There’s an old blues classic entitled “I Pity the Fool” in which the singer tells his ex that anyone who loves her must be a fool. This could be said for all Cubs fans about their team save those few diehards who are hardcore.
You see the Cubs are a team in a big city with a huge payroll and a vast fan following. But they have stamped themselves as “lovable losers” to cover up for decades of ineptness. This moniker has enabled them to be seen as annual underdogs in the race for the pennant.
Give me a break! They have a payroll north of $150 million dollars. They went on a free agent shopping spree that was unprecedented even by Yankee and Red Sox standards. They paid nearly a hundred million dollars to keep both Derek Lee and Carlos Zambrano and over that to sign Alfonso Soriano. Their manager has a salary that exceeds all others including Joe Torre. This activity was justified by ownership to attempt to eliminate that “lovable losers” tag. This was the year they were SUPPOSED to win.
So what happens? With a week and a half left in the season, they find themselves tied for first place with the Milwaukee Brewers. The Milwaukee Brewers for goodness sake! The Brewers, who have one free agent, Jeff Suppan. The Brewers whose infield combined doesn’t make as much as Lou Piniella. The Brewers whose roster of young players have never been in a pennant race before but who refuse to wilt. And the Cubs are the underdog!
The Cubs are a marquee franchise. Their ballpark is certainly idyllic which makes it more of a destination than a place to watch baseball. I mean how many tourists go to Miller Park? They have the resources and the backing to be a consistent winner. Yet still they are looked upon as an underdog!
You can bet that the national media is hoping that the Cubs make the playoffs instead of the Brewers. To them it’s a much better story: Wrigley Field, large market, team studded with stars and a larger national following. Plus they are the underdogs!
As for the Brewers, that’s OK. Good teams from Wisconsin never get any respect so we are used to it. We’re confident that the real underdogs will be playing in October.
Yes, I Pity the Fool – Cubs fans who actually believe that they are the underdog.


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