I am a huge baseball fan. Wait, scratch that – I guess I’m only average-sized, but I love me some baseball, especially if we’re talking about my beloved St. Louis Cardinals. I’ve been “bleeding red” ever since my Uncle Matt took me to my first Cardinals game back in 1987. I don’t remember much of anything about my first game, except that it was overwhelming – the sights, the sounds, the smells, the crowd. My baseball knowledge came shortly thereafter, thanks to my uncle for answering my constant barrage of questions, and to Hall-of-Fame broadcaster Jack Buck, whose verbal imagery, knowledge, and story-telling I absorbed like a sponge. Those were the days of Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee, Vince Coleman, and Tommy Herr; the days of Whitey-ball. The Cards fell just short that year, losing in the World Series to the Minnesota Twins in seven games.
I didn’t know it at the time, but the Redbirds wouldn’t return to the World Series for seventeen years (2004, the year of the Boston Red Sox), and it would be two years beyond that before I’d be able to say “World Champion St. Louis Cardinals” (2006). Still, it has been, and continues to be, a great love affair. I’ve introduced my Cardinals to all of my friends – my best high school friend, Scott, caught a ball thrown into the stands by St. Louis outfielder Brian Jordan when I took him to his first game (I’m still a little bitter about that one – I’ve never caught a ball). I’ve planned many weekends around trips to St. Louis. I’ve taken multiple girlfriends to ballgames – some willingly, some not. I can’t say I’ve never fought with a girlfriend when the Cardinals were on TV at the same time as “Friends.” I won the arguments, and I’ve had many failed relationships. When I moved away from the Midwest, vacations were planned around trips to St. Louis and Cardinals baseball.
As a fan, I’ve been witness to such historic moments as Mark McGwire breaking Roger Maris’ long-standing single-season home run record in 1998 (only to be broken by baseball’s jerk, Barry Bonds, just three years later). I’ve witnessed great “water cooler” moments, like the 19-inning game in 1988 against the Atlanta Braves in which current Cardinals’ third base coach Jose Oquendo, then a utility infielder, was called on to pitch and threw three scoreless innings. His fourth inning resulted in two runs and a St. Louis loss, but it was cool anyway. I’ve witnessed the birth of a future Hall-of-Famer, “Prince” Albert Pujols, I’ve watched hundreds of patented Ozzie Smith flips, I’ve seen some of the greatest catches ever in centerfield by Jim Edmonds, I am anxiously awaiting the next chapter in the amazing pitcher-turned-outfielder Rick Ankiel story, and I’m watching Cardinal baseball in my second Busch Stadium.
As much as I love the Cardinals, I HATE THE CHICAGO CUBS. I love hating the Cubs. I love hating the Scrubs almost as much as I love rooting for the Redbirds. Why? Well, in case you don’t follow baseball, the Cards and Cubs are big-time rivals. It’s a passionate, heated rivalry – one that ranks up there with the highly-publicized Red Sox/Yankees rivalry. There is only one thing better than a Cubs loss, and that’s a St. Louis victory. If it’s the Cardinals that hand Chicago the loss, well… it doesn’t get any sweeter than that.
There are plenty of not-so-proud moments Americans have been forced to endure during the last 100 years: the Black Sox scandal of 1919; disco music; Billy Ray Cyrus getting to be famous; George Bush. But all pale in comparison to the Chicago Cubs franchise, who in 2008 celebrated their 100th year without a World Series Championship after getting swept by the Dodgers. An entire century. Pathetic. The last time the Cubs had a victorious post-season, the Star-Spangled Banner hadn’t become our national anthem yet. Since then, two world wars have taken place. Bell-bottoms have been in and fallen back out of style, twice. Radio and TV were invented. Most importantly, the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series ten times while the Cubs and their fans sat at home and watched.
To commemorate Chicago’s 100 year run of futility, I’ve compiled a list of 100 reasons I love to hate the Cubs. Some are facts, some are opinions, and some are merely quotes or observations. But one thing remains true: The Cubs suck. On to the list…
1. In 1874, Chicago played its first game against a St. Louis team, the Brown Stockings, whose name will later be changed to the Cardinals. A standing-room-only crowd at Grand Avenue Park (later to be known as Sportsman’s Park, and then Busch Stadium) watched St. Louis win 4-3. That’s a winner!
2. In 1876, Chicago lost the first professional baseball championship ever to be played, as the team was defeated by St. Louis four games to one. St. Louis was crowned the Champion of the West.
3. St. Louis defeated Chicago in the World’s Championship Series in both 1885 and 1886. In 3 post-season meetings, Chicago has never beaten St. Louis.
4. In 1906, the Chicago White Sox defeated the Cubs in the World Series.
5. In 1932, after suffering through constant abuse from Cubs fans (and the Cubs dugout too) during Game 3 of the World Series, Babe Ruth had finally had enough and points to centerfield. The Cubs fans begin to boo, and continue to boo, until the Babe hit the next pitch over the fence for a home run. Take notes, Cubs – actions speak louder than words.
6. “Wrigley Field is a bad ballpark!” – “Fergie” Jenkins, Cubs Hall of Fame pitcher
7. William “Billy Goat” Sianis brought his pet goat Murphy to Wrigley Field for the Game 4 of the 1945 World Series between the Cubs and the Detroit Tigers. Sianis and the goat made it onto the field before ushers finally intervened and led them to the grandstand aisle. Sianis maintained that there was no rule preventing his goat from using a ticket. After a short argument, Sianis and the goat were allowed to stay, as long as they returned to their seats. Nevertheless, due to the Murphy’s disgusting odor, they were eventually ordered to leave by Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley. Sianis was furious over the ejection and placed a curse on the Cubs. The Cubs lost that game, and eventually the World Series. Sianis sent Mr. Wrigley a telegram that read, “Who smells now?”
8. Harry Caray was a famous Cubs broadcaster who probably didn’t even know where he was for the last ten years of his life. Whether he was singing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” out of sync with the music, or saying that a fly ball out was “outta here!” five seconds after the fact, you almost felt sorry for him. Almost.
9. The other Caray’s – Skip and Chip may be two of the most boring, annoying, monotone broadcasters in baseball. They rode their father’s coattails into careers of their own, and we all suffered for it.
10. Didn’t anyone ever tell Cubs announcer Ron Santo that there’s no crying in baseball? Geez.
11. Oh, you Cubs fans – so oblivious to reality. You’re like an abused girlfriend – you chose to love the Cubs, and every time your hearts get broken, you collectively say “thank you, sir… may I have another?”
12. Is it just me, or is the Cubs uniform the least intimidating piece of fashion that you’ve ever seen? They had a word for guys that wore fruity looking stuff like that in high school, and the word wasn’t “manly.”
13. You ruined a lot of great players chances of ever getting a World Series ring, most notably Ernie Banks and Ryan Sandberg. Way to go.
14. In September 1950, facing the possibility of another last-place finish, Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley sent a letter of apology to “Billy Goat” Sianis, asking that the curse be reversed. Sianis refused.
15. Dusty Baker should have spent less time chewing on toothpicks and more time making sound managerial decisions, but that’s why he was a Cub and not a Cardinal. I hope you enjoyed getting schooled again (he played for current Cardinals manager Tony La Russa in Oakland).
16. “This is the kind of thing, quite honestly, right now, that makes you want to see the Chicago Cubs team lose. Among all baseball fans . . . far and away the most obnoxious fans in baseball, in this league, are those who follow this team right here. Throwing 15 or 18 balls onto the field, there’s absolutely no excuse for that, and that is so typical of Chicago Cubs fans.” – Marty Brennaman, Cincinnati Reds broadcaster
17. As a pitcher with St. Louis, Jason Marquis was average at best and had the reputation of being a big baby. He was so average, in fact, that the Cardinals left him off of their post-season roster in 2006. In 2008, as a member of the Cubs, Marquis was brought in to relieve in Game 1 of the NLDS – he promptly gave up a home run to the very first batter.
18. “Wait ’til next year!” You gotta love their sticktoitiveness.
19. Cubs fans are like really awful American Idol contestants – no self-awareness whatsoever, and unable to accept any type of criticism concerning their team, no matter where the Cubs are in the standings. Wait ’til next year, Simon!
20. Thank you Chicago, for trading Lou Brock to the Cardinals for pitcher Ernie Broglio in 1964. Brock hit .348, stole 33 bases, and helped St. Louis beat the Yankees in the World Series that year. Brock went on to lead the NL in steals eight times and bat over .300 eight times. He was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in 1985. Broglio went 7-19 in two years with the Cubs. Jerome Holtzman, MLB’s official historian, said, “It was one of the worst trades in the history of the Cubs.”
21. “There’s nothing wrong with this team that more pitching, more fielding and more hitting couldn’t help.” – Bill Buckner, former Cubs first baseman
22. On September 13th, 1964, Cubs fans were treated to a rare feat in which one team scored at least one run in every inning of a nine-inning game. That team was the Cardinals, as they defeated the Cubs by a score of 15-2 that day at Wrigley.
23. I love that they fly an “L” flag over Wrigley Field after every loss. That’s just awesome.
24. In 1969, Sianis agreed to lift the curse, and the Cubs spent most of the season in first place. However, during the second game of a pivotal two-game series in New York against the Mets, a black cat ran onto the playing field and stared at Ron Santo while he was in the batter’s box. The cat scurried into the stands, and the Cubs lost the game. They also lost the next day’s game, along with the division lead.
25. How can you back a bunch of bears who routinely get their collective asses kicked by a bunch of birds?
26. And they’re not even full grown bears! It’s not the scary Chicago Grizzly Bears, it’s the little, cute Chicago Cubs – the little baby bears that are so cute and you feel sorry for them because they’re all helpless babies.
27. “This team makes your ulcers have a baby.” – Mark Grace, former Cubs first baseman
28. Cubs fans idolize an announcer who couldn’t see the ball, couldn’t pronounce most of the names on the team, and slobbered all over the microphone. Holy cow.
29. World Series Championships: STL 10, CHC 2
30. They let THIS happen.
31. They sign players with profanity-laden names. Admit it, you don’t know how to pronounce Fukudome either.
32. Sammy So-sux was Mark McGwire Lite, for a season anyway. Did anybody really want to see Sosa beat out McGwire in the home run race? He wasn’t as cute as he thought he was, especially in that uniform.
33. In the unlikely event that God does care about baseball, it’s pretty obvious He doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the Cubs.
34. Sam Sianis, William Sianis’ nephew, attempted to bring another goat into Wrigley Field in 1973, but was stopped from entering. The Cubs went on to win the game; however, starting the next day, the Cubs 8 1/2 game division lead vanished when they managed to win only four of their next twenty games.
35. You would think Chicago would have accidentally won a Championship in the last 100 years, somehow. Nope.
36. “I don’t know why we bought the Cubs. We already had a perfectly good company softball team.” – Robert Verdi, former Cubs owner
37. In a game in 1976, with the Cubs leading the Philadelphia Phillies 13-2 after four innings, they proceed to give up 16 runs to the Phillies and lost the game 18-16.
38. I think that at some point in Lou Pinella’s career, the fiery veteran’s wisdom became the bitter ravings of a crazy old man. That point was when he took over as Cubs manager.
39. In 1980, the Cubs traded Bruce Sutter, the best relief pitcher in the National League, to St. Louis for Ken Reitz and Leon Durham. Sutter helped lead St. Louis to a World Championship in 1982 and a National League Pennant in 1985. Another incredibly sound baseball decision by the Cubs front office.
40. Don’t they realize that everyone outside of Chicago Chicago’s north side is laughing at them?
41. They let “the rainbow warrior” Jeff Gordon do THIS.
42. You have to pee in a trough at Wrigley. Outdated plumbing plus drunk Cubs fans who have as much aim as their pitchers do equals 100 years of urine soaked into Wrigley. The only way a corporate name change of Wrigley Field will be a positive thing will be if the name becomes “Urine B. Gone Stadium.”
43. Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano once left a game because of cramping in his right forearm – it was related to too much computer use. Who knew he could type left-handed?
44. For the first time since 1945, the Cubs allowed a goat into Wrigley Field on Friday the 13th of April, 1984 – the Cubs’ home opener. The Cubs won the game and went on to win their first Eastern Division title.
45. A ginormous “thank you” to you, Steve Bartman. Your natural reaction to go for a foul ball ruined the concentration of a bunch of “professionals” and kept the Cubs losing streak intact. I love you in a totally non-gay way.
46. “One thing you learned as a Cubs fan: when you bought your ticket, you could bank on seeing the bottom of the ninth.” – Joe Garagiola, longtime sportscaster
47. Wind sucks.
48. The Cubs are known as the “lovable losers,” but while only some Cubs fans are lovable, ALL Cubs fans are losers.
49. The Cubs have a rich, consistent tradition – they’ve always sucked, and they always will.
50. The band Chicago is slightly less lame than the Cubs.
51. Quitters never win, and winners never quit. But those who never win AND never quit are idiots.
52. During the post-season in 1984, the Cubs won the first two games against the San Diego Padres in the NLCS, but lost the next three and the Series, thanks in large part to an absolutely beautiful ground ball that slipped through Leon Durham’s legs.
54. I speak for all Cardinals fans when I say thank you, Steve Garvey. Thank you for your 9th-inning walk-off home run against the Cubs in Game 4 of the 1984 National League Championship Series. We haven’t forgotten you, and neither have the Cubs and their fans (we won’t let them).
55. Typical Cubs fans.
56. “If they blew up Wrigley tomorrow, it wouldn’t bother me at all. That ivy is nasty, the infield grass is waist high, and they definitely have the most vulgar fans.” – Lance Berkman, Houston Astros first baseman
57. Mark Prior, arriving on the scene as the supposed savior of the Cubs a few years ago, has turned out to be as useful as Stevie Wonder’s sunglasses.
58. While doing research for this blog, I found this – it’s a great song, written and performed by Steve Goodman. Steve was a big Cubs fan but never got to see them win a post-season game, dying of leukemia on September 20th, 1984. The Cubs made the playoffs that year and lost to the Padres. R.I.P. (You too, Steve)
59. Bubble Yum is such a superior gum.
60. Cubs of the baby bear variety are born toothless, blind, and bald. Most Cub fans never advance beyond this stage.
61. The Cubs failed to sign Cy Young Award Winner Greg Maddux in 1992. He spent the next eleven years with the Atlanta Braves, who won the division each of those years along with the World Series in 1995.
62. “F**k the Cubs.” – Ozzie Guillen, Chicago White Sox manager
63. In early 1994, the Cubs lost nine straight at home. On April 30th, Cubs Manager Tom Trebelhorn told a Chicago Tribune reporter that the goat curse was to blame for the team’s home losing streak. They proceeded to lose three more, extending their record-setting home field losing streak to twelve games.
64. Every team has a bad century…right? Wrong.
65. According to Wikepedia, the north side of Chicago has a large gay and lesbian community, and I think that’s fabulous. Chicago-style hot dog, anyone?
66. It should be hard to come up with 100 reasons for anything.
67. The following is a PSA: the people you are about to view in this 1992 WGN Cubs promo have all passed away. They wasted their entire lives waiting for the Cubs to give them one, just one, championship. Now that you’ve been warned, go get a life.
68. Sam Sianis and a goat arrived at Wrigley Field on May 4th, 1994 to end the Cubbies twelve-game home losing streak. The Cubs went on to beat the Reds 5-2.
69. Da Bears. Da Cubs. Da accent. Duh.
70. Forbes recently listed Chicago as one of the Top 10 Most Miserable Cities in the U.S., and I’m willing to bet that the Cubs have everything to do with that.
71. “If I managed the Cubs, I’d be an alcoholic.” – Whitey Herzog, former Cardinals skipper
72. Cubs fans have yet to learn that not all pain is gain.
73. In March 1997, the Cubs held a curse-removing press conference at the Billy Goat Tavern, attended by Cubs marketing chief John McDonald and former Cub Ron Santo. The Cubs then opened the season with a record-setting thirteen straight losses.
74. Happy 25th anniversary, Lee Elia tirade! (former Cubs manager in ’83, ripping the Cubs fans and media – not for kids)
75. They say hate is a form of love, but I don’t love the Cubs. I only hate them.
76. What does a mama bear on the pill have in common with the World Series? No cubs.
77. I can’t decide which I liked better about Sammy Sosa – his sprinting around the outfield before every Cub loss, or his cheating by using a corked bat. Oh wait, neither – it was his losing to McGwire in the great home run race of 1998.
78. In 1998, The Cubs traded pitching prospect Jon Garland across town to the White Sox for Matt Karchner (who?). Garland would lead the White Sox to the 2005 World Series Championship.
79. On May 16th, 2000, Cubs fans assaulted Dodgers’ catcher Chad Kreuter, striking him in the back and stealing his baseball cap. Krueter and his teammates chased the fans into the stands and recovered the hat. Several Cubs fans ended up bruised and in jail – a typical Saturday night for Cubs fans.
80. The Cubs got rid of hitting prospect Luis Gonzalez after only one and a half seasons. He would go on to become a repeat All-Star with the Arizona Diamondbacks, leading them to a World Series Championship in 2001 (he won the Series with a single in the bottom of the 9th of Game 7 against the Yankees).
81. Another classic seventh-inning-stretch moment at Wrigley, courtesy of Mike Ditka.
82. “Booze, broads, and bullshit. If you got all that, what else do you need?” – Harry Caray
83. In October 2003, five outs from winning their first National League pennant since 1945, the Cubs blew a 3-0 lead in the eighth inning when the Florida Marlins scored eight runs. The collapse began after a Cubs fan hit a foul ball with his hand as Moises Alou was attempting to catch it. After losing the game, the Cubs lost the series the following night. To this day, Cubs fans want to blame their losing the pennant on one guy in the stands. Ridiculous.
84. 100 years of losing – that’s consistency. Everyone loves a good underdog, but people hate a Lou-zer.
85. “Chicago” is the French rendering of the name shikaakwa, which literally means ‘striped skunk.’ It’s not just the team that stinks after all!
86. With the Cubs five outs away from a victory that would have sent them to the 2003 World Series, Alex Gonzalez dropped a potential inning-ending routine double play ball against the Florida Marlins. This led to eight Marlin’s runs, a Cubs loss. They would lose again the following night, and their World Series hopes were A-Gone.
87. On February 26, 2004, a live “Pre-Destruction Show” hosted by Keith Olbermann featured the destruction of the infamous “Bartman ball” to rid Cubs of whatever curse was attached to it.
88. Daring to mock the hex gods, Sport Illustrated placed a picture of Kerry Wood on the April 5th, 2004 cover and declared the Cubs will win the World Series. Later that year, the Boston Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years, breaking the “Curse of the Bambino.”
89. In 2004, Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa ended up on the disabled list after injuring himself by sneezing. “Pujols bless you.”
90. How many homosexuals does it take to overturn a car? I don’t know, but we’ll find out if the Cubs ever win a World Series.
91. The Cubs’ un-official mascot is a formerly-homeless man named Ronnie Wickers, who goes by the nickname Ronnie Woo Woo. On April 19th, 2005, he was hit by a car outside of Wrigley Field. I was in Florida at the time, and I have people who who can back me up on this.
92. On September 28th, 2005, Cubs pitcher Randy Myers was attacked on the mound by a 27-year old Cubs fan, who had ran onto the playing field because he was disturbed by Myers’ performance.
93. Wrigley’s “bleacher bums” are famous for throwing the opposing team’s home run balls back onto the field. However, did you know that at Wrigley, bleacher fans bring cheap baseballs from home into the park? When someone from an opposing team hits a home run, the fan who catches it throws a phony back onto the field, keeping the real ball for themselves.
94. “Chicago Cubs fans are ninety percent scar tissue.” – George F. Will, Washington Post Columnist
95. In 2007, the Cubs captured first place in the Central Division with a whopping 85 wins. Chicago fans went wild and killed a goat, hanging it from the Harry Caray statue at Wrigley Field before Game 1 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Cubs lost the game, and eventually the series, and a goat needlessly lost it’s life to some dumb ass drunks.
96. In 2008, Cubs fans welcome the team’s first Japanese player, Kosuke Fukudome, by making a “racist” t-shirt the best-selling souvenir at Wrigley field.
97. In May of 2008, Sports Illustrated featured the Cubs’ Fukudome on the cover. The All-Star’s numbers fizzled, as did the Cubs in the playoffs.
98. That any human being can believe that a goat has anything to do with a team sucking for 100 years is simply amazing to me. Let’s just hope that if there are any UFO abductions any time soon, they don’t take anyone from the north side of Chicago. It just wouldn’t be a fair representation of the human race.
99. It’s been an especially delicious decade to be a Cubs hater. The 2003 Cubs collapse against the Marlins; 2004, the Red Sox break their curse, winning the World Series; 2005, good baseball finally returns to Chicago as the White Sox win the World Series; 2006, all is right in the world – the St. Louis Cardinals are World Series champs; In 2007, the Red Sox prove without a doubt that their curse is a distant memory, winning their second World Series in four years; 2008, the Cubs run their post season losing streak to nine games after getting swept by the Dodgers.
100. Speaking of 2008, the heavily-favored Cubs lost game 1 of the NLDS 7-2 to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ryan Dempster, a Cubs pitcher who publicly predicted that the Cubs would win the World Series during spring training, was the losing pitcher.