Anybody who is a fan of the Ramones probably has this song on his Ipod. For me, when I’m watching the Cubs, it is a way of life. I admit, while watching the game on TV or listening to the radio, I am a nervous wreck. For the most part, I will only watch when the Cubs are hitting. When they are in the field, I will watch until an opposing batter reaches base. I will then either walk out of the room or turn the channel. As the game goes on, I get even more nervous. This nervous tick goes back to 1984. During that wonderful year our Cubs stunned the baseball world by winning the NL East divisional title. It was the first October baseball played by them in 39 years. After the heartbreaking final 3 games at San Diego I was crushed, I just couldn’t go through the visual agony of defeat again. So, from 1984 through today, when I sense that the Cubs are in trouble, I walk away, turn the channel, say a prayer, I just do what I can to avoid seeing or listening to the Cubs lose. It just kills me because I love to watch baseball. I am probably most relaxed when I am watching a game in which the Cubs are not playing. The Fox game on Saturday, the ESPN games, I enjoy stress free. I even watch those games from years back on ESPN Classic.
The good years of 1989, 1998 and 2003 were trying times. Even, the ill-fated summer of 2004 proved to be high anxiety. Back in 1998, I met a really fine looking lady and one of the first things I asked her was, “Are you a Cub fan?” When she said yes and preceded to rattle off her knowledge of the Cubs, we began dating and 10 months later we got married but we decided to wait until November instead of October just in case our team, our Cubs pulled off a miracle.
I didn’t see the Bartman play live. We all know that the Cubs were up 3-0 with one out in the top of the eighth inning. When Juan Pierre got that double, I put my then 3 month old son to bed and went down stairs. I did not want him to see what I feared might happen. By the sound of my wife’s voice I could tell it was a long inning. 1984 was in the rear view mirror and charging. No need to discuss what happened the next night. It actually brings tears to my eyes as I type this.
It is 2007, our Cubs have been playing good, playoff bound ball for two and half months now. We can take this division. As the Cardinals proved last year all that it takes is a team to get hot at the right time. Pass me the Nyquil sleep at night cough medicine; I’m going to need it.