Chicago Cubs: Being a fan is a way of life on the North Side


Shortly after the conclusion of the Chicago Cubs’ 8-6 victory in Game Three on Monday night, I walked down to the field level and sat for a few minutes to take in the scenery at the Friendly Confines.

An overwhelming sense of excitement and wonder swept across me as I watched the grounds crew rake away the footprints in the infield dirt. As I stood up to leave, my eyes were immediately drawn to a elderly woman sitting alone in the next section from me. Covered head-to-toe in Cubbie blue, the woman turned to me with a giant grin and said, “Go Cubs!”.

The current playoff run for our beloved Cubs takes on a completely different meaning than it would for any other team. To be a Cubs fan doesn’t just represent where you’re from – we cheer for them because our parents cheered for them, and their parents before them. The one constant for all of us has been the years of futility.

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It dawned on me then that to be a Chicago Cubs fan is generational. My 30 years on this planet pale in comparison to the decades of pain that elderly woman must have felt. Despite the vast difference in years, our fandom has hurt all the same.

If for no other emotion, I find it amusing that a team of youngsters seem too raw to be phased by the downtrodden history that faces them.

My love for the game stems from the admiration my grandfather had for the game. That love only blossomed by the shared interest my father showed for the game as well. The Cubs are just four wins away from reaching the World Series.

If they achieve this summit, it will be a moment my dad and I will share together for the rest of our lives. It truly would define a “once-in-a-lifetime” event. The only pain we would have after that would be knowing many, like my grandfather, never had a chance to see it happen.

107 years of losing can take its toll on anyone, but these 107 years have been particularly rough. The Cubs may not win it all, but they have certainly energized a fan base that has been slumbering since the end of World War II.

Consider the likes of Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo as the fountain of youth. With every crack of the bat, each fan becomes a little younger, cheers a little louder and remembers why he/she loves this team so dearly. Besides, it’s not hard to cheer for a team that seems so deeply engrained in our DNA.

I hope the Chicago Cubs win it all this season, I really do.

It’s not just because they are the team I root for, but because a World Series victory will mean everything to this embattled fan base. I hope they do it so that every father and son can sit side-by-side and make a lasting memory. I hope they do it so the elderly woman I encountered can know that her years of optimism and tears can be celebrated. Most importantly, I hope they win it for those who can no longer cheer with us.

The generations of Cubs fans share many things, so why can’t a championship be one of them? No matter the outcome over the next week or two, I certainly plan on cherishing the ride and hope that more will do the same.

Next: Cubs are the favorites to win it all