It was a late fall afternoon, the leaves have changed from green to a beautiful mix of red, yellow and sometimes a light pink. My family was celebrating something I don’t quite remember, but we had the bonfire going, S’mores were coming and going and everyone sat on a hay bill. The only thing stained this bonfire into my mind forever is that the Chicago Cubs were playing.
My grandfather (who breaths cubbie blue) had somehow pulled together 50 yards of extension cord from his house to the bonfire. Now, this was the early 2000s so he had the antenna in the most abnormal way getting this teeny tiny television to have a pitch-perfect signal. My family all huddled around the fire and watch the Cubs; I don’t remember who won that game, but I remember that it is when I was baptized into the most loyal fanbase in all the nation.
Fast-forward to the present time: The Cubs, as I write this, are about to play Milwaukee Brewers after finishing up a series with the St.Louis Cardinals in which they won three of four. Six games back of the Cardinals that be out of reach, but the home field in the Wild Card game could happen. The Cubbies are two games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates. Guess who comes to Wrigley this week? The Pirates.
As a Cubs fan since I came out of the womb, this is the first time I can remember the Cubs being this good. Born in 1995, I was only 8 when *gulps* the Steve Bartman game. Then again in 2008, I was still only 13 when they were destroyed by the Manny Ramirez lead LA Dodgers (the only thing I remember from that series is Manny basically took a ball of the dirt like in cricket and hit it for a homer). Now, 20 years old and in college, wearing a Cubs hat almost everyday to class, I am soaking up every single game like it won’t happen ever again because, as a Cubs fan, you never know.
As a Cubs fan, if it’s the bottom of the ninth and the Cubs are up 30, you still believe they are going to lose. It is truly a way of life, a different type of religion you might say.
Like I said, I am not used to the Cubs being this good (fourth best record in baseball) and it straight up scares the hell out of me.
STOP LEADING ME ON, ANTHONY RIZZO, I AM NOT READY FOR THIS.
I live and die with every pitch now, every time the opposing team has a well-hit ball of the bat I freak out, my blood pressure spikes, my hands get sweaty. Most of the time it is a lazy fly ball out to center, but it still irks me like no other.
But now this year is different, the magic is back is in Wrigley Field, (trust me, I know, I went five times this summer, wasting my summer job money on road trips to Wrigleyville and then to my bleacher seats). Magic is what the Cubs need to change the past and make this year “the year.”