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Jesus Creed

How to detect a Genuine Cubs Fan

Lots of folks claim to be Cubs fans, but some of them are Parousiacs — that is, fans who hang on so they can participate in the final coming of ultimate victory when the Cubs win the World Series. Other fans are genuine. This morning, when Kris and I were walking around the lake at Independence Grove, I saw a man with a Cardinals shirt, and I said, “Go Cubs!”
To which he replied, “I hope you are immortal.” Which is the sort of thing Cardinals fans say to Cubs fans, since they think the Cubs never will win the World Series. So, unless I lace my drinks and dinners with ambrosia, the drink of the immortals gods of Olympus, this man contends that I’ll never see the World Series.
Does it matter? Which leads me to reflect on how you can detect a genuine (orthodox) Cubs fan and separate the Parousiacs from the Orthodox. Here’s how you do it.
Just say these words: “Steve Bartman.”
If the person suddenly flies into a rage, or starts cursing the day Bartman was born, or begins to rant about Bartman catching that ball Moises Alou would have caught and had Alou caught it the Cubs would have won that game and gone on to win the World Series. In other words, this sort of response to Steve Bartman, a genuine Cubs fan, is the sort of thing that indicates “We have here a Parousiac.” A person who cheers for the Cubs so they will win, and who when they don’t win turns against them or against his fellow humans.
Not so the genuine. The genuine know that Steve Bartman did what he should have — who doesn’t want to catch a ball in a National League Playoff Series? What genuine Cubs fan goes to the park and doesn’t want a game ball? And, who says Bartman interfered? And who says the really ridiculous thing that the Cubs would have won? History didn’t march in that direction and maybe it would have led to someone other than Alex Gonzalez making an error and maybe the Marlins would have gotten on a roll and scored 10 more runs.
The fact is this: we don’t know what would have happened. We know what did happen: the Cubs lost, Steve Bartman was vilified by Parousiacs, and the Cubs took a beating. This shouldn’t have happened.
This is where I suddenly can become Calvinist and where I want to invoke God’s Sovereignty and the predestined plan God has for the Cubs, and Cubs fans, and even for Cards fans to win more … and I can simply trust that history is where it should be. I find comfort here.
Genuine Cubs fans don’t live for the future and don’t predict the future; they cheer for the Cubs today, not because they are winners, not because someday they’ll get back to the World Series, but because they are, after all, the Cubs and because they play at Wrigley Field. Where the vines are green, and where the stadium is in a neighborhood, and where parking is a nightmare. Where Stan Hack played, and Ernie Banks, and Ron Santo, and Rick Reuschel, and Ryno, and Andre Dawson.
Genuine Cubs fans don’t live for tomorrow; they cheer for the Cubs because they are the Cubs. Andy McPhail, you are fine by me. Just put some Cubbies on that field and they will come.

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Steve McCoy

posted September 17, 2005 at 3:59 pm


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Kerry Doyal

posted September 17, 2005 at 5:17 pm

You wrote: “Genuine Cubs fans don’t live for tomorrow; they cheer for the Cubs because they are the Cubs. Andy McPhail, you are fine by me. Just put some Cubbies on that field and they will come.”
Thus part of what keeps the Cubs the lovable losers: field ANYTHING & cozy Wrig. Field fills up.
FWIIW: Having grown up in Atl., GA when the Braces stunk (60-80’s), I also understand loyality. Hammerin’ Hank is MY man.
My poor kids, Chi-land natives & Cubs fans have had their hearts broken by Sosa. . . and when the Cubs got knocked out of the race two years back (wild card?), we had more than one crying kid to tuck in. My heart broke for them not just for that year, but for all the years (decades?) to come. ;-(
No doubt, the Cubbies in the World Series would be sports Magic! With the Bo-Sox breaking their curse, it is OUR time.

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Scot McKnight

posted September 17, 2005 at 5:45 pm

Just don’t live for it, or you’ll lead your kids into the sect known as Parousiac-land.

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Kerry Doyal

posted September 17, 2005 at 5:52 pm


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Bob Robinson

posted September 17, 2005 at 8:23 pm

Well, I know that you are not too fond of the American League, but you must be rooting for my beloved Indians..
…they are currently TIED with those hated Yankees for the AL Wildcard.
The Indians own the best record in baseball since July 31, but the Yankees won’t stop either (they’ve won six straight).

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Scot McKnight

posted September 17, 2005 at 8:46 pm

I’ve observed that the Indians were up .5 games for the last two days or so, and yes I’ve noted they are ahead of the Yankees, but no (I must admit) it doesn’t make me think the Indians are playing baseball. But, anyone playing the Yankees is a friend of mine, even if they are playing poker.

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Nick Farris

posted September 18, 2005 at 2:28 am

Parousiacs are an epidemic in this country. Reminiscent of the classic “fair weather fan” or those who ride “the bandwagon,” they make me ill. As a Cowboys fan I share your sentiments on this issue. The real loser in all this is the poor scapegoat (Bartman). One man’s ability to cause a meltdown of an entire team of professional athletes is quite the phenomenon. I appreciate your stance in this battle for the truth in fan-dom.
oh, and can the two porcelain dolls (Wood and Prior) fulfill their unlimited potential? PS-two of my favorite pitchers.

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posted September 18, 2005 at 2:48 pm

this is so good. i get so sick of all my “cub fan” friends putting the blame on bartman.
i feel though, that i have been validated as a cub fan now that i went through this. i was too young to fully experience 1984.
i wonder if similar thinking can categorize someone who is a Parousiac emergent and genuine emergent… just a thought. :-)

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Ron Fay

posted September 18, 2005 at 10:45 pm

You know your team is good when everyone else hates them.
Go Yankees. Bleeding pinstripes since 1981.
– Ron

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John Wiers

posted September 19, 2005 at 11:52 am

Scot, I knew that underneath all your diatribe against the AL there was an unrequited Cubs fan. Just learn to feel for those of us who are White Sox fans. We also have years of dashed hopes and we don’t have the fawning adoration of the media that the Cubs have always had even as loveable losers. However, this year we have real hope. Go Sox.

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Kerry Doyal

posted September 22, 2005 at 9:49 am

Amen John, amen…
The Sox’s perseverence in face of media neglect & obscurity makes them even MORE lovable.

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