For Cubs fans the hope remains that a combination of youth and ignorance does away with any curse and brings a World Series championship. If you pay close attention, you’ll realize that baseball fans and the media make up 99.8% of the people talking about history and curses.
Cubs slugger Kris Bryant summed it up nicely: “We don’t care about history…. This is a completely different team, different people all around. It doesn’t matter. This is a new Chicago Cubs team. And we are certainly a very confident group.”
Hmm. Does Kris Bryant mean to say that 108 years of futility and broken dreams don’t matter? That the current, longest running hex over a franchise in all major sports amounts to not even a hill of beans to those brave young souls tasked with its undoing?
Well, yes, apparently.
And why not? Since Joe Maddon took over managing duties for the North Siders, they have won 200 games and four different playoff series. They’ve been the sexy pick to go deep in the playoffs and/or win each year, and now proudly possess the National League pennant for the first time since the end of World War II.
In other words, Kris Bryant’s callous disregard for all things history, and the generational agony of Cubs fans, isn’t the product of some kind of brash arrogance. He simply doesn’t know any other way.
Neither do his teammates. Out of all the Cubs “Young Guns,” only Anthony Rizzo had any significant time with the team before they began averaging 100 wins a year. Kris Bryant’s entire time with the Cubs occurred in the last two years. Ditto for Addison Russell, Javier Baez, and Kyle Hendricks, all with the team only one year before Joe Maddon arrived.
Championship teams don’t just win, they make winning a habit. Few Cubs teams have made a habit of anything successful over the last…oh…108 years, other than failing the lofty expectations of their fans. Yet, this current roster of Cubbies has. They learned how to win, and started learning early enough in their careers that they essentially don’t know another way.
Why would anyone want to talk about anything else? After all, giving life to the ghosts of previous, failing generations makes little sense when you know the boogeyman who tormented them is a fraud.
The young often get accused by their elders of living in their own “wheelhouse.” Defining history, the world, and life itself within the context of their own lifespans, the experience, input, and wisdom of the ages be damned.
Chicago fans better hope that’s exactly what the Cubs do.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn