Cubs fans are out of fingernails

Being a Cubs fan is like having your fingernails ripped out one-by-one. So when jealous Cardinals or White Sox faithful taunt and jeer, there are no feelings hurt.

Every 10 years or so, the Northsiders will field a team that looks like a contender, only to have a June swoon, August cool down or a September slide.

So far this season the Cubs have held out until late August looking like contenders. But don’t be fooled fellow Cub fans; it’ll all quickly take a turn for the worse, if it hasn’t already.

It’s not that I’m a pessimist. I simply know better than to get my hopes up when it comes to the Cubs. And even the most seasoned Cubs fans have been tricked this year.

When the Northsiders were in the middle of a 12-game win streak, capping their recent resurgence to first place, pennant talks were abounding, but I knew better than to jump on the bandwagon.Do the years 1969, `84, `89 and `98 mean anything?

But the hullabaloo surrounding the Cubs is understandable. We fans need some sort of excitement. Other than having Wrigley Field, the best bar on the North side and the best ballpark on the planet, Cubs fans need something else.

“Wait until next year” isn’t just a phrase for Cubs fans – it’s a state of mind. And so we root for the next Gary Scotts and Jerome Waltons of the world to come along. We look forward to the day when Todd Hundley finds his home run stroke again.

Watching Cubs baseball makes it easier to appreciate the better things in life, because at Wrigley it often seems as though things couldn’t be worse. Excitement comes in the form of a Sammy Sosa home run, of course that’s quickly followed by a Sosa strikeout.

This year, Cubs fans are banking on the fact that Tom “Flash” Gordon will be more than just a flash in the pan. If Kerry Wood’s arm doesn’t fall off, or if Jon Lieber can keep racking up the wins, or if Fred McGriff can help get the Cubs some run support, then maybe, just maybe, there’ll be baseball at Wrigley in October.

That’s a lot of what-ifs, but then for the Cubs that’s nothing new.

Cardinals fans and White Sox fans are jealous. They don’t get to ride the roller coaster that Northsiders do. From season-to-season St. Louis faithful and Southsiders can tell whether or not their team will be a contender. There’s no teasing them.

Being a Cubs fan is a different type of experience. And through all the anguish, Cubs fans have arguably the most loyal fan base in all of baseball. While there are bandwagon jumpers, most Cubs fans stick around to endure the dreadful seasons along with the good.

So as our loyalty is stretched to the nth degree, we root for our beloved Cubbies to pull through just this once. After all, we’re running out of fingernails.