October baseball has touched down in Chicago and Los Angeles once again, bringing with it a fresh batch of iconic playoff moments and renewed hope for a long-coveted World Series title. The Cubs are trying to shatter a curse older than time itself. The Dodgers are looking to win a ring for their icon in his final season in the broadcast booth. Both teams are hungry and resilient. And so are their fans, which is why Let Me B-Frank may not survive this series…
Yes, our blog is based out of Chicago, but our team features contributors from all over the U.S. Located as we are, a majority of our writers are Cubs fans. Fair enough, better to suffer together than suffer alone, especially when only a handful of the global population can claim to even sniff the day the Cubs last won the World Series. Our fearless leader Brian, the namesake of Let Me B-Frank, counts himself among the Wrigley faithful. The second of our chief editors, Peter “Tall Guy” Carey, is a White Sox fan, so he’s currently enduring his own form of South Side suffering as we speak. (It’s a bad sign when even the Cubs pity your franchise.) Growing up in Los Angeles, I am a Dodger fan. Always have been, always will be. Our situation as baseball fans doesn’t put as at odds very often, as the Dodgers and Cubs normally only play two series a season. Sure, there are exceptions, such as the 2008 NLDS when Los Angeles featuring “Mannywood” swept the Word Series-favorite Cubbies in a decisive blow to the North Side’s hopes of ending its title drought. Besides that, the recent history between the two clubs has been relatively amiable. Such pleasantries end this week, however, and the conflict threatens to rock this blog to its core.
If there’s one characteristic that describes Cubs fans, it’s certainly their resilience (or stubbornness, depending on whom you ask). When you haven’t won in 108 years, you either hold steadfast to your belief that every year is “your year” or you lose your mind. It’s a survival decision, really. Some years – most years – you can blame the Wrigley faithful for suffering from their delusional optimism. This is not one of those years. Winning 103 games in a variety of fashions, this Cubs team was very clearly the best team in baseball during the regular season. The problem is that this isn’t the regular season anymore. Any casual fan of baseball knows that October is where the magic happens, where the memories of the 162-game season fade in the distance as each October night brings with it a do-or-die battle to keep your World Series hopes alive. Crazy things happen in the playoffs with upsets being one of the most common. (If they’re so common, maybe we shouldn’t call them “upsets” anymore, but I’ll save that for another time.) So for as much momentum as both the Cubs and Dodgers bring into this NLCS after thrilling clinching wins over the Giants and Nationals respectively, both teams are starting from scratch.
When I bring up this point to Cubs fans, the replies are often dismissive, if not altogether militant. Most North Side fans truly believe this is their year, which is understandable. Brian, however, is notoriously superstitious when it comes to discussing the Cubs. (There’s a reason I’m the one writing this article.) He’s so superstitious, in fact, that he probably won’t talk to me this week. I represent the enemy standing in the way of breaking the most infamous curse in sports. I, for one, embrace my team’s role of playing the spoiler. When the Dodgers are this close to playing in the World Series, how could I cheer for anything other than a Los Angeles series victory and still be a true fan? So I’ll wear my L.A. hat and Vin Scully shirt proudly and hope the Cubs’ curse lasts just one year longer.
Regardless of my friendship with my colleagues who cheer for the Cubs, there will be a winner and there will be a loser. The blog must go on. We’ll be posting throughout the week with our reactions to this most personal of series. Whether you believe in Go Cubs Go or Win4Vin, tune in to all our coverage of the NLCS.