Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Being a Cubs Fan Is Depressing

Ron Santo is a pretty joyful guy, but not even he can deny the depressing nature of Cub fandom.


I'm doing everything I can to make this post depressing. Photo of a glum Ron Santo: check. Ironic photo-manipulation isolating a single splash of Cubby Blue: zing. Sad song from Garden State: posted. Discussion of being a Cubs fan: would have gone without saying had it not been for my blatant disregard for the rule of threes.

If I'm discussing the Cubs, all the other stuff is just Spielbergesque manipulative emotional overkill. The depression is happening. If you're a Cubs fan, that is. Non-Cubs fans often derive great pleasure from discussing the Cubs and their fans. For White Sox fans it's cathartic. For people who just don't like baseball in general it vindicates their choice of pastime. For genuinely, clinically depressed people it might even be humorous that a self-chosen preference for the Chicago National League ball club could take the place of a chemical imbalance in immersing someone in melancholy. But for Cubs fans it's just a sad reality.


Cheering for the Cubs isn't agony. It isn't painful. It isn't even a real problem. But being a Cubs fan is depressing. To support this theory law, let's conduct a little experiment. Think about the Cubs. Now try to think about something happy. You're still thinking about the Cubs, aren't you? Of course you are, because your happy thought was being five outs away, Kerry striking out 20, Sammy hitting homers 61 and 62, or any number of great moments from 2008, which only led to thoughts of Bartman, Tommy John surgery, leaving early with a duffel bag of PEDs, or getting swept by the Dodgers.


The good news is that the depression isn't overpowering or all-consuming, at least it doesn't have to be. You can remain a Cubs fan and still alleviate your depression by turning your attention to other things. When your thoughts turn back to the Cubs, cue the Cubbie blues, but you can cross that mopey little Charlie Brown bridge when you come to it. All you need is a sitcom or a brownie, not a support group.


It's a good thing, too, because there really is no such thing as a Cubs fan support group, because none of us really have any intentions of abandoning our depressing pursuit. Take a look at the K├╝bler-Ross model of the stages of grief:

Denial
This is the year! followed shortly by Wait till next year.

Anger
You suck, Zambrano! Fire Hendry! Tag him, Castro!

Bargaining
If we sign Cliff Lee or Adam Dunn or Joe Girardi or trade Soriano for Mr. Met, we can contend in 2011.

Depression
This, of course, encompasses either directly or indirectly everything every Cub fan in the last century has ever said.

Acceptance
Cubbie acceptance is a flat-out myth. It doesn't exist. The people who say they accept the ramifications of being a Cubs fan without ceasing to be Cubs fans are just adding on another thick coat of denial. Maybe the same is true of those who claim to have quit the Cubs for good are in the same boat floating down the metaphorical Egyptian river. I don't know. I just know acceptance is a lie for Cubs fans. Allow me to illustrate with a Venn diagram:

What do the World Series and acceptance have in common? Cubs fans don't know what either one feels like.
I'm starting to realize this post has no logical conclusion. We are Cubs fans. That is depressing. That is all. Hooray! When does Lost come back on?

1 comment:

  1. Adam, you are my hero. The Venn Diagram is great, I'm hanging it up in my cube so that I can determine (based on how my day is going) what kind of Cub fan I am.

    As for a logical conclusion, this isn't an original thought but I offer my personal link between World Series and acceptance. I don my Theriot jersey, look in the mirror and ask myself "how will my life change if the Cubs won the World Series?" ... there is no answer (there is no spoon!), I think this is how many of us link the two *quickly* -without resolution, but with affirmation- so we can head to the fridge for another beer just in time for Pat Hughes to say "Chicago Cubs radio is on the air!"

    ReplyDelete

Spill it.

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