If Chicago wins tomorrow night and the Diamondbacks lose, my Cubbies will have the best record in baseball. Making it even sweeter for this New Yorker who proudly supports Cubbie blue, neither the Mets nor the Yankees even lead their divisions.
The Yankees, of course, are the team America loves to hate. And the Mets are a team against which every true Cub fan holds a grudge. Never mind that I was born 13 years after '69; I still hate 'em. Their collapse at the end of last season--which coincided with the Cubs' clinching the NL Central--was exquisite. And if their recent two-game sweep at Wrigley is any indication, they've picked up exactly where they left off last September.
The best thing about growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was having Chicago just a few hours away. It's a great town; how it compares to NYC I can't really say, since I've only lived in one of the two. When it comes to most sports (especially Giants and Rutgers football) I've become a New York fan, but my baseball loyalties were set in stone long ago. There are three things that need to happen before I die: I have to get to all 50 states. I've been to 30 so far, so I'm well on my way there. I have to see how LOST ends; since that's scheduled to occur in two years, I shouldn't have much trouble. And I dearly want to see my Cubbies win the pennant. The last time they did that, my grandfather was a preteen, so that final wish seems the most in doubt, even if I can reasonably expect to live for a good half-decade longer at least. Is this the year? Cub fans expect every year to be, and something invariably goes wrong. And yet, we remain unfailingly loyal year after year, in the hope of experiencing that one magical summer when everything goes right.