An Open Letter To Cubs Fans From The Best Fans In Baseball

An Open Letter To Cubs Fans From The Best Fans In Baseball

Even a World Series win would not make up for your ugly past.
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Cubs fans,

First of all, congrats on a great season. You won over one hundred games for the first time in over a hundred years. Your team deserved to win the central division, and they deserve to be in the playoffs. Honestly, they deserve to win the whole thing. Before you go on a spree of bashing the Cardinals, though, we have some things to say to you.

You do not have the best fan base in baseball. The Royals tried to pull this with us last year when they were good, too. Where are they now? Gone. I was so blessed to grow up in St. Louis, so I got to experience how amazing and dedicated Cardinal Nation really is. Now, I go to school in Illinois, so I deal with a lot of Cubs fans. People have actually said to me that the Cubs have the best fanbase, ever. Although the Cubs have a very big fan base compared to the biggest bandwagon team in baseball (The Royals) it was not because of baseball. Before the Cubs were good, the fans were there to party and get drunk on a summer night. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but let me compare that to Cardinal Nation. When you walk into Busch, the people there are there for the Cardinals. Our hearts break for them when they lose, and we are filled with happiness when they win. We can name our players from previous teams years back, and when I asked you all to name players from years back you all said, "Umm...Sammy Sosa?" We all remember the rally squirrel, when David Freese saved Game 6 for us, when Wainwright threw the final pitch in the 2006 World Series and jumped into Yadier Molina's arms. We also remember in 2004 when our amazing team got beat in the World Series by the Boston Red Sox. We are second in World Series Championships behind the amazing New York Yankees. In October, people only wear red. You go to Walmart on a day that the Cardinals are playing? At least 75 percent of people will be wearing red. We love our old players and will almost always offer them a standing ovation when they come back on other teams to play against us. There is a reason Albert Pujols talked about missing his "home" is St. Louis when he left. There is a reason why players like Jim Edmonds and Willie McGee consider St. Louis the best place in the world. There is a reason why opposing players say, "I'm sick of the hype too, but it really is just different there." We stick to our team no matter what. With them having the worst season that they had in a long time, we were still standing in our seats until the very end.

We don't care if you win the World Series. Yes, you're obviously not our team of choice that we want to win, just like the St. Louis Blues probably weren't your pick for the Stanley Cup. It won't affect how St. Louis feels about the Cardinals. We aren't going anywhere and we will be back next year. One of you guys told me, "Cardinals' fans will shut up if the Cub's win, they will have nothing to say." That isn't true. We might not make Titanic jokes anymore, but we still have eleven rings. We still are a threat to you next year, with a healthy Lance Lynn coming back and younger players coming up. Having a good, young team might make you the best team in baseball, but it doesn't mean you're going to win the World Series every year from here on out. Trust me, ask our 2004 Cardinals, so quit acting like you've already caught us in championships. If you win or lose this year, we will still make fun of you

This is not the best team to have ever existed in baseball.

This one is funny. The Cubs are very good, there's no question there. They are not the best team to have ever existed, though. All year long I had Cubs fans saying "The Cardinals' are so bad." "The Cardinals suck this year." "The Cardinals are the worst team in baseball." Here's the funny thing, when the Cardinals were great the Cubs were not even on our radar. We didn't care. Also, the Cardinals may not have had the greatest year compared to previous seasons, but be careful when you say that they suck. The Cardinals were one game out of making the playoffs. If one of the worst years they have had in the past decade in being a game out of the playoffs, they really cannot be that bad. Also, the Cubs played the Cardinals 19 times this year. In those 19 games, the Cubs won ten of them and the Cardinals won nine. The Cubs may have been really good this year, but you cannot say that the Cardinals would not have been a threat to them if they would have gotten the chance to meet in the playoffs. Another thing to point out is when you think of a best team in history, do you really think that it is a team that went against "horrible" teams? Or do you consider it a team that went against teams with deadly lineups such as the Killer Bees from the Houston Astros, or facing an incredible player like Barry Bonds knowing he was probably going to hit a home run when he stepped up to the plate? The best teams in baseball are not the teams what walked all over the weak ones.

Moral of the story, celebrate this year, but don't have this chip on your shoulder that you're the best organization in baseball history because you're just not. Also, learn to care about the actual Cubs winning instead of just beating the Cardinals.

Sincerely,

Cardinal Nation

Cover Image Credit: Keyword Suggestions

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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Taking A Step Back From My Sport Allowed Me To Be Able To Work On These 3 Things

Sometimes you need time away to appreciate the things you love.

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Since the age of nine, horses have been my whole life. Before college, I never had your typical teenage experience. My weekends were spent driving two hours one way to train with a top show barn. My mom and I lived out of our suitcases during the summers, traveling from one show to the next.

The only glimpse of the senior prom I got was through Snapchat's my friends sent of them having the time of their life, while I was going to bed at nine to make sure I had plenty of sleep to compete the next day. I even graduated early to go work for a show barn in Florida for five months. I missed out on a lot, but it never felt that way because of how passionate I was about the sport. I was all in, I loved the thrill of competing, the early mornings, the long days, and most of all: the horses. If you would have told me that I would be here writing about feeling burned out a year ago, I would have laughed.

Going away to college and having to put a bit of pause on my athletic career allowed me to take a step back, breathe, and realize there is so much more than horse shows and blue ribbons to this world. If I could instill a piece of wisdom to my younger self it would be that taking a step back at times is the best thing you can do for yourself. Here is what I learned:

1. Mental health

As many of you know, the pressure of succeeding can put a toll on anyone. I have always been extremely hard on myself, but when I was showing almost every weekend I really started to notice that I would feel upset more than I felt happy. I could win the class but still, come out of the ring criticizing myself over every little thing that went wrong. Because of this, I went into the ring nervous and doubtful. It wasn't fun anymore.

After taking a step back, I have realized that there will always be ups and downs in any sport. I now go into the ring much more confident and I come out smiling- even when it didn't go as planned. There will always be another chance.

2. Physical health

Like any sport, riding takes a toll on your body. After working in Florida for five months, riding up to 12 horses a day, I really felt like something was wrong with my back. However, I pushed through the pain, convincing myself of the quote "no pain no gain". I continued to ignore it, until one day it was unbearable.

I went to the doctor and sure enough, I had herniated my L5 disc. He told us this was completely preventable if I would have rested or taken an hour out of my day to ice and stretch when the pain started. After months of healing and being on a first name basis with my chiropractor, I have realized just how important it is to put my wellness first.

3. Relationships

Taking a step back has also allowed me to develop better relationships with myself, family, and friends. Before, I had such a narrow mind frame and would allow my performance to dictate how I treated people that day. Now after a rough day, I am much better at putting it behind me and not dwelling on it.

I have also realized that I need time to just be "still". Practicing yoga, or meditating for five minutes has made a world of a difference in my relationship with myself (yes, that is a thing).

While packing up to go to school this past August, knowing I would be taking a step back from the sport I love, I felt as though I would never ride as well as I did when it consumed my whole life. But I couldn't have been more wrong. I am now going into the show ring with a clear mind and leaving with a smile on my face.

To my surprise, it has been more than me starting to have fun again- I am riding better, and getting more consistent results than I had before. So, to all those athletes out there that fear to take a step back from their own sport, I am here to tell you that it may just be the best thing you can do for your performance and yourself...

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