My pee wee baseball team was the Cubs. My coaches were Kenneth Lancaster and Robert Allen. Our team wasn't that good but we were fun to watch. I guess that's called foreshadowing.
It was April 19, 1980. Cable TV had come to Cadiz in the year prior and WGN was beaming Cubs games over the airwaves. I watched a guy named Dave Kingman launched two home runs onto Waveland Avenue and this Cubs team beat the New York Mets 12-9.
The Cubs played mostly day games, which gave me something to watch on TV during the summer. The golden voice of Jack Brickhouse brought the action alive. Vince Lloyd and Lou Boudreau helped him out. Milo Hamilton came over the middle innings while Jack went over to the radio booth.
The more I watched, the more I liked.
That isn't the case anymore. I hereby submit my resignation as a Cubs fan. They have sucked the baseball life out of me. It's to the point where I don't even watch baseball anymore. After 31 years as a Cubs fan, baseball is no longer fun to watch. I haven't watched more than four innings of a Cubs game this year. That's probably four innings too many for this team.
I've endured the many embarrassments of this franchise during those 31 years. From Sosa's cork to Bartman to letting future Hall of Famers get away to playing in a stadium that should have been imploded years ago to the drunk ramblings of Harry Caray. I will endure no more. I refuse to support a sports franchise who doesn't understand the concept of winning -- from the players to the GM.
The bad trades are many. The horrific free agent signings are too many to count. But not near as many as the excuses for not winning. The goat. The black cat. Steve Garvey. Leon Durham. Will Clark. Bartman again. Playing day games at home. Blah blah blah blah.
I've had enough. I'd rather stick toothpicks under my toenails and kick the wall rather than watch this team play.
I can only support a losing team for so long. I'm done. I'm doing exactly what this franchise is doing now. Quitting.
And no, I'm not jumping ship to become a fan of the Cardinals. Or Reds. Or Braves. My Major League Baseball pulse is fading to the point of a Code Blue. Don't get me wrong. I still enjoy watching or coaching a youth league baseball game where the parents don't complain (almost as rare as a Cubs World Series appearance). I'll play wiffle ball in the backyard. I'll still watch college baseball. And I still envision a few trips to the minor league ballparks in the region.
I'm just done as a major league baseball fan because of my prison sentence as a Cubs fan. And that's why I'm no longer a Cubs fan.