Monday, October 06, 2008

Anger, Sadness, But Mostly, Crushing Disappointment

Life is just a series of peaks and troughs. And you don't know whether you're in a trough until you're climbing out, or on a peak until you're coming down. And that's it you know, you never know what's round the corner. But it's all good. "If you want the rainbow, you've gotta put up with the rain." Do you know which "philosopher" said that? Dolly Parton. And people say she's just a big pair of t**s.--David Brent (Ricky Gervais), The Office
That quote pretty much sums up the Cubs season this year. while we fans thought we were still climbing to the peak as they entered the post-season, we only realized that this was the come-down as we watched them play horribly for three straight games, making every single mistake that they possibly could. This has led me to wonder why it ended like this. Why did this team that inspired so much confidence, fall so hard?

1. Were they simply not a very good team? No, they were a fantastic team. An easy way to tell this was that every position player and every starting pitcher would have been a starter on any other team in the league. Very few other teams could claim that. While no one player had the insane stats that lead to awards, every single one of them was good, very goo.

2. Was the team cursed, or done in by the history of losing on the Northside. Fuck no. Let's face it, both the "curse" and the "loser mentality of the Cubs" are there for lazy journalists to write stories about. It allows them to not have to watch the team or actually learn anything new, or, y'know, do their damn jobs. Seriously, when the jack-ass who was doing the second Cubs/Dodgers game on TBS made a reference to the "100 years of failure weighing heavily on the Cubs players" I wanted to drive to 1060 W. Addison and punch him in the dick. Twice.

3. Were the Cubs simply a very good team that played very badly for three games. You betcha. I can't explain it, and I doubt they could either. They looked so flat, so not-there that I'm hard-pressed for an explanation. They exhibited every bad habit that they had shown off-and-on during the season. The walks, the lack of taking pitches, the swinging for the fences on every damn pitch. Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuckity-fuck fuck.*

I think the biggest reason that I'm so despondent about this is that there was so much confidence going into the post season this year. I was convinced, convinced that the Cubs were ticketed for the NLCS at the very least. They beat the crap out of the Dodgers ad the Brewers during the season, and don't talk to me about Manny fucking Ramirez, if the Cubs had done what they could have just walked him every damn plate appearance. Fuck that guy.

I know, I'm losing my mind, but soon enough the crushing disappointment will fade and I'll be left with the good memories of this yea. I saw a bunch of good games, watched Alfonso Soriano hurt himself, live, twice. I watched the Cubs come back in the eighth inning from four runs down on an insane Aramis Ramirez grand slam, on my Mom's birthday, after she and my Dad left the game because they thought the Cubs would lose. Got insulted by my friends for dancing to Go Cubs Go. Man, what a bunch of good times. So I look forward to next April, when the numbers are re-set, and we get one more chance to win it all. Win or lose, it's going to be a good time.

*OK, this is the point where I go totally off the rails.


Bill said...

You know much as I agree with you regarding curses and whatnot, I still can't help but feel that maybe the weight of lofty expectations (mainly laid on by Chicago's media and crazy-a$$ fans like ourselves) did play a role on the psyche of the players.

I know people love to say, "These guys get paid all kinds of money to not let that type of stuff get to them...blah, blah, blah" but at the end of the day these players are just human who perhaps maybe couldn't handle the pressure.

It's not an unknown secret that the Chicago-media are notoriously harsh, moreso that other cities, with all of its sports franchises, especially in the case of dissapointing performaces and maybe for this particular group of players it proved to be too much. Or maybe they just couldnt' handle playing on the big-stage?

For whatever reason and at the expense of not making excuses, this team did a complete 180 in the post-season from the type of confident play they exhibited in the regular season.

It was a great season but this one is proving to be a bit more difficult to get over.

Jason said...

Well, I'll be honest, most of this was me ranting like a maniac because, well, the kids don't really care.

Anyhoo, I do understand that there was a ton of pressure on the players and they are human, so I'm sure that was a factor.

However, I do disagree about the Chicago media, I really don't think that they are that critical, especially with the specter of a Cubs WS win. I mean, NY and Boston are insanely critical.