This is it. Our year. The Cubs’ year. The year of living dangerously. At least for every team that dares to cross the foul lines with the Cubs. It’s the year of the monkey, my friend; that nasty, smelly, furry little f–cker that’s been on our backs since Henry Ford introduced the Model T. THAT monkey is about to get swatted like a Kyle Schwarber moon shot across the great divide that’s separated the Cubs from the phrase “World Champions” for the past 107 years.
This is the year we make like the Bosox and bury our curse; the year we put that friggin billy goat on a spit and serve it up with a sixer of Old Style and a lip-smacking, artery-clogging, basket of curly fries. Besides … if I happen to go down for a dirt nap cuz of a celebratory, junk-food-induced coronary, I will have died a happy man, headed to the big locker room in the sky knowing the Cubs finally hung a W on their last game of the playoffs.
So enjoy the season, peanut shells. It’s gonna be fun.
Hey there, dust covers. Unless you’ve been vacationing on Jupiter, you know that it’s Spring Training time in Mesa. (Everywhere else, too, but Mesa is the only place that matters.) So, while the Cubbies are doing wind sprints, practicing pick-offs, and are still tied for first, I thought it would only be fair that you and me got into ‘fan shape’. And I’m not talking about wait-until-next-year shape. I’m talkin’ about in-your-face, trash-talkin’, we’re-not-gonna-take-this-gettin’-broomed-in-the-playoffs-crap-anymore shape. WARNING: Do not drive or operate heavy machinery for 12 hours afterwards.
Alright, Step 1) Pour yourself a nice, frosty adult beverage — Old Style if you got it — and put that La-Z-Boy in full recline, my friend. This step is actually common to many important activities, and happens to be one of my favorite parts of gettin’ in fan shape, because I get to make those faux farting noises that accompany even the slightest butt adjustment against my chair’s fine corinthian leather. Always entertaining.
Step 2) Prepare your mind. (Only natural since baseball—unlike football—is a thinking man’s sport.) Try and clear out everything you got running round in your head. You Sports Illustrated subscribers get an extra couple of minutes to get rid of page 57 of the Swimsuit Edition. Once your head is completely empty, and the beer has started to take effect, you’re ready for step 3. You’ll also know what it’s like to be a Dodgers Fan. But I digress.
Step 3) Fill the void with a jumbotron-sized, slow-motion, 2003 instant replay of Steve Friggin’ Bartman. (That is his middle name, right?) And set it to loop over and over and over. If you start to get hot, it’s ok. That’s normal.
Step 4) While this motivational video plays in the background, start thinking about all of the great achievements of the past 100 years. Among other things, this would include the following: The automobile. And the airplane. Television, telephones, computers and the electric garage door opener. You got Einstein’s General and Special Theories of Relativity. Both of ’em. There’s Dove Bars and air conditioning. And Hooters. There’s the assembly line and the bikini and, oh my God … Playstation. I love Playstation! The Sears Tower went up. (That’s what it was called then, and I don’t care who owns it now, it’s still the Sears Tower to me.) The Berlin Wall came down. On the medical front there’s that special gift to Yankees fans — penicillin. And, uh, Viagra for White Sox fans. And there’s the heart transplant (that I now need after the Mets ripped mine out last September). Did I mention the bikini? Let’s see … we’ve had guys standing on the top of Mt. Everest, and other guys hittin’ golf balls on the moon and, hell, we got us an African American for President. We’ve had all that in the last hundred years. Oh, and Halley’s frickin’ Comet? It’s been by TWICE my friend. Twice.
Step 5) Addendum to Step 4. While you’re thinking about all that (it has to be done simultaneously), ask yourself this: Do we have even one … just one … Cubs World Series championship? Noooooooooooooooooo. You know, I feel compelled to mention here that the friggin’ Marlins have TWO of them. And they’ve been a team for like 4-1/2 minutes! And in just the last 10 years, the Cardinals scored 2 rings (including the pathetic ’06 team), the Red Sox — who have stunk almost as much as we have — won it twice more, the Giants have won it 3 times, and last year the damn Royals won it. You go back one extra year and even the White Sox won it. Let me say that again; the … White … Sox … won … it.
The Cubs? Nothin’.
Step 6) Status check. Take the nearest Cubs logo into the bathroom and look in the mirror. If your face matches the red part, you’re in Cubs fan shape, my friend. You’re also probably dangerously close to a heart attack, so while you’re in the bathroom, grab a couple of aspirin from the medicine cabinet and wash ’em down with the last of your beer.
You, my friend, are now ready for the season. Question is, will the Cubbies be ready?
Now that we’ve got that “Back to the Future II” prediction out of the way, here are a few truths (and not-so-truths), from the Sun-Times perspective, about the ’16 Cubs. I’d like to note that the Sun-Times likens Maddon’s “embracing the target” approach this season to George Custer embracing the target of the Sioux Nation in 1876. I’m canceling my subscription.