Enjoying My Cubs Moment In Spite of the Trolls
A few weeks ago I detailed my disappointing 45-year odyssey of a being a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan. And in one of the great World Series games ever, that ended as the Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 of the 2016 Fall Classic.
When the Cubs beat Los Angeles in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series eight days prior, I went to Wrigley and watched in Danny Beck’s Toons Bar & Grill, a true neighborhood sports bar near Wrigley. It was insane – packed from end to end with crazy fans cheering every pitch. When the final out was recorded, I cried, I called my father, I hugged my wife and had another few dozen Budweisers.
I live in St. Louis and thus during the run endured a good amount of fairly good-natured trolling. When I posted a video of the excitement in Toons, my friend Blake – who changed his named on Facebook to “CubsChoke” and with whom I’ve owned St. Louis Cardinals season tickets – trolled me for posting about my excitement. I took the high road.
“I have been a Cubs fan all my life,” I responded. “That is 45 years of losting and disappointment. I deeply respect the greatness and legacy of the St. Louis Cardinals. Maybe you should sit this one out Champ….and simply appreciated what I hope will be historically changing events.”
Game 7 vs. Cleveland was different. In spite of owning a bar, I chose to watch at home, sitting quietly on my couch. I would periodically check social media and noticed Cubs group I’m in on Facebook was quiet. I understood. We were all simply nervous, just watching, feeling helpless and hoping we wouldn’t have another Bartman moment.
By the time the Cubs won, I was alone, as the rain delay and the drama throughout had made it late enough that my wife and kids had gone to sleep. I stood up with my hands in the air. I said nothing. I began to well up in tears. I called my father and cried as I spoke with him for just 30 seconds.
“We did it,” he said to me.
Hell yes we did it. I had waited for this moment for 45 years. I took a photo I had taken of the television image that read “Cubs Win World Series” and posted it on social media. Then I went upstairs and laid down in bed as happy as I could remember in recent memory.
The next morning, Blake had more wisdom to share.
“I have so many thoughts about the World Series. No, the Cubs didn’t fully choke as I predicted. What are the odds? I happen to change my name to CubsChoke the ONE TIME they actually DO win? I guess you’re welcome Cubs Fans? Seriously though, I still vehemently dislike everything about your team, organization, players, jerseys, stadium, songs, and mascot. I always will. But I am eating my words this morning, and I gladly own-up to all of the anti-Cubs shit-talking. And as a just punishment, I’m stuck with this CubsChoke name for another 6 weeks, and I’m not ashamed. I’m not happy for your “accomplishment”, and I don’t think it’s some magical story. Welcome to the world of success that (most) every other baseball team lives in. Do me one favor, and think about this for a second: winning is bad for your brand. You guys owned that whole “Lovable Loser” thing. That was uniquely Cubs. That was what made you guys different. No other sports franchise had that Cubs deadbeat persona. Way to go, you’ve won the World Series! BUT, simultaneously lost the only unique trait that you had. Being a SHIT-BUM team. Anyway, congrats. These acrimonious Cubs posts sure have been fun. I need to find another topic to troll Facebook with, a reprieve from the political bullshit that everyone posts all of the time. I’m taking requests.”
A few minutes after reading his gem of a poke, my business partner walked into my imitation office at work. Like most others in this baseball-crazy town, he’s a diehard Cards fan. He sat down – seeing me in my Cubs Hawaiian-print shirt, and asked a simple question.
“Good morning for you, Aaron?”
I quietly responded, “Yeah, it really is.”