How to torque off a Cubs fan (without really trying)
A guide for broadcasters (some of whom we will only listen to this time of year because there isn’t always a WGN feed).
1. Talk about the curse as much as possible. Remember, there are several to choose from; make sure and cover them all! Accuracy isn’t as important as pointing out that your team has been to a World Series in the last 64 years (or didn’t exist). High points include:
--1945: Some guy brings a goat to the game. He gets refused entry, or thrown out, or the goat eats PK Wrigley’s hat and throws up on the ivy. Or something. Seriously, it was 1945. Cubs lose.
--1969: A cat crosses Ron Santo’s path at Shea. As a result he contracts diabetes. Cubs lose.
--1984: Bowie Kuhn tells the Cubs that they have to install lights to play in the post-season. After a group of irate Cubs fans torch his car, Kuhn resigns, handing the reins over to Peter Ueberroth and secretly traveling to San Diego to ensure a Cubs loss in the NLCS using his ninja skills obtained from the secret training given to all Commissioners of Baseball (how else do you explain Bud Selig?). Also, there was some thoughtcrime or doublespeak or something. Cubs lose. (Ueberroth finally forced the Cubs to install lights in 1988 by threatening to make them play their post-season games at Comiskey.)
--1989: The Cubs, like many animals, were thrown off by the impending earthquake when they got to San Francisco. Cubs lose.
--1998: Three words: Smoltz, Glavine, Maddux. Cubs lose.
--2003: Some @$$#0!€ with a seat on the line... too soon? Too soon.
--There are also some theories that involve events before 1945. Feel free to totally B.S. your way through those. Bill Veeck’s name can be brought up liberally.
2. Be sure and paint the Cubs fans as unemployed alcoholics. After all, they attend a ton of day games, so they must all be losers, right? And the parking is awful, so clearly no one is doing well enough to drive, right? And have you seen the bars around Wrigley? They’re everywhere! It’s like having an AA retreat next to a Bierhall. During Oktoberfest. In Munich. If you’re broadcasting tee-vee at Wrigley, be sure and get a few shots of the local establishments. Preferably one with a drunken horde standing around smoking.
3. Any Cubs fan you interview or show on tee-vee that isn’t hammered should be a Chad or Trixie wearing 87 different pieces of paraphernalia that make it painfully obvious that they are some once a season attendee that drives to the Skokie park and ride “because taking the train to Wrigley is so cool” but does not know who Ron Santo is.
4. Mention Ron Santo’s repeated failed bids to get into the Hall of Fame. Bonus points for interviewing a current HoF’er about it. Double bonus points for Joe Morgan or Mike Schmidt.
5. Attempt to convey that failure in the post-season is somehow offset by “Beautiful Wrigley Field.” Remind everyone that this is the NL’s cathedral, and how nice it is to play here, even if there hasn’t been a new gonfalon to hang since 1945. Also try working in the word ‘gonfalon’ as much as possible. It’s fun to say! It’s even more fun to win (or so I’ve been told)!
6. Mention HWSNBN (woo!). Just once. Then make sure you can hear him in the background for the rest of the game.
7. Steal one of our radio guys. (Thanks, Uecker.)
8. Complain about how the NL doesn’t use the DH. Because everyone in the NL loves hearing about how the DH makes for better baseball.
9. Spend an entire half-inning showing close-ups of people on the rooftops across the street. Also the AC sign. We love being reminded of that.
10. Use the phrase “Loveable Losers” as much as possible without being repetitive. (Aw, hell, go ahead and be repetitive.)
11. Try to do anything for the 7th inning stretch.
12. Spend all your time smack-talking and fail to mention that the Cubs have won the NL Central TWO YEARS IN A ROW.