Thursday, February 21, 2008

J-Roll, the Collapse, and disappointing Cubs fans

Well, it's Spring [Training] again, and you know what that means. That's right; Jimmy Rollins is talking and Cubs fans are depressed.

My college -- and especially my band of friends -- is a bit heavily loaded with Phillies fans, unfortunately. Remember in Office Space when Peter said that whenever he made a mistake, he had 8 different people coming by to tell him about it? Well, that's what every day of The Collapse was for me -- only the number wasn't 8; it was more like 20. And this wasn't limited to students on campus. I was hearing it from old acquaintances who had transferred, and even from professors. People were shocked the day after The Collapse was complete that I still walked around with a David Wright jersey and a Mets cap on. But hey, it certainly wasn't Wright's fault. His September still merited he could've won the MVP. But instead, that award became the ultimate kick-while-down: "Jimmy Rollins, MVP." That day, a bunch of my friends suddenly had Phillies jerseys -- some with the tags still on them... Hmm... I wore Mets jerseys and caps every day back when the only reason to go to Shea was to see if Todd Hundley could hit a moon shot from on his heels or on his knee or whatever ridiculous type of swing he took that day (Fun Fact: My pet cat which I've had for years now is named after Todd Hundley). I never stopped wearing my #20 jersey and believing Burnitz could come up with a big-fly (or an accidental single) in a big spot, only to see him strike out again and again. I threw a small party when Armando Benitez left the team. I've seen the bad. I wasn't going to let one month of poor baseball rule my fan-ocity (not yet Trademarked). Hopefully this year Rollins will be forced to shut up while Wright or Beltran receive the MVP (And Pedro for Comeback Player of the Year? Unless, of course, Juan Gonzalez can hit like in his Mitchell Report days...).

And as for Cubs fans... I admit, I don't know many personally. But the one I am friends with here at college is not expecting anything from the 100 year anniversary other than that number continuing to increase. His reaction to Ryan Dempster's proclamation that the Cubbies are the team to beat? "Thanks, Ryan, you @$$****." But I think Cubs fans should just continue to say "100 Years" no matter how long it takes. Heck, the Hundred Years War really lasted 139 years or something like that. I'm not sure whether the Cubs are the French and the Cardinals the English in this Hundred Years War analogy or the other way around. Wouldn't the French need an eccentric woman on their side as a Joan of Arc equivalent? Would that mean Marge Schott and the 1990s Reds? Or Anna Benson (photo link from and the '08 Phillies? Well, it's convenient if the Phillies are the French -- two groups of people I despise...).

I miss the Red Sox 1918 Curse. Their fans were so much more fun to mess with. Every year, they truly believed until the bitter end. Cubs fans are a different breed. They don't get their hopes up too high. It's disappointing. They're just sad.

Anyway, I'm not the only one pumped about Spring Training. I'm going to have a catch. I suggest you do the same. It's a much more fun way of emulating your favorite players than practicing Congressional Testimony, I found after attempting to watch the Clemens-McNamee circus.

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