Sunday, August 31, 2003

Should Fans Be Required to Know Something

I sit at 6 in the morning, not being able to sleep. I have been thinking about this little story for about a week now and I had no clue what I really wanted to say. I have plenty of friends that are fans of their teams and they no little history to none. That is not a real problem, because everyone in the world can not be as die hard as the Cub Blog World. Not to say that I know everything, because I do not.

Growing up in Alabama, I did not really become a Cub fan until around 1989. I know I must have jumped on the Cub Train during a playoff year, but at the Time I was only 9 about to turn 10. So I really had not made up my mind, but that series is really my first Cub memory. I remember Will Clark just crushing the Cubs. Then my first Youth Director and bunch of the youth at my church were Cub Fans. So there lies my foundation as a Cub Fan. It is not a solid background, but hey everyone has to start with something.

My first Cub game was a Sunday in 1993 in July. It was standing room only for me that day, because my parents did not plan ahead. Needless to say that since then I take care of my tickets well ahead of time. It was a 10-4 win for the Cubs, but I do not remember much of the game. That was my first Major League Baseball game ever. Even tough I live only 3 hours away from Atlanta, my first game was in Chicago.

The First game I really remember is after the strike in 1995. Again the Cubs were facing the Dodgers(for some reason it seemed like I saw the Dodgers everywhere, later I saw them in my only game in Pittsburg). I was on the first row of the Upper Deck and as a weak protest of the strike, we painted this sign that read "We Paid Only To Hear Harry Sing." We ended up on WGN during the 7th inning, so that was real fun. It was the first time I was on TV, and it was not the last. If you watch any college basketball and if Alabama is home, then you will see my on the front row, but back to the story. Bottom of the 9th the score was 0-0 and we had a man on. Howard Johnson comes to the plate and hits a 2 Run Walk-Off HR to win the game. I still remeber it like yesterday. That was also the first walk off HR I had ever seen until I say Jeff Kent hit one this year against the Cardinals when I was in Houston.

So, after all that now on to my real reason of writing. This being a playoff contention year, there are always people trying to become fans. For the most part I am ok with this trend. As long as they do not become Brave-Like fans. The main problem I have is with people who already claim to be fans and think they know everything.

To explain, there is a guy in my class that claims to be a Cub fan, but I think he says it draw attention to himself. Because he roots for the Fighting Irish, Duke and IU Basketball. I think he tries to find every trendy team and latch on to them. That is not the real reason he bothers me. First off he is a journalism major also, and I swear if he gets a better job than me, I will go TP his house, by the way check out for a great TP story. He started throwing out crazy facts about the Cubs. Probably most of the time he gets away with these antics, because nobody is the wiser, but not today.

I was in class reading I believe The Cub Reporter, when he said the Cubs had 13 World Championships. I turned my chair and asked him to repeat that fact. He was sure that the Cubs had 13 titles. I was like you are crazy. He said that he was in Wrigley and saw where there were like 13 flags painted that say World Champions. He claimed we won a bunch before the World Series was created. He also said it was like since 1850, I knew he was nuts after that one. I admit that I do not know all the Cub facts I should. Not being around a baseball family, I have had to teach and research the facts. So, I head over to Baseball Reference to find out how bad he was off.

I knew we had 2 World Series Titles, but I had to find the other 11 he was claiming. The first thing I brought up was the Chicago White Stockings were created in 1876, I should have asked if he knew the name, but I dropped the ball. I clearly point out that the site says that the Cubs have only 2 Championships, but they do have 16 pennants if you count the White Stockings. The only thing I could find with his number is 13 playoff appearances as the Cubs. This is a fact that I already knew. He would not give up his claim, so I researched more about the History of the Baseball before the World Series. The Cubs/White Stockings/Orphans/Colts never won a championship in any of the post season ventures before the 1907 Series. He still did not believe me. I really think this may be a long a year. For all I know he is Estes backer. He probably thinks we need a lefty, just because he is one. I found some more stuff on the internet talking about pre-World Series stuff and plan to give it to him, but he will just brush it off because of what he thought he saw. Now if anyone can back his story, please tell me, because I do not want to be wrong. If the Cubs really have 13 flags painted under a World Champion Sign or something I may not know about it. I have been to Wrigley 8 Times and I do not remember the sign, but like I said I am not perfect. That is why I look things up.

I wish we could get rid of fans like that. It is better to know nothing and learn than to know wrong and teach wrong. I know some poor soul has taken his facts and is being laughed because he listened to a fan that knew too little.

Juan Cruz will take the mound today and I pray that he throws a perfect game or something. That way there is no way that Dusty can take him out of the rotation. I still think Estes will pitch on Thursday. The Cubs are 1.5 out and still have a good chance. If they can post a win maybe the Reds and Padres can help out and then it will be .5 heading into Labor Day.