It comes from my family all living in Chicago. I’m not terribly close to my father’s side, but I associate pretty closely with my mom’s family. My mom moved to Near North Side sometime in the 1970s, before she found a job in Dallas, TX, and met my father. She and a few of her siblings crammed into a little apartment right off Lake Shore and enjoyed the city life for a while. Now most of my family lives in the suburbs, except for the cousins who are going to school or have a job in the city.
Before rooting for the Cubs, I really didn’t root for anybody. I was happy with the Red Sox winning their first World Series in decades because I knew the Cubs weren’t very close to it themselves. Several years later, after choosing my allegiance, I admit that I enjoyed seeing the Rockies make it to the World Series — even though it meant that my Cubs weren’t there. After all, as the song goes, “The last time we won the National League Pennant / was the year they dropped the bomb in Japan.” You can credit a Rockies fan for giving that song to me, though I had heard it one spring in the car on the way to the suburbs from the airport. How unfortunate for the songwriter, Steve Goodman, who in his lifetime never saw the Cubbies win a World Series much less a pennant — not that anyone today can say that they saw the Cubs win a World Series.
I really should be at the game right now. The Cubs are losing to the Rockies 4-3 in the top of the 6th right as I type, and the Cubs lost last night with probably a more horrendous score (I like to forget about this kind of thing). Tomorrow I’ll be watching at Coors Field, wearing my Soriano shirt and swearing like a sailor, but I won’t stand down. Yes, I will go to Coors Field and be one of those jerks rooting against the home team. I’m totally fine with that.
And hey! The Cubs just tied the game at 4!
But will I get my hopes up? Probably not. Like my father told me, “The Cubs were created by God to make us suffer here on Earth.” I don’t know — to believe in God is to believe that the Cubs might just win a World Series someday. Would God make the northern half of the city of Chicago absolutely, incredibly, pitifully miserable?