This was worse than last year. Worse than 1989. Worse than 1984. Maybe the worst ever.Because this time the Cubs didn't just lose a series. They lost a part of their soul, and a large majority of their fans. As one Cubs fan said when leaving Bridget McNeill's -- one of the few bars just outside Wrigleyville that was allowed to sell alcohol after the seventh inning of the close-out game -- "Still waters don't run that deep."
I gotta tell ya, with the Cubs loss, I got what I wanted. I wanted the Phillies in the NLCS, but I didn't want them to face the Cubs, because I knew everyone in America would be rooting for Chicago to get to the World Series. Everyone would say, "Oh, well, it's been 100 years. What a great story! Yay Cubbies!" To that, I would have had to say, "FUCK THAT." And I would have done it, obviously. But it would have sucked.
Instead, I get the Dodgers, who, despite looking truly formidable for the first time in 20 years, match up much better with the Phillies (or so I think). The Phils also get home-field advantage. So that part is good.
But being a fan of Philadelphia sports teams all my life, I can certainly emphasize with bone-crushing, gut-splitting, heart-wrenching failure. I have been fortunate enough to have seen teams lose while still giving their very best effort ('93 Phillies, '01 Sixers, '01-'02 Eagles, '03-'04 St. Joe's, Phils' playoff misses in '05 and '06). I have also seen teams lay an egg and simply not show up ('02-'03 Eagles, '03-'04 Eagles, '07 Phils in the NLDS). To not give your all - or to appear to not give your all - is inexcusable, especially if you're the Cubs and you haven't done shit for 100 years, literally. The Cubs are not deserving of the adulation that is inexplicably poured upon them by their city. And now, perhaps, that long, ridiculous honeymoon is finally over.
(Though, if the Cubs win the World Series next season, Chicago will be elated and I will gladly eat crow. But that ain't happenin'.)