At 34 years old, my time as a Cubs fan is not as long as others. I’ve not endured as much pain and heartbreak as my father’s generation, but I’ve seen my share. He can at least claim to have seen the Cubs in a World Series as he was a young boy in ’45. The closest I have to that experience is the 2003 NLCS, and we all know how that story ended. But each spring I have a new hope, no matter what the previous season brought. I believe in worst to first, but never surprised by just worst. I’ve been lucky, and old enough to have seen NL East and Central championships. I’ve had the opportunity to see the likes of Sandberg, Dawson, Maddux, and Grace to name a few. I sat near the “Shawon-o-meter” once. And I watched Grace save an error on Dunston’s cannon throws more than once. If there was a meter for that it may have been higher. But I digress.
I’ve seen the helm of the Cubs held by many. Some great baseball names, some names that would be great if I could remember. I’ve experienced the beauty of Wrigley in the Summer, and its agonizing personality in the spring. And the term “spring” I use loosely when speaking of Chicago weather in March/April. I’ve worn a parka and a cut-off t-shirt in the same series. I’ve sat field level, bleachers, and upper deck. There are no bad seats when you’re at a Cubs game. I drank Old Style before it made its exit. I didn’t say enjoyed, just drank. I’ve taken the South Shore into Chicago more times than I can count. I’m pretty sure I’ve used the bathroom at the McDonald’s near Wrigley about the same amount. I was young for many of the games, the cluster of the men’s room in the stadium was too much.
I’ve watched from afar the last few season’s, living in Charlotte NC. The MLB package is my link, as I watch almost every game. Occasionally lucky enough to catch a game at Turner Field when they play the Braves. But I don’t feel any further from the Cubs than when I was a train ride away. The past few seasons have been hard as a fan, but every season about this time I start getting excited. Some years ago I decided to delve only into the positives with Cubs. Oh, I’m aware of what’s going on, but I’m not a pessimist, especially with my Cubs. The yearly prediction pool I’m in tends to find me in last with my prediction of a .500 campaign. At some point in time I’ll be right and win, but till then I still believe.
I can’t get down on Theo and what he has done over the past few seasons. Building from within is what we needed. I watched the Cubs “go big” in spending. We’ve just recently been able to sever all those bonds that held us. I’m excited to see what comes of all these highly touted prospects. I want to see Rizzo, Barney, and Castro have bounce back seasons. I think Travis Wood can do what he did last year again, and this year we can get him some run support to win a few more. I could go on and on, but the point I’m trying to make is…I’m a Cubs fan. I get excited about this team when most others could care less. For all of the shots I take for being a Cubs fan, the payoff, should it happen in my lifetime, will be well worth all that. I’m in a great position to be able to share this passion with other Cubs fans, and that is what makes being a fan of the Chicago Cubs great. We are Cubs Nation.