Editor’s note: Today is the start of the first series between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals this year. I have lived my entire life in the midwest, in the heart of Cubs and Cardinals territory. For five of those years, I was situated in central Illinois – where it’s possible to have half a family rooting for the Cubs and the other half rooting for the Cardinals.

So, today, a special double column with insights from fans on both sides of the rivalry. Our own Crunchy Conservative talks about her love of the Cubs, while Archie Jefferson explains why he cheers for the Cardinals.

 

Why I Cheer For the Cardinals

by Archie Jefferson

I often wonder why people cheer for the teams they do.  With me, growing up in Central Illinois, people generally either cheered for the Cardinals or they cheered for the Cubs.  And when you look at these two teams, I find it intriguing that ANYONE could cheer for the Cubs.  So let’s look at some elements of the two teams and their history:

Winning

In 2006, the Cardinals won their 10th World Series.  And the Cubs reached 98 years without winning the Fall Classic.   Two years later God answered my prayers and the Cubbies hit the century mark.  And during those 100 years the Cardinals, who were propelled by the Gashouse Gang of the 30’s, the St. Louis Swifties of the 40’s, and Whiteyball in the 80’s, continued to win.  Advantage: Cardinals.

Players

Granted, the Cubs have had some great players.  Ernie Banks, Fergie Jenkins, Billy Williams, and Ryne Sandberg come to mind when I think about some of the greatest players to wear the Cubs uniform.  But as I look at the long list of players who played for the Cardinals, it’s not even close.  Stan “The Man” Musial, Bob Gibson, Rogers Hornsby, Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith, Enos Slaughter, Joe Medwick, and of course, the player who may go down as the best player in the history of the game, Albert Pujols.  Advantage: Cardinals.

Stadium

Sure, Wrigley Field has history.  But that doesn’t mean a thing when a ticketholder gets stuck in a “limited viewing” seat behind a concrete pillar and has to watch the game on a TV hanging from the ceiling.  He could’ve just stayed at home!  Now granted it was better than the old Busch Stadium.  Even I hated that cookie cutter look.  But the new, improved Busch stadium is by far superior to Wrigley.   Now I know that Cub fans will talk of history and how that trumps the newer ballparks, but I’d have to ask…what history?  It was built in 1914.  Zero World Championships have been won there.  Chicago needs to tear the stadium down and build a new one.  To make it worse, the Chicago Cubs have some of the highest priced tickets in all of Major League Baseball.  For a team that never wins in a rundown stadium, that’s disturbing.  Advantage: Cardinals.

X-Factor

When I see the Cubs organization continuously finding other things to blame for their losing, such as a goat, or Bartman, or other curses, rather than admit failure; when I see drunken Cubs fans yelling at 10-year olds just because they have a McGwire or Pujols shirt on, scaring the kid and making him cry; it makes me that much prouder to be a Cardinals fan.  I revel in the fact that St. Louis is annually chosen as one of the best baseball cities in America.  The fans have class.  The players want to play there.  And they treat opposing teams and players with respect.  Advantage: Cardinals.

Now granted, there are those people here in Central Illinois that cheer for the White Sox, and I’m okay with that.  Anything to take the attention away from the Cubs is a good thing.   But let’s get real folks, the Cardinals organization is about as good as it gets.  And it’s right in the heart of America.

Why I Cheer For the Cubs

by The Crunchy Conservative

When interviewing for my current job, my future employer asked me if I considered myself an optimist or a pessimist.

I responded, “I’m a Cubs fan.”

I got the job. To be a Cubs fan one must be an eternal optimist. Yes, eternal. As in some fans have lived their entire lives hoping for a World Series. Never to see it happen. But there’s always next year—at least there is if you’re a Cubs fan.

I have been a Cubs fan for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure why I started liking the Cubs, but I did. My maternal grandfather LOVED to watch baseball. I recall many summers when he would be “babysitting” me and my younger brother and he would fall asleep in front of the game. I don’t recall which team was his favorite overall, but I fondly remember watching games with him.

I’ve shared my love for the Cubs with my two (and soon to be three) boys. Maybe I’ve shared a bit much. My oldest (then three years old) son came into the living room last summer afternoon last year and asked me, “Who is playing the frickin Cubs?” Yes, he did say “frickin”. Maybe I need to tone down my language before the next two start talking.

I didn’t attend my first Cubs game until I was 25, and that was in Minneapolis. I didn’t get to see a game at Wrigley until I was 28. Both were magical. And the Cubs won both of the games. The Cubs came from behind to win during both of the games.

And maybe that’s why I’m a Cubs fan. Life is full of ups and downs, just like a season with the Cubs. But as the Cubs have shown me, you can always come from behind and surprise everyone.

And as long as you believe and keep the faith, there’s always next year.

 

 

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