A Test of Hope: Being a Cubs Fan

Michael Gross Staff Writer What’s it like to be a Cubs fan? For all of us, every spring brings new beginnings, a time for last year’s memories to fade away and allow new ball clubs to create memories of their own. I joke with my friends every year that this is really going to be the year, the year my downtrodden team finally puts their curse to rest. But behind my humorous attitude there is a true hope: what if this really is the year? Bringing in president Theo Epstein it was supposedly a “New Era” for the Chicago Cubs, a team that has not won a World Series since 1908 (104 years, if you couldn’t do the math). Epstein stayed away from the big-name free agents like Albert Puljos and Prince Fielder and attempted to revive a dead franchise a different way. As that long-awaited day in April crept closer, Cubs fans wondered, as they have every year, if this year would be different. Opening day brought new experiences, like watching Bill Murray run around the bases before throwing the first pitch and fans eager to see if Theo Epstein could save his ball club. The cubs had a 1-0 lead with two outs in the eighth inning,when Ryan Dempster was pulled out of the game. The Cubs were four outs away from their first opening day victory since 2006. That would be quite a start to the Epstein Era. Later on, Kerry Wood (an iconic member of the Cubs) entered the game. As you probably guessed, the Cubs blew the lead, as Wood walked in a run in the eighth, and Carlos Marmol let up one more run in the ninth. However, the Cubs did show one last glimpse of life in the last half of the ninth as a one-out triple had them knocking on the door of a tie game. This glimpse was spoiled by the next play as a grounder to third, and a play at the plate in favor of the Nationals diminished any chance of tying or winning the game. Marlyn Byrd struck out looking as the Cubs looked the same as they had for the past 104 years: blowing leads and failing to come through when the game was on the line. Similar stories came with second game of the Cubs’ hopeful breakout season. They led 4-2 in the 8th inning with two outs. Once again, Wood and Marmol blew a strong start, this time from Matt Garza. Letting up five runs in the eighth, the Cubs once again lost, 7-4. When asked about the disappointing start to the Cubs season, Freshman Jack Landsberg said, “It’s a rough start. But, it’s a long season and here is still hope for this improved ball club.” Jack represents many of the Cubs fans as they hope that the Cubs only go up from here. Sophomore and diehard Cubs fan Josh Martin was furious at the Cubs 0-2 start to the season saying, “The Cubs should be 2-0 right now; instead we are 0-2 when leading after seven innings.” Josh mainly blames the loss on the management of the Cubs feeling they made a poor decision to only pitch Kerry Woods 5 innings during Spring Training. Josh did, however, look on the bright side in saying, “One major positive to take is that if we get starting pitching performances like Garza and Dempster put in consistently, then the Cubs will win a lot of games.” Like many other fans, Josh and Jack were extremely excited for the season, and while this opening weekend might have been a complete letdown there is still hope in those diehard fans for a record breaking 160-2 season. The Cubs capped off the opening weekend with their first victory as they defeated the Nationals 4-3. Jeff Samardzija was dominant, allowing four hits and one earned run as the Cubs starting rotation continues to impress. Carlos Marmol captured his first save and the Cubs’ lineup finally looks like it is coming together. Alfonso Soriano had two RBI’s, Starlin Castro had two hits, scored twice, and had two stolen bases, and Ian Stewart had an RBI single. A strong end to this interesting opening weekend as there is still hope in those die-hard fans for a record breaking 160-2 season. We can only hope that rooting for the underdogs will get us far this year!]]>