Let me just say for starters that I’m not really a baseball fan anymore. The 1969 Cubs broke my heart, and I lost interest over the years. And let’s be honest. Watching baseball is like watching paint dry.
Yet this year I had caught a bit of the Cubs fever that infected Chicago fans. My friend Sal kept posting winning recaps of Cubs games throughout the summer. Cubs merchandise started popping up in stores around town. Even some White Sox fans grudgingly admitted that the Cubs were hot this year.
When we beat long-standing rival the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round of the playoffs, I had hope. Maybe this was our year. After all, the movie Back to the Future II predicted a Cubs victory in the World Series. Might life imitate art?
But when I realized the Cubs would face the New York Mets for the pennant, my heart sank. It was the Mets, after all, who had won that coveted prize in ’69. Sure enough, in a four game sweep, the Mets trounced our Cubbies to win the title and go on to the World Series.
Looks like it wasn’t our year after all. Yet most Cubs fans I know are taking the loss in stride. Today’s Cubs have a roster of young, enthusiastic talent and a manager who actually seems to know what he is doing. Maybe it will be enough to break that legendary Billy Goat curse.
For the first time in a long time, there is real hope in the Cubs fan slogan, “Wait ’til next year.”