Pitchers and Catchers Report in 1 week, the 2006 season is right around the corner….
To go or not to go, that is the question….for a sports fan. As of late, I have heard this argument on sports talk shows right here in Chicago. What should a sports fan do when their team is not performing? Should I go, and not be fair-weather, or should I not go and show the Ownership I will not stand for a losing team, year after year.
For me, this is quite the conundrum. I am a Cubs fan, win or more often lose, but that is what I am, and I will keep going, I just do not know if that is right. If I stay home, will the Ownership even notice? The answer is no, not unless I can convince around 5 million people to follow me, and since I have a hard enough time choosing what value meal I want at McDonalds, this is probably not going to happen. However, I want to discuss this issue. On one side, your optimist will argue that as a fan, one must go to the games. Players always talk about how they “feed off the crowd”, therefore one would deduce he or she has to be there. This opinion would go on to say that a fan is a fan is a fan, and no matter what the previous outcomes may be, fans should support their team.
Fans go to the games, and not going due to futility is simply not being a fan. This is where the term ‘Bandwagon’ rears its ugly head. It’s easier to be a fan when the tide is high and victories are plentiful. I guarantee that 50% of the people who were in the United Center during the 1998 finals (what should have been Jordan’s last year) could not pick Ben Gordon out of a crowd. That is just it; people want to be around fun, happiness and celebrations, all things one would not find during a Tampa Bay Devil Rays game. I am sorry, but there are a handful of people in my department who did not know who Paul Konerko was last April, but now they have White Sox garb in their offices, and yes, by office, I mean cubicle.
On the other side, one would argue that the only way to help get a better team would be to boycott. If fans stop going, then owners lose money, and owners do not like to lose money, so maybe they will be forced to field a better squad. In my opinion, this is not plausible. There is a 27 (or something) year waiting list for Green Bay Packers tickets, even if Favre retires and the Packers go 4-12 the next ten seasons, the waiting list will still keep growing. Now someone could point to the Chicago Bulls franchise to support this argument. The United Center was a shadow of its former self four years after his airness left, and now they are finally getting better. I would just say that is the definitive cycle of the NBA. Outside of the Clippers, no one can be THAT bad for THAT long. So, can one really expect to positively affect their team by no going? No, they cannot.
Therefore, I will continue to go to games, continue to purchase tickets, and continue to trick myself into believing, “Hey, we are 5 games back, and it’s only August 1st, we can SO pull this off.” 98 out of 98 times, the Cubs have not pulled it off, and the crowd keeps growing year by year, so the question remains, to go or not to go? Who knew Shakespeare was quite the prognosticator.
Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, thanks for reading and until next time,
Stay Classy Cubs fans….