If it’s true that imitation is the highest form of flattery, then I’m fawning all over Thrillist’s Ben Robinson and Matt Lynch. Their 19 Types of Beer Snobs was good-humored mocking with a palpable undercurrent of biting satire and I loved it. It’s true that craft beer aficionados — and I include myself in this group — can take themselves a bit too seriously at times.
As for me, I think I’m a hybrid version of Self-Important Homebrewer and Evangelist, with a little Condescender thrown in for good measure. And while I can’t cop to being a Barrel-Aged Devotee, I laughed at the little jab at the third Manning brother.
But this isn’t a beer blog, it’s a Cubs blog; still, we can tend to get a little self-important as fans too. So with that in mind, I set about developing a classification of the different types of Cubs fans. Read on to see if you find yourself or someone you know on the list below.
Ricketts is a money-hungry liar. Theo Epstein is a false idol who only won in Boston because he had more money than anyone else. This team will never win in his lifetime and he knows it. The Curse of the goat is real, dammit, and Kris Bryant is doomed to fail as a result. In the end, it’s his criticism that will drive the team to change.
The Grizzled Veteran
Better than you because he has been a fan longer and has endured greater suffering; if you were not born before 1960, your opinion on the team — and life in general — matters little to him. Has a backlog of scorecards and remembers the College of Coaches. Don’t get him started on the erosion of the relationship with WGN. Actually believes the claim that Bud is brewed “the hard way.”
The Old Maid
She has multiple pieces of costume jewelry featuring ivy leaves and has every Cubs pin and patch ever produced. Her home and the back window of her car are festooned with stuffed bears and Cubs Beanie Babies and the only thing that keeps her from attending road games is her fixed income and the fear of leaving her cats alone for that long.
Given the gentrification of Wrigleyville, his kind has multiplied like wet mogwai in recent years, crowding the bleachers with cuffed skinny jeans and patch-covered jackets. He laments the scarcity of Pabst Blue Ribbon at the ballpark and engage in debate on political and social mores while the game takes place unnoticed.
She is probably wearing the hat or t-shirt of a team that’s not even playing because, you know, it’s a baseball game. But the Cubs are her second-favorite team, she’ll quickly explain. She takes the Wrigley Field tour and can’t answer the questions about the meaning of the 191 flag flying atop the ballpark.
His bleacher ticket was a free pass to get hammered and heckle whatever opponent comes within earshot. He will always offer to pick up the next round, but just has to see this next play, bro. Inevitably, one of those free rounds will end up on the fans in the three rows in front of him.
Regardless of what the experts say, she is eternally sure that the Cubs can field a team capable of winning 95 games. She still can’t believe Hee-Seop Choi and Felix Pie didn’t develop into superstars and she knows that Sammy Sosa really did mistakenly employ a BP bat in a live game. Swoons multiple times during Cubs Convention opening ceremonies.
He’s better than you because he spent $50 on a website template and a domain name and now he covers the team for the benefit of the uninformed peons. Likely has a thesaurus close at hand in order to use big words that make him sound smarter. He has sources, which may or may not be other blogs, and it is his ultimate dream to be credentialed at a Cubs game or press event.
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Essentially a more effete and self-aware version of The Hipster, he is probably dressed in business casual with a pair of Tom’s to best illustrate his social consciousness. He waxes poetic about the availability of Sofie and bison dogs. Comfortable in the CBOE seats but would prefer a suite or rooftop ticket so as to indulge his social agenda without as much interference from the game.
No amount of Cubs information can satiate him, so he scours the internet for each and every morsel he can possibly find. He streams two different radio stations while simultaneously perusing three different browser windows and refreshing Twitter. Loses sleep researching waiver transactions, Cuban prospects, and rumors that Cubs are possible destination of FA pitcher.
The Prospect Hound
He knows the names and stats of each young player throughout the Cubs system and goes ballistic with Keith Law doesn’t rate them higher. The Cubs being named the top farm system in baseball was the greatest moment in his life and his greatest worry is how the team will maintain that excellence in the face of improvements at the big-league level.
The Former Player
He would have been one of the names Prospect Hound committed to memory had it not been for that freak injury or that coach who didn’t know how to exploit his talent. That, or he just wasn’t as good as his parents told him he was. But he can tell you what’s wrong with Baez or Wood because he’s played the game and he knows, man.
This fan believes Theo Epstein is God, or at least one of His higher emissaries. He can do no wrong, and even the Edwin Jackson signing is a permissible — perhaps even necessary — misstep on the greater journey to baseball immortality.
The Long-Suffering Spouse
If given her druthers, she wouldn’t watch another baseball game in her life, but her husband has indoctrinated her children and thus roped her into a life of fanhood by proxy. While she puts on her Cubs shirt and smiles politely, her resent is slowly building as the concession total grows and the team loses….again.
He married a Cubs fan and because he felt no strong allegiance to another team, he joined the fray. He started out tentatively, but after a few beers at a game with his brothers-in-law and he was all-in. He’s still not sure why those flags are flying from the foul poles though.
Not unlike the family from the NFL Shop commercial, he is a chameleon that will take on the form of whatever team happens to be closest and most popular. He was a Red Sox fan when he moved to Boston after college and then spent some time dabbling with the Rangers when he was transferred to Dallas. Now he wears his Cubs hat to work outings.
He scoffs at the notion of batting average and pitcher win totals as tools with which to measure player performance. He’s a card-carrying Baseball Prospectus subscriber and will laugh at you if you don’t know the difference between wRC and wRC+, let alone the value of SIERA.
The Baseball Nerd
This rare breed claims to simply be a fan of the game, but he has a soft spot for the Lovable Losers because of the historical significance of their futility. He pulls for them to win, but is safely insulated from repeated failure by his emotional detachment.
The Wrigley Purist
Not so much a fan of the team as she is the ballpark in which they play, this one cringes at the thought of naming rights and believes the road to hell is paved with outfield signage. There’s no greater abomination than a giant vidiot board that will blare distracting rock music for 9 innings. If she wanted to watch the game on TV, she’d have stayed home.
The Bandwagon Jumper
We haven’t seen him for a few years after he broke his leg jumping off the bandwagon, but he’s getting ready to hop back on to take his rightful place in the bleachers…if they’re ever ready. He’ll be there to clog up virtual waiting rooms when tickets go on sale and high-five you after Bryant homers, unless the Cubs are out of it by then.
Know any of these? Which one(s) are you? Did I miss anyone?