It has come to our attention that your team recently won the World Series. We probably shouldn’t speak for the whole country, but since we’re so united these days, what the heck: We are thrilled for you.
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Really. How great is this? For 108 years, your team was usually lousy, but you stayed loyal and kept your sense of humor. Some fans whine when their team loses one in a row; you shrugged your way through entire decades. This is why so many baseball fans were happy when your team won. You could have been sniveling little whiners all these years, but you weren’t.
Now your team is a budding dynasty, which is also very cool. But it comes with some risk. See, sometimes when a team wins a lot, its fans become insufferable and arrogant; we are not thinking of any specific fan bases, except the ones in St. Louis and Boston. We would hate to see this happen to you. You have been so much fun over the years. Please don’t make us screen your calls.
Cubs fans, the transition from loveable losers to likeable winners can be tricky. That is why we are here today. Consider this a preemptive intervention. You may not need it yet, but you will. Here are seven steps for you to follow—one for each game of that epic World Series win over the Indians.
1. Let’s go easy on the word “suffer.” Yes, sure, in sports terms you were “long-suffering”. But you didn’t suffer like refugee children in Syria or teenagers with cancer or people who lose a loved one. In fact, each of you has surely suffered through something more painful than your baseball team losing. So we know you know what we mean. We just ask you not to forget it.
2. While we’re at it: Yes, your team went 108 years without a championship, but unless you are an oak tree, you probably did not live 108 years without a championship. If you are 50 years old, you did not “suffer” without a championship any longer than Brewers or Astros fans have.
Please don’t act like only Cubs fans understand how hard this was. Detroit Lions fans understand. So do Toronto Maple Leafs fans. They are still stuck in sports-fan prison.
3. Your team president, Theo Epstein, might be the smartest man in baseball. This does not mean you are the smartest fans in baseball. It means your team is run by Theo Epstein.
You do not necessarily know more about baseball than the average Angels fan. We do not need you lecturing us on double-shifts or when to throw the slider. Nobody signed up for any course you are teaching.
We did not think you were idiots when your team sucked. Let’s not pretend you are geniuses because your team is winning.
4. While we’re at it: Arrogance, like the combination of socks and sandals, does not look good on anybody. By all means, you should enjoy every Kyle Schwarber home run, Javy Baez tag and Jon Lester strikeout. But unless you happen to be Kyle Schwarber, Javy Baez or Jon Lester, please do not act like you hit the home run, laid the tag or struck the batter out. You are still the guy who drops routine fly balls at the company softball game. Just be happy those guys play for your favorite team, and leave it at that.
5. At some point in the next few years, the Cubs will fail to win the World Series. We know, we know: That’s crazy. But it will happen. And when it does, remember: It is not because the rest of the baseball world is jealous, the umps are conspiring against you, the announcers wanted your team to lose and you were robbed. It is because sometimes, great baseball teams lose. This should only make you appreciate the 2016 World Series championship even more.
6. While we’re at it: If you say that anybody outside of St. Louis hates Chicago, we are going to throw an Italian-beef-and-sausage sandwich at your head. We have traveled all over this great country, and we have never heard anybody utter the words, “I hate Chicago.” Everybody loves Chicago, OK? That city is all sorts of awesome. And everybody loves Wrigley Field.
Yes, at some point, people will get tired of the Cubs winning. This is human nature. Didn’t you get tired of the Cardinals and Yankees winning? Of course you did. So you, of all people, should understand this. Don’t take it personally.
7. Remember all those afternoons when you cracked open a beer in the Wrigley Field bleachers, enjoyed the sunshine and didn’t get too worked up over who won the game? It’s OK to do that again.
That’s all. Pretty simple. We know you can handle this.