I don't know about you White Sox fans, but since the division series ended, I've been more seriously acknowledging that the Chicago Cubs are the best team in baseball this year - and how being that can sometimes lead to a championship.
This isn't news, of course. I was aware of every one of their hundred and three wins in the regular season. Despite living two thousand miles from the source, the Cubfan transplants in my proximity never shut up about it; while our team was busy floundering a hot start and inventing new ways to alienate the fan base.
I have comfortably allowed denial to rule my summer. But the leaves are falling and I suddenly sense an urgency. I can't put this off anymore - it seems that I need to make peace with the Cubs potentially bringing home a trophy. And I'm not going to sugarcoat the situation or take any high roads here, the whole thing kinda hurts.
Am I the only one working through this existential nightmare that is a likely Cubs championship?
I see you Sox fans jumping ship. You've been doing it all season. I hear you talking about what a "fun" team they have. How "entertaining" their games are. How their "ace pitchers" don't take "knives" to the team's uniforms on your "birthday". I'm also hip to your hometown justifications, I love Chicago too.
But is this a fucking game to you people?
This is my life's narrative hanging in the balance!
Where is your loyalty to the bag of dicks on the south side and our ham-fisted front office? Are you ready to lose the unspoken upper hand in every friendship you have with a Cubfan? Are you ready for the Most Epic Streak Of Failure In Organized Sports to end? Are you prepared for the apocalypse? Do you have weeks of water supply and fresh batteries in your flashlights?
I can't believe the universe is allowing this.
The 2016 Cubs are a damn fine team. I'm not trying to undermine the depth and appeal of this club. The logo is endearing, and so very American in hue. They have ownership and management that appears readily able to identify elbows from assholes. They have a bullpen you can trust - and in the event that they blow it, they have an offense that picks up the pieces with whatever outs remain.
To speak of their quality, I knew in my heart of black hearts that the Giants were going to lose Game Four, even as they had a three-run cushion heading into the Cubs' final three stabs. Dare I say I was even hoping the Cubs won that game, because I didn't think the Giants deserved it, and I wanted to continue believing in the poetry and justness of baseball.
But I'm over that.
Shit got real the past few days. Theo Epstein is wearing stilettos in my emotional life raft, that magnificent bastard.
Last year's Cubs weren't nearly as threatening, and I was relatively carefree in oh-three, simply trusting that there was no way this could ever happen. But something is amiss. I'm afraid that losing this year's NLCS is going to take divine finesse. Clayton Kershaw cannot pitch every game.
Speaking of - how classy were Cubfans after losing the NLCS last year?
TOO FUCKING CLASSY! I don't know who these stunt doubles are, and what they've done with all the Cubfans I've known for the past thirty years. I've been coming across more and more intelligent, informed Cubfans lately, and I don't like it one bit.
I've always been able to pick a Cubfan out of a lineup, there's some primal scent. And I've lived with a guiding principle -- if someone was raised in a Cubs household, their fandom was justifiable and they were somewhat victims, dealt a rotten loyalty in life. But any time I met someone who was raised in a White Sox house and chose to be a Cubfan, I instantly knew that person could never be trusted. This has played out time and again.
What happens now? All of the perfectly sound reasons that have shaped a lifetime of hating the Cubs and painting their fans dolts, are seemingly out the window. Sure, I haven't paid them much mind since 2005. I haven't cared a lick what the Cubs were up to, and I hardly ever plucked from an assortment of low-hanging opportunities, to boast that we had a championship in my lifetime, let alone the past century.
I've been a pretty good sport, all things considered. But now the laughingstock is on the south side of town. And let's face it, the losers are not nearly as lovable over there. This is all so disheartening.
So where do we go from here, Sox fans? Are we the dumdums devoting our time and energies to a blatantly abusive relationship? Do I need to swallow thirty-two years of pride and show respect to the Cubs organization, for finally dotting the lowercase J's and putting on one helluva show in the process?
Is this really happening? Do I gotta call someone to repent? Oh my god, why aren't I cheering for the Cubs? Our time here is too short for losing! I wanna go out ugly-cry/cheering! I want a team who wins more than a hundred games each season and rallies in the ninth inning of the decider! I want a front office who loves me, and to experience springtime hope materializing into an autumn pennant, this is my LIFE, after all!
Anyway, I'm working through some stuff. Just gotta grin and bear it, right?
Grin and bear it.