Why Cubs Fans Aren’t Loveable

If Chicago had only one sports franchise, such ebullience might be plausible:

Like all great stories, though, the most important part of this one is that it can serve as a picture of gospel hope in miniature. The Cubs’ saga, because the drought was so much longer and more desperate than any other North American professional sports franchise, actually illustrates that hope uniquely. Think of it: more than a century of constant struggle, doubt, and disappointment. Hopes for a glorious and cathartic future of which we’ll all be an emotionally and spiritually invested part, despite not being the main actors.

But don’t Cubs fans know they live in a city with four — not three — four other franchises. And lo and behold, the other teams’ championships hardly constitute a 2016 Cubs World Series victory as an oasis in a desert of sports futility.

Bulls — 6 Championships
-1991 defeated LA Lakers, 4-1
-1992 defeated Portland Trail Blazers, 4-2
-1993 defeated Phoenix Suns, 4-2
-1996 defeated Seattle Supersonics, 4-2
-1997 defeated Utah Jazz, 4-2
-1998 defeated Utah Jazz, 4-2
MVP for each championship: Michael Jordan

Blackhawks — 5 Stanley Cups
-1934 defeated Detroit Red Wings, 3–1
-1938 defeated Toronto Maple Leafs, 3–1
-1961 defeated Detroit Red Wings, 4–2
-2010 defeated Philadelphia Flyers, 4–2
-2013 defeated Boston Bruins, 4–2

White Sox — 3 World Series
-1906 defeated Chicago Cubs
-1917 defeated NY Giants
-2005 defeated Houston Astros

Cubs — 2 World Series|
-1907 defeated Detroit Tigers
-1908 defeated Detroit Tigers

Bears — 1 Super Bowl
-1985 defeated the Patriots

Hardly a drought. Compared to Atlanta it’s a veritable feast: 1. Atlanta, Georgia – 162 seasons per title

Now if Cubs fans only root for the Cubs and follow no other sports, that doesn’t add up to a point but it moves such people closer to Hillary Clinton’s basket of deplorables. Instead, they need to act like they’ve been there before. They have.

Update: by the way, this thought about Chicago fans first occurred to me last night while talking with Chortles and Wresbyterian.

17 thoughts on “Why Cubs Fans Aren’t Loveable

  1. From what I’ve observed having lived in the Chicago metro area for about 12 years now is that, unlike the other 4 franchises, the Cubs are a fetish. Bears fans are similar, but belong largely to the Old Skool rough & tough crowd who are slowly on the wane.* Sox fans, or “South-siders,” are almost like an ethnic group of ingrained drones, also somewhat on the wane due to a largely disorganized ball club during the past decade.

    But anyone moving into the area who wants to “fit in” with the rest of the culture (not real sure why they would) immediately jumps onto the Cubs bandwagon, gets a “W” flag to hang over the garage door, a cap, and maybe evening a uniform.

    *Mounting evidence of permanent central nervous system damage from impacts caused while playing tackle football is already having a negative effect on the numbers of kids playing football at the primary and secondary school levels, soccer apparently taking its place (except in the South, of course, where football makes the Cubs fetish look lame).


  2. Mellinger – “Like all great stories, though, the most important part of this one is that it can serve as a picture of gospel hope in miniature. The Cubs’ saga, because the drought was so much longer and more desperate than any other North American professional sports franchise, actually illustrates that hope uniquely.”

    This is one of the stupidest things ever published. A sports franchise overcoming a century of ineptitude = the Christian’s hope of resurrection. Why can’t Evangelicals enjoy something of the common kingdom without pretending that it provokes them to godliness?
    I must confess, though, the Cubs victory has convinced me of postmillennialism. Our future’s so bright, we gotta wear flip-up shades.


  3. Baseball gnosticism:

    it isn’t just a baseball game. It’s a secular parable if there ever was one. I read a story yesterday about a guy who watched game seven sitting by the grave of his father, fulfilling a promise. One news story focused on how the Cubs winning the series unleashed feelings of grief and sadness in the midst of celebration. Baseball is one of those activities that is easy to overlook or dismiss if a person doesn’t understand it. It’s a narrative, a story, in which the heroic and the tragic are separated by one pitch, one inch to the right or to the left, or one missed call by the umpire. It’s an event that allows us to get caught up in something bigger, providing the opportunity to talk to each other, to put down our phones and distractions as we anxiously wait for the 3-2 pitch with two outs. If you don’t get it that’s fine—baseball isn’t for everyone. Just make sure you step off and take your spiritual snobbery elsewhere. After all, Reformed Christianity is about the heart; it’s about desire. Augustine suggests that the goodness of our temporal existence is in the way we are constantly desiring, seeking, yearning for a future that never quite comes in this life. This is what makes life good. Reformed Christianity affirms the goodness of creaturely existence, it affirms the secular spirituality of baseball as a transcendent experience—a secular All Saints Day where the dead aren’t just remembered, they are present. What will Chicago Cubs fans do now that their eschatological future has arrived? Don’t worry… they can always cheer for the Minnesota Vikings.

    I thought bodies and places mattered to Kuyperians.


  4. My parents moved to the Chicago area in 1950 from northern Wisconsin. They lived in Cicero, IL for 6 years before moving out to the northwest suburbs (Arlington Heights) in 1956 (a year before I was born). I lived 18 years in that same house in Arlington Heights. My point being is that I grew up in Chicago and my dad took the train to work everyday to downtown Chicago. I got to know Chicago pretty well. And I don’t think this post captures what the Cubs are all about and what they mean to the city.

    My dad used to eat lunch with Bill Veeck (a former owner of the White Sox) at the Como Inn on occasion so we got yearly season tickets for White Sox games. We also went to a lot of Blackhawk games growing up in the 60’s and early 70’s there. I was more of a White Sox fan than a Cubs fan growing up because of the amount of White Sox games I went to. However, Wrigley field and the surrounding area it is in was a lot more fun to go to than the old Comiskey Park on the southside. So I did follow the Cubs folklore and even lived in Wrigleyville for two years (2004- 2006). I learned Cub folklore from listening to WXRT radio in Chicago (http://wxrt.cbslocal.com/personality/lin-brehmer/), hanging out at Wrigleyville and listening to Steve Goodman music. That is what captures the heart of the Cubs and is what makes them so luvable. I usually miss the point of the posts at oldlife so I am probably repeating the same thing over again.


  5. johnyeazel, Ha I grew up in Arlington Heights. Spent 13ish years in the same house there. Too many stoplights these days.

    Go Bears.


  6. I did not read the Gospel Coalition link nor the “making old school Presbyterianism great again” audio tape. Like I said, I often miss the point of many posts at oldlife. I can’t say I really put much thought into the post or my response. I just commented off the cuff about what the post made me think of, i.e., Steve Goodman and Lin’s Bin from WXRT radio Chicago. Are you sure, DGH, that it was only a help “to Cubs fans to see how others see them and their city?” It looks to me, after reading more carefully, as another opportunity to take a swipe at a Gospel Coalition post. However, I cannot read your mind nor decipher your motives. Thanks for the explanation. I’m not sure I am buying into it all though.


  7. Bryan, I don’t recall too many stoplights in Arlington Heights. At least that did not stand out to me the last time I was there about 4 years ago. My Mom still lives there in a retirement village run and owned by the Lutherans. She sold our house two years after my dad died in 1993.


  8. Maybe it just seems like a lot of stoplights – my family have since moved to the hinterland suburbs of Chicago, and I’ve gotten used to fewer stoplights. My Grandma spent the last five years of her life at the Lutheran nursing home there, and my Mom worked there for several years as a receptionist. I went to the private Christian school down the block in the old Arlington Heights High School building.


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