This isn’t going to be a long diatribe to rub the Cubs’ success in the faces of those who didn’t believe it possible. It’s not some kind of sappy tribute, either. In truth, I could probably ramble on about what I think this season meant for the Cubs and their fans — and for longer than any of you would care to read — but I want to make this short.
I know I can’t ease the anxiety that is sure to build within many of you over the next couple of days, but I’d like to try my hand at it anyway. It’s probably going to be pretty easy for me, as I’ve got business travel that will keep me running, driving, and flying for the next couple days, and then I’ve got a pretty big event all weekend that I’ll be prepping for. As such, there’s really not much room left to worry about the Cubs.
But I’ve also found a sense of peace when it comes to this team that has exceeded my wildest expectations. I’m very much looking forward to Wednesday’s game and I’ll be very disappointed if the Cubs don’t win. That said, I’m looking at this as the start of something even bigger, as the first of many trips we’ll be able to enjoy in the future. I don’t want to let worry push fun out of the picture.
As I write this, I’m having a beer in honor of my Grandpap, the man who had perhaps as much influence on my fandom as anyone else. He passed away 4 years ago to the day the Cubs closed out this incredible 2015 regular season, and I can’t help but find that a bit poetic. While I’m sure he worried and had difficult times, I can’t say that I ever saw my grandfather upset or even anything less than cheerful. So it’s in honor of him that I’m going to try to temper my emotions through Wednesday.
What I’ll do during the game, however, is an entirely different story. I had thought about organizing a watch party somewhere but then realized I’d be far too wound up to be much of a social butterfly. So I’ll be rocking, pacing, may drinking a beer or two, as I agonize through the game. We’ll be together on Twitter though.
I’m sure many of you are going to be similarly tortured, while others will find ways to enjoy the trial of a do-or-die game. However you take in the game though, know that it’s the right way. I am not always a huge Paul Sullivan fan, but I thought he expressed this sentiment perfectly in his recent column.
The truth of the matter is it doesn’t matter how you approach the Cubs’ first playoff game since 2008.
The wild-card game will be won or lost by the performances of the same players you’ve watched win 97 games, the third most in the majors, and nothing else.
So act however you want, and don’t let anyone tell you it’s the wrong way.
If it makes you feel better to burn candles, wear an Ernie Banks jersey and move your mother’s picture next to the TV, go ahead and do it. If you want to moan about the injustice of a do-or-die postseason game after a 162-game season, feel free to rant. And if you want to use every painful playoff moment in history as a reminder of what might happen, that’s your right as well.
Well said, Mr. Sullivan.
97 wins. Still doesn’t seem quite real when you say it or type it out. Now it’s time to see about getting 98 and sinking the Jolly Roger.