The Cardinals have not advanced to the play-offs for baseball’s grand finale. While some of you out there are shrugging and saying “so what?” – my family is from St. Louis. Now don’t do a knee jerk. I am not a rabid fan. I say, “My family is from St. Louis”, and a Red Sox super fan will materialize with a big shit-eating grin, as if they heard me announce my lineage from a mile away.
But here’s the thing – I applauded the Sox when they made it to the Series. No, I’m not going to go off all half-cocked and root for them during the regular season. But hey – nicely done, formerly cursed team! The curse ended, history was made. Now we can all move on. Right?
Wrong. For many people out there, my denying the fact that I should be unerringly loyal to the Cardinals is simply blasphemy. Let’s just say I put a little something about loving good baseball up on Facebook during the dark time of the Red Sox win, and was called a traitor by a member of my family. There you have it. If you have family ties to the Gateway City and deny your birthright to be mega fan of the redbirds, you are a “traitor” (p.s. I wasn’t actually born there, so the use of the word “birthright” is pretty strong in my case).
I don’t get it. Maybe I’m a little thick because I’ve moved too much. When I lived in Seattle, I watched Mariners baseball. I cried when Joey Cora cried. I still don’t agree with the designated hitter rule in the American League, but does that mean I shouldn’t root for the team that represents the place in which I live? Um, no. I also root for the Minnesota Twins, as I married into a Minnesotan family. But I’ve always liked the Twinkies. Nothing wrong with that. I mean, according to me.
So here we go with a post season that again is a part of baseball’s intriguing history. “Those dirty Cubs” are getting a chance to show off, and it is killing the legions of Cardinals fans out there. I feel like maybe the “nicest fans in baseball” need to get over it. How many times have they seen their team advance all the way to the finale? And if they don’t make it to the Series, those high flying birds always seem to win their division. It’s ubiquitous to you people.
I had brunch with a Cubs fan recently (that’s right, crazy rabid redbird freaks, I broke bread with the “enemy”), and I brought up the term “loveable losers” as if to say that was part of their persona and it was kind of cute. This emitted a scowl from my dining companion. He is sick of that term. He wants them to do well. He wants to be proud of his team for going above and beyond the regular season. It occurred to me that there are many baseball fans out there that never get to see their team in the post season. This is pretty special for the Cubs and their fans, and I think it’s great.
We may all have different teams, but don’t we all share a love of baseball?