Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Boo For All Seasons; Why The Cubs Deserved It

To boo or not to boo, that is the question. I've been thinking a lot about this topic lately. When your home team does poorly, is it appropriate to boo? If you boo have you forsaken your loyalty? What kind of situation calls for booing and what situation is it not called for? Over the last few years as a Chicago fan, there has been plenty of opportunity to boo. Rex Grossman's rise and fall; The Cubs well-documented playoff run; Jacque Jones; Kirk Hinrich; Kosuke; etc. What this is all leading to is the question of whether the highly publicized booing of the Cubs by the home fans was warranted. StevieY19 pointed me to an article that asks a similar question. That article discussed Phoenix's loss to the Bulls in the 1993 Finals:
So that year, no one booed the Suns who won that series against the Lakers and went all the way to Game 6 of the Finals until John Fucking Paxson hit that wide open three with four seconds remaining. And two days after the Finals no one showed up for work in Phoenix because they all attended a parade for the team that lost.
So what kinds of fans are Chicago fans? We definitely are not retarded idiots like the Phoenix fans in 1993 or Sacramento Kings fans that have never booed anything ever. Now I think there are two kinds of booing. There is the kind of intelligent booing that goes along with knowledgeable fans understanding the game. Then there is the kind of booing that is purely negative from a negative group of people (see Philly fans).

I think there are times the Chicago fan base "intelligently" boos someone. When Grossman showed that he had the talent but not the brains (or the height), fans had a right to boo. When Jacque Jones had one bad April and Cubs fans booed him the rest of the year, that was just being impatient and stupid. (though he didn't have to cry about it).

So what's the point of all this? I don't know to be honest. I guess I'm just doing some soul-searching after my team came so close to winning after 100 years of futility. Should we have booed? I didn't, but I felt like doing it. The Cubbies choked...hard. According to my father, this is what the Cubs do, and we just have to get used to it. I don't buy that. We deserve to win. I spend hundreds of dollars, year after year, not to mention endless hours of my time devoted to the Cubbies. Some years its over by June, some its over by early October, but I have never seen a World Series and I deserve it, we deserve it.

What were we booing? Were we booing the organization for a 100 years of losing? Were we booing Hendry for not making the moves necessary to put a winner on the field? Were we booing Lou for getting outmanaged? Or were we booing the players for choking on the field when it counted after showing that they had the talent to win? I can't speak for other Cubs fans, but it strikes me as unfair to boo the organization. This incarnation did all it could, spent a lot of money, and made generally good decisions in terms of personnel. Lou made some mistakes too, but did the best he could with the tools that he had. No, I wasn't booing any of them, because that would have been booing out of frustration and not for a good reason. I booed the players. Every single one of them. They didn't show up when it mattered most. Is it fair to Derrek Lee that I saddle him with the pain of 100 years of losing when he's only been on the team for 3? Maybe not, but these guys are paid to play a game everyday that I could only dream of playing (seriously, I can barely hit a ball in the batting cages).

They tried in the NLDS like they were highly-paid players trying to win a playoff game, where the result didn't matter that much since there was always another year, another team, another city, another playoffs. Well this time there wasn't. They should have played like this was their last chance, their only chance. They had the opportunity to be heroes and they didn't just dick it up, they completely blew it and did not put the effort in that they should have.

That's why I booed. That's why I'm still confused about how I feel. Do I love the Cubs still? Of course, I will always love them through thick and thin. Do I love Rammy and Fonzy and Dumpster? I don't know, but I do know that they can expect to be booed by me. They need to be more than just mercenaries for hire. They need to be Cubs. Then they will understand what this means to us and play with the kind of heart and soul that Cubs fans deserve. Then, maybe, just maybe, we'll get our championship. You don't break a 100 year drought without understanding and feeling the gravitas of the moment. The fans understand that, but the players have a lot to learn. Until then I will boo them all I want, and the national sports media can talk all the shit they want, but we have a right to boo and we will exercise it.

1 comment:

Ronnie Woo Woo said...

Losing is part of being a cubs fan - thats just the way it goes. It will make it that much better when it finally happens. Dont boo though, its just annoying.

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