I have noted several times this year that the Chicago Cubs might make the post-season in 2008 but that they would likely fail in their mission to finally win their first world series since 1908. I could not imagine that I would be proven right so quickly and with such ease. The Dodgers, as baseball fans know, swept the Cubs in three games late last week. This means that the Cubs have lost nine consecutive post-season games dating back over their last three appearances.
Former player Dan Plesac put this well in our local paper. He said the players were tight, error-prone and playing not to lose. I am of the opinion that the fans bring this about as much as any single source. Loyal fans even began to boo their beloved Cubbies when they self-destructed this year. There can be no doubt that the atmosphere around the Cubs was very tense. Dan Plesac said before game three, that "this team is too good to go three-and-out." He was obviously wrong. This team had the best record in the league but failed miserably when it counted.
The Cubs spent loads of money, ramped up their fan's expectations beyond belief, and failed. What next? I do not believe in "curses" but this franchise is able to surprise even their most loyal fans with their century long incompetence.
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I would go even farther in blaming the fans, but not true fans. Both the Bears and Cubs seem to suffer from what I’ve heard called the “corporate crowd.” I think the Bulls had that kind of crowd many a night but were too good to be affected by it. I don’t think I need to describe this kind of crowd, but I believe the energy they bring to the park is wrongly focused.
I think there is a “corporate crowd” at some churches, too. It would be interesting to dig deeper into this metaphor.
Come on, John, we all know you’re no Cubbies fan! It people like you who fail to speak faith-filled words over the Cubs that keep them losing year after year. 😉
My dear brother and friend…
1) Where is the credit due the Dodgers?
2) Add this to your anti-USC post of 25 September and one might be led to believe you have an anti-LA bias, which, considering the long and sordid history of Dodgers/Braves battles over the years, would not be surprising.
By the way, we are all confident that the Braves will return to the playoffs in your lifetime!
I believe in curses. Much of a curse can be self-inflicted, psychological, and self-fulfilling prophesy. With the Cubs, I think the expectation is too high right now. They’ve been the doormat of the National League for over 60 years, so it’s not like they’ve placed themselves in a position to win consistently enough to be able to expect it. They’ve only experienced back-to-back post season appearances for the first time in 100 years. Unlike the Giants, who are the winningest team in history, with more hall of famers than any other team in history, with more home runs than any other team in history. They had the 3rd best record in all of baseball during the Bonds era yet played in only one NLCS. They had the best record in baseball in the 60’s, the only team to win over 900 games, and it took a miracle to TIE for first place once. Go figure all of THAT. I think our “curse” is worse.
I don’t believe that the fans can bear blame for a professional sports team. Phillies fans are notorious for putting pressure on their team but they are still playing well. I think this is a player/coaching issue. It is up to the players and coaches to be prepared regardless of what the fans do (the same is true for preachers).
I have observed that the post-season winners are usually the teams that are playing well at the end of September. A team that is playing well will also be loose. The Cubs haven’t been truly loose since the middle of August. More often than not, the key to winning in October is winning in late September.
Looking forward to next year,