Your Fandom: My Team


By: Austin Alexander-October 5, 2008

bradyt08.jpgWho is your favorite team? Not just in baseball but in all of sports. Maybe it’s a college football team, successful basketball program, an NBA organization or NFL powerhouse. If you are a transplant down here from the north, maybe your team of choice skates on ice. It is conceivable that someone reading this really loves NASCAR and some individual driver. Perhaps you are a big booster or fan of your local high school athletic teams.

Whatever the case, most of us have one team that we are emotionally invested in.

You know if you are a crazy sports fan toward one team because your general happiness can rise and fall from year to year, week to week, day to day or play to play depending on how they fare in the standings.

zambranoc-emotion1.jpgWe invest much of our time watching, daily thoughts thinking and pocketbooks purchasing merchandise or tickets. We have various reasons for choosing that club. It could be because it’s our alma mater, the local team or a childhood memory. Maybe we love them because we know someone on the team, our father always grew up loving them or you just like the way their logo looks!

Point being, if you fall into any one of those categories, then you may have some sense of what Chicago Cubs fans experienced in 2008.

Best record in the Majors, eight all-stars, the National League’s top offense, a legit pitching staff and ton of come-from-behind victories throughout the season.

billygoat08.jpgWe all know the history. Black cats, 1908, Billy Goats, Bartman, blah, blah, blah…But man-oh-man, this year just "felt" different. While folks of my generation had seen our share of postseason collapses, there was a general feeling that 2008’s October may present a different fate.

Well, after a Game 1 grand slam in the 5th, Game 2 comedy of errors in the 2nd and Game 3’s 2-0 deficit in the 1st and 15 men left on base, actually means that in their biggest series of the year, the Cubs were a factor in a grand total of five innings.

Now, when your friends and acquaintances know how much you care about your team, they are very quick to call, email or text you when they fail. But as you know, we are very poor sports when our teams capture our hearts, then fall on their faces…which makes us very angry when asked about the last 100 years and what happened during the past week. (In other words, that means when this article is published, I don’t care to discuss this topic further)

You see, it may be sad that a grown man with a family is surrounded with Cubs apparel, pictures, etc. I can understand that. But when your 2-year old just does not know why he has not been allowed to wave the "W" flag following a win for the past week, and won’t be able to for the next six months, it resonates just how disappointing this year wound up being.

Not to mention how this particular club added to the lore of past failures, this year has made any such Cubs team in the future deal with even more questions, more pressure, and likely, more lost opportunities.

The Los Angeles Dodgers completely out-played Chicago this week, in every single phase of the game. A tip of the cap to them is in order for sure. But a whole lot of people just like me feel the pain of another sizable collapse in Wrigleyville, which makes the many late nights we invested in that group of 25 feel in vain.

By the way, Fukodome just corkscrewed into another punch-out after Lou promised we would not have see him again…

But as they say, there’s always next year. Unfortunately, fans of the Lovable Losers really believed this was the year to kill the curse. But honestly, what’s another 100 years to wait?

So if you have a team, I hope on some level you can understand why I’d just assume go into hibernation until Spring Training when all of "Cubdom" can hope, once again, that ‘this’ will be the year that it all comes together for our favorite team.

It’s been noted that the ‘thrill of victory’ and ‘agony of defeat’ is a powerful thing in the world of sports. I experienced both in 2008…and "crazy sport fan guy or gal": you know what I mean!