Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man. — Friedrich Nietzsche
An apology to every Cub fan living in the Valley.
I won’t be there with you this week at Chase Field as you don your Shawon Dunston jerseys and your sweat-stained blue caps.
I won’t down a couple Old Styles with you as we toast the late, great Harry Caray.
I won’t throw Mark Reynolds’ homers back on the field and cheer like a mindless cretin.
And I won’t play the name game, countering your Bill Bonham with a Carmen Fanzone or Vic Roznovsky.
I just don’t have it in me anymore.
The hope tank has expelled its final fumes.
It is with relative certainty and much sadness that I tell you: This won’t be the year.
Kerry Wood nearly went on the DL with a lingering blister (talk about your metaphors), Kosuke Fukudome is slumping and the Brewers and Cards are closing fast.
The Cubs will not break their 100-year hex. Instead, they’ll break your hearts.
It’s time to crawl back into that dark and familiar hole and assume the fetal position.
You can join me in September if you prefer. I’ll save you an Italian sausage and a box of Kleenex.
• • •
There was a time when I would buy into the hype.
There was a time when you could lay out all the “this is the year” arguments and I would follow you willingly over that cliff.
Big Z and Rich Harden to anchor the rotation. The NL’s best offense. The NL’s best record. Some significance to 100 years of futility that I still haven’t deciphered.
Whatever the theory, I was its disciple.
But my faith has been eroded by a deluge of incontrovertible evidence.
• Leo Durocher and the Collapsin’ Cubs.
• Lee Smith and Leon Durham’s wide wickets.
• Greg Maddux, Will Clark and the first-inning grand slam.
• Steve Bartman and the end of Mark Prior’s career.
• The White Sox and Red Sox winning World Series to end long droughts, while the Cubs failed in their quest.
Forget the goat and the black cat, I witnessed all of the above.
I have stared into the abyss and seen the dark truth.
All bad things do not come to an end.
The Cubs and their fans are the exception to the rule — caught in an eternal loop.
So I’ve stopped deluding myself.
Stopped believing in karmic wheels and baseball gods who take pity on the downtrodden.
Stopped believing my faith has any impact at all.
I am not an agent. I am merely a spectator.
And I’ve seen this train wreck before. I know it’s coming.
This time, I choose to avert my eyes.
May I have the strength not to peek.