove out lazy stereotypes. On the other hand, sometimes it is needed, because of those stereotypes.

I will admit to being "Cubsessed" at one point in my life. I used to root against the Cubs as hard as I rooted for the White Sox. I was gleeful when the Cubs would lose, particularly when they blew a game in spectacular, Cub-like fashion. Example: I jumped for joy when I heard the crushed voice of Harry Caray after Game 5 of the 1984 NLCS. I was happy when they couldn't follow up with more success. Don't get me wrong. In 1983, I was crushed when the Sox lost the ALCS. It is just that the Cubs losses were to me, just as good as if the Sox had won it all.

This attitude of mine led to repercussions. In 2003, I was convinced that destiny (or do you still call it "Dustiny"?) was on the Cubbies' side. No way would they lose. Their 88-74 asses whipped an Atlanta team that had home-field advantage clinched through the playoffs. They had the two hottest pitchers in baseball-Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. They were going to the NLCS against a weaker-looking Marlins team that had started 16-24 and was the wildcard (Funny thing-the wildcard Marlins at 91-71 were three games better than the Cubs).
The entire nation was on their side. I took a look at all that. I took a look at how the media was on their side. I saw how the White Sox blew their own chance at the postseason against the Twins. I thought about how much bigger the Cubs would get when they won the World Series. I thought about the dire predictions of doom and gloom for the Sox ("Back up the trucks" one poster wrote frequently "because the White Sox are finished in Chicago") if the Cubs ever won it all. I thought of Cub fans and how they would react to us. I thought of the sneering media (one jerk invoked the ratings game, saying that the Home Shopping Network would draw higher ratings that a White Sox World Series, but if the Cubbies were in it, the entire nation would tune in) and how they would sneer at us more, until the White Sox were forced to move out of Chicago for lack of a fanbase. All these things converged in my head the night the Cubs won Game 5 against Atlanta. The result? Epic Meltdown.

One person started a thread here: "How would you change as Sox fan if the Cubs won it all?" The most popular answer, the one many wrote, was that it wouldn't change them at all-they'd still be fans. That was the answer I should have given, but I was too concerned about Cubbie fans and the media. I was also in dire fear of the Sox moving out of Chicago and ripping my heart out while everyone danced on their graves. So I went online and, not pausing once to take a deep breath and calm down, fired off an overly emotional rant in which I vowed never to be a Sox fan again and ripped the organization to shreds. I was MAD that the Cubbies had won and wanted THE WHOLE WORLD TO KNOW IT!

Well, needless to say, I got ripped to pieces for what I wrote. One poster invited me to drink myself to death. One rushed to my defense, blaming my post on what he called "Post Cubmatic Stress Disorder" and predicted I would be back. I don't blame those who ripped me. They were shocked that I could have that attitude. The funny thing is, at the time, I meant every word. I didn't want to submit to the heartbreak of being a fan of the unlovable, mocked, scorned, sneered, spat upon team anymore. I had truly had enough. That is, until 48 hours later, when I realized what a dunderhead I was and began wishing I could take back every word. It was too late, it was out there. So I had a dilemma. Do I post a huge apology an beg forgiveness, creating just as big a scene as I had created when I left? Or do I come back quietly, hoping no one notices? I opted for number 2. I came back, and one person noticed, but that was it. I decided I would never again do something like that.

Mike Royko once wrote that the best piece of advice that he received from an editor was "Don't write when you're angry. Wait until you calm down." I should've followed that one to the letter.

I am going to submit this to post, but I will have more to say on the subject. Anyone who reads this and is remotely curious about it can read the thread where I made that post:


It is there in its entirety. I have never edited it to take out the bad stuff. I let it stand for all time as a monument to the bad things that could happen when you are Cubsessed.

More on the subject later.
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