The Chicago Cubs are in first place in the National League Central.
The obvious answer is that I should be happy about it and hopeful for the remainder of the season. I am both of these things. However, I also have a knot growing in my stomach and a general feeling of anxious dread about the state of things that I can't seem to shake. How does one reconcile these two feelings? I was contemplating this yesterday with my friend Drew, who's a sportscaster and whose opinion I value on these types of things, and he made the comment that "You Cubs fans are only happy when you're miserable."
I immediately dismissed this notion out of hand as absurd. I LOVE the Cubs, perhaps in an unhealthy way, and only wish the best for them. Obviously Drew is wrong, right? I mean, we're not Red Sox fans...
Still this comment has been eating away at me all day and all night.
Here is what I have come up with. Emotionally, I have had so much invested in the Cubs succeeding that, admittedly, it was sometimes easier to see them fail miserably than to come sooo close and then trip at the finish line. At least then I knew and could set up the appropriate emotional barriers. In all honesty, I wasn't sure that I would ever watch a Cubs game again after what happened in the 2003 playoffs. I'm still not quite ready to talk about it, and I don't know if I can relive that kind of disappointment. I may sound like a scorned lover, but I'm not sure that I'm ready to open my heart, let down my defenses, and really care for a team again.
Does that mean Drew is right? Am I only happy when I'm miserable? No- I think he has it backwards. I'm only miserable when I'm happy. The rest of the time I'm only apathetic, which is the most disgusting human condition, but is also the easiest.
So where does that leave me for this season? Am I willing to invest myself in this team and take the risk of getting hurt again? Frankly, I am extremely busy right now, and it would be much easier to only kind of care. But I can't do it. I may be a sucker, but the Cubs are the only thing that I truly care about in all of sports. So, although I may regret this in six weeks, let me just say
GO CUBS GO!