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Monday, August 25, 2008

The Cubs Are 31 Games Over .500. Why Can't I Enjoy It?

The Cubs are 31 games over .500.


I must admit, it's pretty weird.

Not weird, so much, because the Cubs--the Cubs!!--are 31 games over .500, and looking like one of the three best teams in baseball, if not THE best.

No, what's weird is that I am quickly discovering that I cannot handle it. The Cubs are fielding their best team of my lifetime (and possibly of the past 50+ years), and I'm having a total inferiority-complex-influenced breakdown.

I honestly do not know why this is. Every other team I love has featured arguably one of the greatest teams of their sport of all-time. And that's in my lifetime. The 1995 Nebraska Football Cornhuskers (I still want to see USC's defense try to take on Tommy, LP, and Ahman Green when LP needed a rest from various crime committing), the 1996 Kentucky Basketball Wildcats (featuring NINE players that eventually played in the NBA), the 1990's Chicago Bulls (pretty tough to single out any one of their teams, although you could argue that the second run of championships may have been a better all-around team), and the 1985 Chicago Bears (Ditka!). I am an incredibly spoiled sports fan. In all, I have seen my favorite teams play in 15 title games/series. 15! That's insane! (This is the first time I have actually counted that up, and you could make it 17 if you want to include Kentucky's 1984 and 1993 Final Fours). And of those 15, they've won 12. 12 championships from my favorite teams in just 28 (er, basically 29) years. Incredible.

So why can I not handle the greatest Cub team of my lifetime?

I wish I knew, but this isn't going well.

I literally have to put the computer away at night, because all I do is try to find articles/stats/quotes about the Cubs. At work, I have to get up and find things to do, or risk losing myself into the deep corners of the internet ("managing by walking around!" (c) Michael Scott). It's as though I have to find every possible column and comment about the Cubs in order to validate that they are, in fact, 31 games over .500; and they are, in fact, as good as it seems that they are. Stats aren't enough for me to know that the Cubs' rotation is probably the best in baseball. No, Jayson Stark has to tell me. The Cubs have won 8 series in a row for the first time in 70 years, but I have to find some story in the Tribune to validate it...over and over again.

Ultimately, it's as close to a "I can't believe my eyes" moment I have probably ever had. That, I suppose, is what happens when you are a Cub fan. The Cubs could have 8 Hall of Famers in the field and Cy Young himself on the mound, and it I probably would still be looking around and wondering, "well, Cy has pitched great this year, but what about matching up with Brandon Webb?" The Cubs--according to Sports Club Stats come tomorrow--will be at a 98.5% chance of making the playoffs (a virtual lock). In fact, the Cubs need to go just 19-12 the rest of the way to get 100 wins. When you consider that the Men in Blue have won at a slightly higher clip than that all season, it doesn't seem to be much of a reach that they can get there, does it?

So tonight, I'm taking a deep breath and saying "to hell with it!" I'm going to sit back and enjoy the greatest run by a Cub team since I have been watching baseball (I was a bit young in 1984 to get how good of a team they had then). Caution, I want you to meet my friend Wind. Go with it.

It's Gonna Happen!!

/ducks for lightning strikes

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