Saturday, October 04, 2008

It aint gonna happen: Cubs swept by Dodgers

This was the year, as the signs said, that it was "gonna happen." "It" being a World Series title for the first time in 100 years for the miserable Cubs and their fans. That would have been unusual, to put it mildly. But all that happened was the usual: a complete post season meltdown. For the second consecutive season the Cubs were swept and out before the October bleachers were even warm.

It was business as usual. A surprise would have been a big hit with two outs, a perfectly placed bunt to advance a runner, a stolen base, a great defensive play, a rally, some execution, some fundamentals... none of these things happened in the quick three game series. The end occurred in the second inning of game two, when the Cubs folded up, booted two double play balls and allowed a bases clearing double, finally leaving the field down 5-0. That was it, and every true Cub fan knew it. The rest was just hope meeting futility--like primitive man trying to fly, fashioning wings, launching himself off the edge of a cliff, caught by the wind for a moment, hovering, then crashing to the canyon floor below. For the rest of game two, and game three, the Cubs threatened but never advanced--stranding no less than 253 runners over the final 16 innings.

It's not about curses, really. All of that talk is a bunch of crap--like reading tarot cards in the face of a cold, inconsolable universe. So let this be a lesson to all those who lately have found it fashionable to embrace and cheer the Cubs. From Mark Cuban on down. Those who find curse reversal a fun pastime, like priests purifying the Confines with holy water. Like those who hang out in Wrigleyville to be seen. Like those who boldly declare the end of a century of futility, while, happily, probably never having lived inside it. Like those who are among the chosen people who stock Wrigley Field game after game, and prop up inane signs like "It's Gonna Happen!" Behold! I give you the Chicago Cubs. A team who can make 97 regular season wins irrelevant faster than a black cat skirting across the outfield. Faster than Steve Bartman's life can be ruined. Faster than a Soriano hop. And as a lifelong fan, to all the pop fans out there, repeat after me: wait until next year.

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