These are nervous-making times. It took me almost 10 minutes this morning to figure out which t-shirt was safe to wear today, because I didn’t want to jinx the Cubs tonight. There are all kinds of rituals to be observed. For example, last month I walked around Wrigley Field counter-clockwise to reverse the curse. I hope it worked. I also need a haircut, but I can’t possibly get one now until after the playoffs. Because what if I get a haircut and the Cubs lose? Or worse, what if I get a haircut and the Cubs win? Then I have to get a haircut before every game. That is just impractical. Better to just wait.
We Cubs fans are a superstitious and angst filled bunch. Filled with boundless optimism (say “this is our year!” Very good. Now repeat that 100 times), and at the same time always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Remember the black cat on the field in 1969? Remember the Curse of the Billy Goat? Remember Bartman in 2003? If not, consider yourself lucky.
You can’t blame Cubs fans for being nervous. We have had our hearts broken so many times they are barely functional. Think again of the Bartman, and the Miracle Mets of 1969, and all the other ways fate has screwed the Cubs in the last century.
I can’t remember who said this, and I think it was originally said about the Red Sox, but its true of the Cubs too.
Being a Cubs fan is like smoking. You start when you are young and innocent, and you still think you are immortal. By the time you realize it is slowly destroying you, it’s too late. You can’t quit. It’s true too. You never hear of a long-time Cubs fan saying, “oh screw this, I think I’ll go root for the Cardinals”. It just doesn’t happen.
So Cubs fans everywhere are searching for their lucky t-shirts, their lucky hats, and their lucky charms. We are knocking on wood at the slightest provocation. And we are hoping and praying that this year really is our year. Finally.