One good thing about the Cubs being in the World Series (aside from the fact that their fans have been literally waiting their whole lives for this win) is that I can tell the kids why Cubs fans are all over the United States whereas most teams have their fans concentrated mainly around their hometowns, the Cubs fans are from all over the United States. It means I get to explain to them how the Wrigley Company (as in the gum) owns not only the Chicago Tribune, but also WGN. WGN was the very first "hometown" network to become nationwide, which meant that my generation (and probably the one before and after me) grew up as Cubs fans. They sat around in the summer and watched the Cubs every afternoon. Harry Carey's voice was as familiar as anyone's.
This is precisely why, when you go to--say--a Reds game at home, the Cubs fans outnumber the Reds fans. It can be frustrating.
To root for the Cubs tonight would be, for me, becoming a total and complete poser. As a Reds fan, I have despised them for many, many years. But while I can't "root for" them with any shred of pride, I do very much hope that they will get a W tonight.
My good friend Marc (a lifelong Mets fan) said a couple weeks ago, "I won't respect anyone I see wearing a brand new Cubs hat. The one with the front of the bill wearing off? Yes. The one that is filthy and worn at the seams? Yes. But no brand new Cubs hats should be worn." I totally agree with him on this.
It was funny, because yesterday, I had a few students who had watched the 30 for 30 documentary about the guy who knocked the home run ball out of the way back in what, 2003? They asked me if I knew about it. It seems like it was yesterday, but like the last World Series win to Cubs fans all over, this was before their time. It seems like yesterday, doesn't it?
Anyway, as I said, I hope you folks get a win tonight. It will break the Goat Curse (which would give me a chance to talk to the students about superstitions and actual probability) and the Cubs fans will no longer have the "poor poor me" excuse for their obnoxious behavior. (Sorry, but you know it's true. It's a crutch. And I'm not biased at all.) However, for the sake of all the Luke Andersons, Drew Heldts, and all my student Cubs fans in between; for Mrs. Davis, my friend Adam Biddle, my brother-in-law David who has brainwashed my poor innocent niece, and for everyone else who has lived their whole lives in unfulfilled fandom, I really do want you to get this one.
I just can't cheer too loudly while retaining my own dignity.