Hold On Tightly

Do you remember running downstairs on Christmas morning with unabashed anticipation about Santa’s presents?

Do you remember throwing your arms up in the air right as the coaster started the main, longest and scariest descent?

Do you remember running full speed and flopping onto the slip ‘n slide as fast as you could trying to set a land speed record?

Do you remember plummeting down the big drop-off on the waterslide?

Do you remember the first time you “floored” the gas pedal when you got your license?

These examples represent certain thrills in my lifetime as I am sure they do for many of you. Adrenaline is a physical and emotional catalyst. It changes the way we feel, the way we think and many times the way we act. Surfers are always looking to catch the next big wave, skydivers aiming for the perfect jump and golfers the greatest shot. So maybe golf is a stretch, but you get the point.

I have never been classified as a thrill seeker by anyone so my love of the Cubs this season could be qualified as oxymoronic. By my count this is the seventh September the Cubs have been “in it” during my lifetime…. 1984, 1989, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2007. If you are a Cubs fan there is no greater adrenaline rush than meaningful baseball in September.

While out to watch the Bears game on Sunday I could not pull my attention away from the small television in the corner. Dempster had just taken the mound and we just needed three more outs. Monday night will remain as one of my favorite days ever at Wrigley. I am a pessimist when it comes to the Cubs and have left early in the past only to be snake bitten by the great comeback. However, Monday I was not going to let that happen, and I was rewarded handsomely. Theriot had one of the greatest at-bats of the season. Derrek Lee slapped the ball the right and then Norris Hopper made up for his Spiderman-like antics in the ivy by misjudging his dive, therefore giving Aramis the triple, putting him only 90 feet from the great comeback.

When good ole Sam Fuld crossed the plate that glorious evening I had the feeling every other Cubs fan in attendance and those watching on TV had. It was a team of Destiny. No, not a team of Dustiny, but a team of actual destiny. Then 24 hours later the Cubs laid an egg against Aaron Harang and I chided myself for believing. How could I fall for this act again? Why did I believe?

Rooting for the Cubs is like plummeting down a 120 foot waterslide at Typhoon Lagoon or Wet ‘N Wild in Orlando. Watching the Cubs in the middle of a pennant race is like jumping out of an airplane or flying down the highway at 110 miles per hour. All of these are thrills and adrenaline rushes. All of these are interesting, enticing and awesome, but letting go is the key. One has to let go of all control and hope that everything works the way it is supposed. I guess that is the way life works sometimes. I guess you have to pray that your parachute opens, your brakes work or that you gently cruise into the landing pool. For most people these things do happen.

Unfortunately for the Cubs the brakes have not worked properly for 99 years. As I mentioned before, this is the seventh time over the course of my life I am watching the Cubbies compete in late September. It is the greatest thrill ride I can imagine. I cannot tell you the last time I was as excited and pumped up as I was on Monday night. I have decided to “Let Go and Let Lou.” I am pumped and my blood is flowing. I am optimistic and ready for a miracle. I have been here before, but unfortunately I have already ended up a bloody mess six times.

Here’s hoping the seventh time is that parachute we have all been waiting for.

And you wonder why I have never jumped out of a plane? Well Jason….I know better.

Feel free to contact me at brian@chicagocubsonline.com and until next time….

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!

Quote of the Day

"Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings." - Salvador Dali
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