Second Place Would be a Disgrace

As the calendar turns the page to August, we here at continue to live in groovy times. The Cubs just slayed Sheats and Sabbathia on consecutive nights in Milwaukee, and some polls are showing Obama is pushing towards double-digit leads over McCain. This of course makes us very happy.


However, as lifelong double blue-staters, we are of course waiting for the other cleat to drop. The notion of the Cubs winning the World Series (much less making it to the show) still seems like science fiction. While Obama has enjoyed a nice bump in the polls, he is still under-performing his congressional counterparts in this decidedly democratic year. Nothing is certain, and history tells us to prepare for the worst.


Epic disappointment we can live with – obviously. But what cannot be tolerated over the next 100 days is the notion that “making it this far is enough.” We must purge this attitude from our thinking. The school of thought that making it to the World Series for the first time since 1945 is a victory in its own right is a loser. It always disturbs me that the Steve Goodman anthem “Go Cubs Go” stops after winning the National League.


Steve Goodman's "Go Cubs Go" is inspiring. But why don't we sing about going the distance?

Steve Goodman's "Go Cubs Go" is inspiring. But why don't we sing about going the distance?


The Red Sox didn’t stop and smell the roses after coming back to win four straight against the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS. The 2005 White Sox, so I hear (not too many people I know were paying much attention at the time), never looked back after taking their first AL pennant since the Eisenhower Administration.


Making it to the World Series and coming up empty is no way to purge a curse. Remember the feeling you had when Rex Grossman threw two interceptions late in the Super Bowl. A Cubby loss in the Fall Classic would dig deeper and be a more existential experience. With the Bears, we always have 1985 to fall back on (which is why Steve McMichael hasn’t had to buy a drink in this town in a quarter century). Laying an egg in the World Series would just add to the 1969-1984-1989-1998-2003-2004-2007 narrative.


Obama losing to McCain in the fall has arguably graver consequences, and not just because both our checking account balances and the balance of the free world are riding on his victory. Of course it is a great thing that an African American with big ears and a funny name can win the nomination for the democratic party and inspire the world with his eloquence and life story. But as we know with presidential politics the spoils go to the winner. A loss in November would make Obama more of an historical footnote than a change agent of history.  

The outcome in this game, of course, is up to us.

Friends Don't Let Friends Vote for McCain

Friends Don't Let Friends Vote for McCain


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