Baltimore Sun

Do you feel for the Cubs or do you want them to keep losing?

Now that the season is over for the Orioles, I am trying to catch up on some of the magazine reading I ignored the past couple months.

Today I read Gary Smith's Sports Illustrated piece on the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field. Let me first say, there is no sportswriter I enjoy reading more than Smith (not even Peter Schmuck).


Seriously, most of Smith's SI features are wonderful -- and if you haven't read it, do yourself a favor and get his collection of SI stories called, "Beyond the Game." It's fantastic. He also has a new one out and I hope to be getting it soon.

Anyway, Smith wrote a great cover piece for the Sept. 29 Sports Illustrated about the palpable feeling in Chicago that this is the year the Cubs win a World Series for the first time since 1908 (and get in for the first time since 1945).


I have to be honest -- and I am sure I'm bound to get ripped by some -- but deep down, I hope it doesn't happen. I hope the Cubs keep losing. It's nothing personal, Cubs fans. As a baseball writer, I understand how great of a story it is if the Cubs are champions exactly 100 years after their last time. But the better story, to me, is if they're not.

In the past four years we have had the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox shed their infamy. The Cubs are really the only multigenerational losers still kicking. There's something engaging, something truly baseball about having a club fail to win for 100 years. Call it tradition. Call it therapy for someone who has watched the Orioles for the past decade. Call it whatever you want, but the Cubs being "not quite there" is good for baseball.

I know it's rough for Cubs fans. But what happens if they do win? Do their followers become intolerable to the rest of the nation like Red Sox fans have since 2004?

My mom taught me not to take pleasure in another person's pain. But this is baseball. This is the Cubs. They should be losers, right? 27 outs. 90 feet. The Cubs failing. Don't mess with the order of the baseball universe.

Am I alone here?

Daily Think Special: Do you want to see the Chicago Cubs finally capture a World Series or do you like having one team that just can't win?