The Heartbreak Of Being A Sports Fan
Today was the baseball trading deadline day, and for the first time in quite a while, the Cubs were sellers and not buyers. Normally, this is one of the most exciting days of the year for me, as I am anxious about who the Cubs will go get to improve them just enough, to get back to the World Series.
It's like playing Strat-O-Matic baseball with your Topps baseball cards, except this is real, and it hurts when the team you love has a fire sale. I am a grown up, even if I don't always act the part, so I get that this is a business, and the team is there to make money. The owners have billions of dollars invested in their product and if their ROI isn't the right number, then you need to make changes to get to the numbers you need to stay in business.
Fans only have their heart and soul invested in the team so who cares about them. Sure we need them to come to the ballpark and spend their money buying tickets, uniforms, hot dogs, and beer, but we can find fans anywhere. If it was up to the fans Ryne Sandberg would still be playing second base, so they get no vote.
Remember this scene? It was only five years ago that Cubs fans celebrated their first World Series win in 108 years. It seems like a lifetime ago already. This week the Cubs traded away around seven or eight players from their current squad, including three core players from their World Series winning team. The demolishing of the team is now complete.
We, the fans, are now looking at baseball, as it was played on the Northside, from 1977 - 2013. Bad and unwatchable. I'm not even sure they can field a complete team tonight in Washington to play the equally demolished Nationals. This game will look like East Cowsville Junior College against The fighting fish of Fumbles Tech.
In 2016 an estimated 4+ million fans showed up for the victory parade and Grant Park celebration. The coolest stat I ever heard was that this gathering was the third largest gathering of humanity on earth of all time. It still gives me goose bumps when I hear that. Just think about all the gatherings there have been and then realize this was number three.
This is what being a fan is all about. Comingling with your co-fans, and beloved team, in celebration of a monumental accomplishment. That can never be taken away from us, no matter how bad this new Cubs team is going to be for the next three years.
This is what the owners of sports franchises don't get, or care about, we the fans are 100% invested in our team, and players. Emotionally we spend just as much capital as ownership does cash. It may not hurt our wallet, but it hurts our heart, and that is much worse.