November 19, 2017

Riding the Bench – The Ethics of Cheering

Wrigley Field cheers on Cubs. Courtesy of rpongsaj
Wrigley Field cheers on Cubs. Courtesy of rpongsaj
Wrigley Field cheers on Cubs.
Courtesy of rpongsaj

 

By Jacob Hevenor
Sports Editor

The Red Sox went 86 years without winning a World Series, so it should go without saying that many Sox fans endured a lifetime of suffering. Time and time again, the Red Sox blew their chances to end the misery, like Slaughter in ’46, Morgan in ’75, Buckner in ’86, Boone in ’03…

Drowning in their own self-pity, Sox fans choose to forget about the Chicago Cubs. It has been 108 years, though, since the Cubs won a Series, and let’s face it, the Billy-goat-Bartman Boys have had it worse than the Sox. They are making their first World Series appearance since 1945, which predates the founding of the NBA. This year, though, could be their year.

Fans in Boston have an unrealistic overestimation of their position in the hierarchy of the sports world. Claiming Boston as the “Mecca of Sports” implies that its teams mean more than others. Boston had the curse of the Bambino. Boston had to deal with year after year of defeat. Boston this, Boston that. They are  the only ones that overcame such misery, they are the only one that deserves your attention. In their desperate search for sympathy, Sox fans invalidate the (far greater) suffering of Cubs fans. It’s high time for Boston to recognize what Chicago has been through.

On another note, a Cubs win is simply not as good of a story as a loss would be. Another defeat gives the press a field day (just wait for some of the tabloid puns!), adds to the legend and motivates Cubs fans even more. Rooting for a losing team is one of the greatest sources of passion sports has to offer – just look at how the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry has deteriorated since Boston became a winner. Decades of frustration was channeled towards the Evil Empire, fueling the fire of the sport’s greatest rivalry. Then the Sox won. Unbridled emotion has given way to general indifference.

With a win, a century of determined Cubs fans will finally be satisfied and fade back into the shadows of contentment that the Red Sox have disappointingly embraced. The euphoria will wear off and the hunger for something more will not be found. To keep the passionate fanbase, the Cubs have to lose. And if there is anything baseball needs these days, it is a passionate fanbase.

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