*This article was originally published by the Loyola Phoenix*
Sorry, but I just couldn’t buy into the whole “Cubs Fan charm,” or whatever you want to call it.
Sure, it’s pretty neat that the Cubs finally broke the 108-year-old “Billy Goat Curse” while I’m living in Chicago. It’s kinda cool when anything happens for the first time in 108 years, but that’s beside the point.
The Cubs winning the World Series is a rarity, but that’s about it.
Much to the disbelief of my friends, many of whom are Chicago natives and lifelong Cubs fans, I wasn’t rooting for the “lovable losers.” Don’t get me wrong; I wasn’t rooting for the Cubs to lose, either. I just refused to join the bandwagon unlike the majority of the Cubs’ fanbase during the postseason.
I’m a Miami Marlins fan, despite the Marlins organization doing everything in its power to make me say otherwise. That’s mostly because I grew up in Miami and support most of the local teams by default. So, the Marlins winning the World Series in 2003 was one of the best moments of my life. That victory wouldn’t have been possible if not for the Steve Bartman incident. When Bartman reached over the left field railing and prevented Moises Alou from catching a fly ball in the eighth inning, he unwittingly altered the history of two franchises. To this day, I can see the disturbed flashbacks in Cubs fans’ eyes triggered by any mention of my Marlins fandom.
My time in Chicago has left me with an odd sense of guilt that I’m almost partially to blame for extending the curse. My team made the Cubs’ drought worse, so it felt wrong to celebrate the end of suffering that I somehow helped to extend — regardless of how ridiculous that seems.
Of course, the Marlins winning in 2003 pales in comparison to when the best player in the league — Dwyane Wade — re-signed with the Miami Heat and convinced LeBron James and Chris Bosh to join him on South Beach. The Big Three coming to Miami my senior year of high school was, without a doubt, the most important moment in my 23 years as a fan.
From 2010 to 2014, my favorite team was the center of the sports world. The Heat led the 6 p.m. SportsCenter almost every night, and every little issue was magnified and blown out of proportion by the sports world. Remember “Bumpgate” and “Crygate,” the situations when James bumped into head coach Erik Spoelstra and when the team was criticized for allegedly crying in the locker room after a regular season loss to the Bulls? These instances were proof that the hype surrounding the team made every game an extremely tense affair. Each victory was greeted with relief, not jubilation.
This tension was only compounded once I moved to Chicago in year two of the Big Three era. I faced an unrelenting wave of trash-talk on SportsCenter and from my friends whenever the Heat lost. Mind you, these were Bulls fans, the same team that lost to the Heat in the Conference Finals. Whenever the Heat won, I felt vindicated and relieved, not happy.
While I wouldn’t trade the Big Three era for anything, the experience was only enjoyable once the season was over.
Is my inability to find any enjoyment or charm in the Chicago Cubs’ World Series victory harbored by some underlying, petty resentment toward Chicago fans?
It probably is, and I truly wish I could enjoy the Cubs winning the World Series as much as the average sports fan. But as a member of #TeamPetty, the Heat’s spiteful fanbase, I really don’t care if you supported your team through decades of disappointment. That doesn’t mean I have to root for your team, too, and it certainly doesn’t mean I’m going to celebrate with you, either.
Let’s not forget one fact: all those Chicago fans who were trash-talking me in 2012 were wearing Blackhawks jerseys.