It's a little like hearing from an abusive partner a year after breaking up. Glad you're doing better, glad you're getting on your feet, but you're still doing the really bad things that led to me leaving, so no, don't call again.
I've been a Cubs fan for most of my life, as were my parents before me, and some of my ancestors before them. My mother lived and died without seeing them in the World Series, as have about two billion other people who were born after October 1945. It's possible I may never see them win the pennant either.
After last season's 89 losses—not a great improvement over 2013's 96 losses—I broke up with them. They kept saying, "I promise to do better, if only you'll give me another $1,800 and buy some $9 hot dogs." And every year, I'd fork over the money. And then I stopped.
This year they won 97 games. Mazel tov. But when it counted, when they really needed to get their shit together and win, they completely fell apart. Tonight's 8-3 loss to the Mets ended what the Tribune unironically called the Cubs' "Magical Season," perhaps forgetting that they've done this repeatedly.
Keep in mind, they were the wild card this year; the Pirates and the Cardinals had 98 and 100 wins, respectively, putting the Cubs in third place at season's end. And the Cubs had 97 wins in 2008, another heartbreaking year. (And 98 wins in 1945, which wasn't so heartbreaking only because no one could foresee, just a few weeks after the end of World War II, and after the Cubs had just played their third World Series in 10 years, that the Cubs would never win another pennant.)
So tonight, I have mixed feelings. I'm happy the Cubs did better this year than in the preceding six. And I think they have some potential to win next season. But after 70 years, I just can't keep expending emotional energy on them anymore.
Someday, probably, they will win the pennant. Someday they might even win the World Series. But after so many chokes, after so many goats, after so many abject failures when it really counted, I'm done. I was done at the beginning of this season, and I'm still done. I wish the team well in 2016. I hope the fans enjoy the games. But until the Cubs actually win the National League Championship, I'm not giving them a dime. You can call me a fair-weather fan, or you can acknowledge that after hoping against reason for more than 40 seasons that this year could be the year, not giving any more shits is a rational response.
Maybe next year...but I won't be there.
Note: The title of this post echoes a sign across Sheffield from the park. The letters "AC" mean "Anno Catuli:" "Year of the Cub." The first two digits (00) count the years from them last winning the division, the second two (70) from the National League championship, and the remainder (107) from the World Series. They had to add another digit after the 2008 season. That should have told you something.