How ‘Bout Them Cubbies?

As the lone Red Sox fan in the newsroom, the Softball Coach was asked in 2004 by the Baltimore Sun to write a playoff-preview story about how it felt to get so close — or not so close — year after year without shedding the Curse of the Bambino.

Well, I wrote that it felt like garbage. That it never got easier or better. That I feared and dreaded to my soul that my dad would die without the Red Sox having won a championship in his lifetime.

I also wrote that I feared winning the championship almost as much as I feared losing again.

Anybody can be a Yankees fan, I reasoned, while it takes a special breed to stay faithful to the teasing, bumbling, luckless BoSox. Would being a Red Sox fan become nothing more than loving a front-runner?

Ahem.

So here we are. Feeling sorry for Cubs fans … again. More hopes dashed. Swept out of the playoffs by the Dodgers, of all teams. Now, a century without a ring. The Red Sox hadn’t won one since 1918.

Now, they’ve got two World Championship rings, and everywhere you go, at least one guy’s wearing a Red Sox cap, weathered by rubbing it against cement or whatever so that it looks 50 years old. “Hey, I’ve been a fan since the beginning. Yup. Born and bred.”

And the Softball Coach looks at Johnny Come Lately and thinks: “Why, I oughtta slap that hat off your head.”

But it’s too late. The Red Sox are winners. Everybody likes a winner. And nobody wants to look like they just joined the party (even if they did).

So, cheer up, Cubs fans. So you lost again. You got to see some great baseball at a great ballpark this season. And there are so many great things to do in Chicago to pass the time until 2009. Rejoice that you live in a great place.

And the next time somebody asks how it feels to have gone a whole century without winning a World Series, tell them it’s fine. The beer’s cold, the sun’s warm and the hot dogs are awesome. The blues clubs stay open until 4 a.m.

And a Cubs logo would look horrible on a pink hat anyway.

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