It?s playoff time on the north side of Chicago again, and that means a few things.
It means that millions of Cubs fans like myself will be letting baseball run our lives for the next couple of weeks (or for just the long weekend if things go terribly wrong).
It means a group of young ball players will have the chance to be heroes for life if they can pull out a win and give Cubs fans the chance to celebrate for the first time in over 100 years.
But it?s also time for the Curse of the Billy Goat to rear it?s ugly head once again.
Every time we Cub fans get even a little bit of hope, somebody messes it up. It all started in 1945 when Billy Sianis was asked to leave the fourth game of the World Series at Wrigley Field and got super emotional about it and cursed us for life.
Since then, the baseball Gods have found a bunch of different ways to rip out Cubs fans hearts right when they are filled with the most hope.
I wasn?t alive in 1969 when a black cat ran behind Ron Santo and started a chain of events that somehow led to us blowing the division lead and missing out on the world series.
I also wasn?t alive for years of disappointment in the 1980s, and I wasn?t quite old enough to understand the heart break of being a Cubs fan until 2003.
But I can still remember watching Steve Bartman reach over the wall and steal an out from Moises Alou during game six of the NLCS.
I remember watching Cubs fans boo him out of Wrigley Field. Even as a 13-year old, I knew Chicago was going to blow that game and lose again in game seven. I don?t know how I knew, but I did.
I?ve been keeping my eyes peeled this year, looking out for what new curse could possibly end up costing us the World Series, and I think I?ve figured it out.
It?s these stupid clowns. These clowns that keep popping up on the news are planning something, and it?s only logical to believe it must have something to do with the Cubs.
If you think about it, it?s always been clowns. A clown trying to bring his stupid goat into the game; a clown reaching over the wall and stealing an out from our left-fielder; a bunch of clowns turning on one of their own and creating a ton of bad mojo at Wrigley.
Now, I haven?t quite figured out what these guys are going to do to mess this up for us. Are they planning to turn Wrigley into a three-ring circus? Are they going to use one of those stupid flowers with the water squirting out on one of our pitchers before they go out to the mound?
Whatever you?re planning, clowns, I have one warning for you. You better check yourself before you wreck yourselves. We Cub fans will not accept any of your shenanigans.
I get why you?re acting out. I know you?re mad because Ronald McDonald got fired and replaced with some (even creepier) red mascot guy, and I know you?re still probably upset that Adam Sandler destroyed that clown in ?Happy Gilmore.?
I also know, as every Cub fan does, that we?re an easy target.
Oh yeah, everybody loves a good laugh at the Cubs every now and then to make themselves feel better about their own lives.
I know how it is. We?re at the bottom of the food chain. Everyone can make fun of our misery all they want because we were put here for everyone to laugh at.
Cubs fans are the only people who get laughed at more than clowns, so naturally, we?re going to be the ones who you take your frustrations out on.
But before you try to cross the Cubs, I just want to warn you; you haven?t seen the darkness we Cubs fans have seen.
No matter how many little kids squeeze your big red nose or pull on your multi-colored hair. No matter how many people make fun of you for your baggy pants or your overalls, you?ll never feel the pain we Cubs? fans have felt.
We Cub fans have been marginalized for the last time. We?re not going to just stand here and let you curse us this year, like so many have done in the past. This year, we?re going to fight back.
So take this as a warning, clowns. If you?re planning to ruin this for us, you might as well just all crawl back into your tiny little car and go back to Cirque Du Soleil where you belong. ?Next year? is finally here and nobody wants your tired act messing it up.