Coping with the Cubs postseason blues

Paul Kix

Enter a marathon and sprint for the first 100 yards. Doesn’t it feel great to be out in front? Enjoy it.

Look back over your shoulder at the mass of opponents pacing themselves … Just as they are about to overtake you, imagine a tape and break it, throwing your arms up in victory.

That is your consolation as they pass you by. That is your initiation into understanding Cub’s history.

– Jim Langford, The Cub Fan’s Guide to Life

I was going to write a book on autumn survival tips for Chicago Cubs fans, but Langford beat me to it.

Still, I hurt from another year teasing me with postseason.

So, herewith is the pamphlet I’m distributing nationally tomorrow morning.

From Postseason

to Off-season:

How to endure the days where baseball plays, but the Cubs don’t

Head to your public library.

Marvel, as you flip through the record books, at player-manager Frank Chance and his 1907 Cubs.

They beat Ty Cobb’s Tigers 4-2 in the World Series.

Go wide-eyed over pitcher Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown, who won 29 games in 1908 as he paced his team to another World Series title.

Know Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Ed Reulbach as well.

My! What epic gods played on these dominating teams! Soak in all their luster!

Regard the record books in other years with much trepidation, however.

Terms like “romp” and “rally to win” describe the Cubs play in May.

While, in July, terms like “St. Louis’s Dizzy Dean strikes out 17 Cubs,” and “but the Cubs lose to the Red, 5-4,” are used.

And in September phrases like “clinch the pennant” are seldom found after 1940.

Don’t look at October.

History’s pen has found very little to scrawl here.

While in the library, check out former Chicago Tribune columnist Mike Royko. (May he rest in peace.)

Royko was a Cubs fan.

And a wise man – his columns rife with the trials and tribulations that beset he and all his Cubs brethren.

In short, his columns are the Book of Psalms for all who seek solace.

Drive home now. You’re time at the library’s done.

Fix a sandwich and switch on a ballgame.

But choose wisely.

You don’t have to watch all the post-season, but it’s important to choose the team that best resembles Cubs fans.

This year: The Oakland A’s. The A’s are Cubs fans on their days off.

I mean, Oakland’s full of undying optimism, (they beat the Yankees in Game 1) food coupons (29th in MLB’s salary list this year) and Budweiser (well, they are).

Led by the swashbuckling Jason Giambi, the A’s are the team you’d most like to host your bachelor party if three bleacher bums couldn’t.

So watch the A’s.

And pay attention to the crowd shots at the game.

Arne Harris will be smiling.

Harris, the producer of Cubs baseball broadcast for the past 38 years, died last Saturday at the age of 67.

Harris was known for his shots of Cubs fans in Cubs hats and Cubs fans in bikinis and Cubs hats.

If you’re 14- or 15-year-old Cubs fan and Harris was producing, it was great.

You didn’t have to wait for Baywatch following the game.

Bikinis aside, it’s important to remember, this being mid-October, how lucky we are.

Because of Wrigley’s abhorrence for night games, in six months we enjoy afternoon radio while the rest of the nation slugs through easy listening.

And if we’re luckier still, we get to spend our spring afternoons with our shirts off, hurling insults at the Houston Astros between swigs of lukewarm beer in the most beautiful ball park in the world.

And if we’re luckier yet, and it isn’t September, the Cubs will win.

And as you drive home that evening, it is important to remember not the words of author, philosopher, and Nobel Prize Winner Herman Hesse: “Destiny Hurts.”

But rather, the words of a much wiser man, Cubs manager Lee Elia, after a nine-game losing streak in 1982: “Perfection takes time.”

Paul Kix is a junior in journalism and mass communication from Hubbard.