Do you ever get that feeling that there is some higher power that’s causing things to just not go your way? You know, that old thing called Murphy’s Law, that “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Cubs fans are all too familiar with this law. In fact, they have grown accustomed to expecting its truth.
It wasn’t enough that the Cubs drastically underachieved in 2005 and missed the playoffs, fans had to endure the dreaded St. Louis Cardinals celebrating a division championship with champagne and beer at Wrigley Field. They also had to endure their cross-town rival Chicago White Sox celebrating their own division championship. They had to deal with local razzing from all the South Siders who decided to come out of the woodwork and jump right aboard that White Sox fair-weathered bandwagon. And they had to hide from Cardinals fans looking to boast yet another division championship.
As if all that wasn’t enough, Cubs fans had to endure their beloved team losing to the Houston Astros the final two games of the season. The losses kept the Cubs below the .500-mark and guaranteed them fourth place in the division, behind the surprising 81-81 Milwaukee Brewers. Above all, the final loss presented yet another opportunity for Cubs fans to watch yet another team celebrate with champagne at the expense of their club. Just as Cubs fans were hoping to be the spoilers in the National League Wild Card race, the Astros clinched the championship against the Cubs, providing yet another reminder that Murphy’s Law is definitely at work in Cubdom.
That brings us to the 2005 Major League Baseball Playoffs. The suffering for these Cubs fans continues, long after the season has ended. And it is far from over. There are two major baseball depressions brewing in the League Championship Series. The first depression is quickly picking up momentum and has taken the form of a steamrolling White Sox team. The ChiSox took it to the defending World Champions, sweeping the Boston Red Sox and their foolish, repeat-thinking fans right out of the American League Division Series. The second depression appears to build up strength, give the false sense that it is weakening, and then intensifies. It does this over and over again, and it has taken the form of none other than the St. Louis Cardinals, who swept the San Diego Padres on their route to the NLCS.
So as the Cards and Sox celebrate their playoff victories pouring champagne on each other yet again, Cubs fans are slammed with the harsh reality that these two depressions could very well meet in the World Series. It would be the formation of a perfect storm. And it would be named Murphy.
Yes, for the Cards and Sox to both win their respective LCS would be an absolute nightmare for Cubs fans. It would mean that no matter what happened they wouldn’t have a team to fully back in the World Series. And it would guarantee that one of their despised rivals would be crowned World Champions. There would be no rock to hide under. No magic pill to take that would make the pain go away. Only Bud Selig would possess the power to save Cubdom, by declaring a premature tie in the World Series, with no official winner. Anything short of that and the World Series would be ruined for Cubdom. The agony would last well into next season, if not beyond.
Last season, Cubs fans at least got to cheer for the Boston Red Sox against the Cardinals. But a White Sox and Cardinals match up would mean they would have to either not watch the series at all or quietly cheer for the team they wanted to lose least. Many baseball fans were forced with a similar decision in choosing a team to root for in the 2000 World Series when the infamous “Subway Series” pitted the New York Yankees against the New York Mets. But Cubs fans would tell you that choosing a team in that series was like choosing between a Bud Light and a Miller Lite… compared, that is, to the choice of jumping off the Sears Tower or lying down in the middle of the Dan Ryan Expressway, which is what choosing between the Cards and Sox could be compared to.
Yes, misery loves company. And if anyone knows misery, Cubs fans do. They might have their fun at games and enjoy their team, but when it comes down to it, they don’t want anyone in their vicinity to win if they can’t win. They don’t want White Sox fans happy if they can’t be happy, and they surely don’t want Cardinals fans happy. Just the thought of one of those clubs’ fans being able to hold a recent World Championship over them is a complete nightmare. And if Murphy comes to fruition and takes aim at Cubdom, that nightmare is going to come to life.
So as the LCS get going, Cubs fans will be hoping the weathermen, a.k.a. the sports analysts, are all wrong. And they’ll do so while rooting for two teams: the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Angels. For these battered fans, the perfect World Series would be a PG-rated show on Fox, full of references to Disney characters and Minute Maid juice boxes. Yes, they’re hoping, praying that the perfect storm called Murphy dissipates in the LCS. But if the law the storm is named after holds true, Cubs fans are in trouble and should start evacuating now.
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