Yep, you heard me, I'm done, finito, it's over, I can't take it anymore.
Today, July 20, 2004 at 9:07 PM, I hereby declare this:
I can't take being a Cubs' fan anymore.
I just spent the better part of a week traveling to a few cities to watch baseball games that have had no bearing on my sanity, and I enjoyed myself immensely. Since my return, I have watched two Cubs-Cardinals games and frankly, I am amazed that I still have a television set.
Before I continue, let me say to those who live approximately 45 minutes northwest of St. Louis this: congratulations, you're going to the playoffs. The NL Central race is over, the Cardinals will win it.
I think it is safe to say something like that when a team is up by nine games in late July. It would take a monumental collapse to blow such a lead. So good for St. Louis. They've played out of their minds. I don't want to talk about them again until the playoffs.
Now that I've made nice, back to my dilemma.
Last night and today I watched the Cubs drop back-to-back games to St. Louis that they should have won. Today's game was especially ugly as they blew a 7-1 second inning lead and lost 11-8. They now trail the Cardinals by 10 games. It's not even relevant to mention that deficit anymore. There's no way the Cubs are going to repeat as central division champs.
I've followed this team for 35 years. I can handle losing, hell, I've done it for most of my life. I'm used to them losing games that they should have won. I'm used to them wasting opportunities. It's been part of my life.
I can list reasons for them not winning this year, and I'd sound like I was making excuses, so I won't, except for the amount of injuries they've had. And while I have been disappointed a lot this season, up until today I still remained hopeful.
My feelings about this particular team have changed a lot these last two games. They aren't mentally with it, they have been ragging on the umpires way too much, and they have reduced themselves to pointing fingers and jawing way too much with the other team.
They need to shut up and play the game. The manager and coaches need to shut the door and do a little yelling. And everyone involved needs to remember that they make an exceptional living playing a game.
Am I absolving myself of my allegiance to this team? Not bloody likely. However, I am taking a break. I leave for Europe a week from Friday and will be gone a week and a half. That means if I go cold turkey now, I can take almost a three week break from the Cubs.
So I'm done. For now. I swear. I will not watch or listen to any games until Monday, August 9 at the earliest. I will not read about them in the sports section. I will not watch highlights on ESPN. I need to flush this contempt from my system and concentrate on other things.
There's always a chance that the Cubs will turn it around and make a run at the wild card. And the last two teams that won the World Seriers, Florida and Anaheim, were wild card teams.
Let me be surprised when I come back from Europe. I declare a moratorium on all things Cubs.