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Straight from the bleeding heart

Letter to the Editor | Monday, October 6, 2008

When someone gets dumped by their boyfriend or girlfriend, the rule of thumb is one week of mourning for every six months you were together. Well, the 2008 Cubs reported to spring training about eight months ago, so we Cubs fans are going to need at least ten days to get over this. And by this, I mean the choke or sweep from this year.

We will never get over the cloud that eternally hovers over these players in the blue pinstripes every year.

I am not going to pick out a single curse or story, but I am going to affirm the much bandied-about idea that we are cursed. And I use “we” because it is not just the team; it is the fans, too. While these things happen over and over again on the field, the fans continue to be stupid and loyal enough to stick with the team and get their hearts broken repeatedly. We lead a trivial sports life of hardcore rooting and blind prophecies that this will be the year while all other fans smile and nod at our stupidity and see through our words to the sad truth.

One could say, “They’re not cursed, they just have bad luck,” or, “They choke or just can’t come through in big games.” Well, fine. I agree with that and while it’s commonly called a curse, you could just as easily throw jinxed or hexed or whatever you want on there. It’s a matter of semantics, and we are all talking about the devastating reality. Something about the intangible concept of playing for the Cubs causes ground balls to trickle through infielders’ legs, hitters to take pitches down the middle while swinging at junk in the dirt, and ace starting pitchers to throw awful games when it means something.

So contest it being a curse or a hex or bad luck or even deny its existence if you so choose, but if you do that, tell me how a 97-win team – the best since 1945 and the best team in the NL – manages to lay an egg and get swept by a team that did not smell .500 for more than three weeks of the year.

Dan Masterton


Zahm Hall

Oct. 6