You always hear that when a team has dropped out of it well before the end of the season. They try and convince their fans and media, or more likely themselves, that they can get through the rest of the season playing "spoiler."
They say it will give the rest of their season meaning.
Generally, you don't buy it because you watch a team get pummeled by those with actual things for which to play, and you can pretty much tell the Cubs or whoever's in that position is just running out the clock and couldn't give two flyings how it affects the other team's season.
However, maybe in just a bid to find any reason to continue to watch baseball that has anything to do with Chicago, I'm kind of enjoying the Cubs doing that. They recently took two of three from the Cardinals at Wrigley, which pretty much buried that team to a season of nothingness.
Monday night, the Cubs took Giants ace Tim Lincecum out behind the woodshed and played some banjo music for the soundtrack, leaving San Francisco five games back. And I got a perverse joy out of it.
I don't know why. It won't make this season any more pleasant and any less of a waste of time than it's been. Nothing that happens now will indicate if Starlin Castro will become the star he can or if Tyler Colvin will in fact be anything usable.
Right now, those are the only questions that have any substance for the Cubs future. But just for a night, it was enjoyable to wear blue.
Maybe it's because I have an unusual distaste for the Giants. And one that doesn't make any sense. I love San Francisco as a city. They probably have the most beautiful ballpark in the land, and they serve Sierra Nevada. And their colors rock.
But their World Series win last year rubbed me the wrong way, as it does when any team with the same record of futitlity that the Cubs are rocking comes through. Once again, a team caught lightning in a bottle and goofed it's way through the playoffs. Why can't that happen here?
Clearly this wasn't the budding of a Giants dynasty as they languish five games behind a simply mediocre Arizona team.
In 102 years, we couldn't have career years from a couple guys and just find ourselves good for no reason? You'd think even randomness would suggest so.
Or maybe it's my distaste for Tim Lincecum. While I enjoy watching him pitch immensely, he still looks like the rich kid at high school who you didn't like but had to be nice too because he had the best video games, threw the best parties, and had the best drugs. That kid you knew would land on his feet, or have his parents do it for him, because of their wealth, no matter how much of a screw up he was. Not that Lincecum is that kid, he just looks like that kid to me.
Anyway, any enjoyable night I can get out of the Cubs, I'll take.
Sam Fels is the proprietor of The Committed Indian, an unofficial program for the Blackhawks. You may have seen him hocking the magazine outside the United Center at Gate 3. The program is also available for purchase online. Fels is a lifelong 'Hawks fan and he also writes for Second City Hockey .