This morning I had a parent/teacher conference with my daughter's 2nd grade teacher... who also happens to be a die-hard crazy Cubs fan. There are big, red Cubs "C's" everywhere in her classroom, she puts Cubs stickers on things, she even sends the "Student of the Week" home with the class mascot, a teddy bear named "Wrigley." So when she learned what I did for a living, our conference turned more into a counseling session for her.
"I'm not handling this very well," she admitted with a smile.
We talked a bit about how bad the Cubs were playing, how well the Dodgers were playing... and how maybe the Northsiders just ran into the wrong team at the wrong time. She wasn't feeling much better as I left the room, but then something occured to me that I thought perhaps might lighten her mood just a bit.
"You know," I said. "There is this. IF it's ever going to happen... and by "it" I mean the Cubs winning the World Series... this is EXACTLY how it's going to happen. I mean, they're the CUBS for Godsake... it isn't going to be easy."
And I think that's something the Cubs fans can and should cling to. Winning a World Championship is about the journey almost more than the the actual title itself... and let's face it, it just wouldn't be the Cubs style to do what the White Sox did in 2005. The Cubs aren't going to cruise through the post-season, winning 11 of 12 games. No, if the Cubs are going to shed the "Lovable Losers" label, they're going to do it in the hardest, most gut-wrenching, most stressful way possible. They're going to lose the first two games at Wrigley Field to the Dodgers and then miraculously win the last three. They'll probably fall behind in the NLCS too. A key player will probably get hurt. Hell, Lou Piniella himself will probably be hospitalized at some point.
And that's the way it should be. When the Red Sox ended their "curse" they did it in the most unfathomable way possible, rushing back against the hated Yankees to become the first team in baseball history to overcome an 0-3 hole in a best-of-seven series. The question isn't whether the Cubs will top that kind of drama, it's HOW.
So take heart Cubs fans... if "It's Gonna Happen," then it will almost certainly be exactly like this.
Of course, I can't promise it'll be this year.