Published: October 03, 2007

(George) Will of the people


Temple of baseball.
Despite the efforts of The Great Pujols, my 10-time World Series Champions St. Louis Cardinals are not in the post-season. Losing nine straight down the stretch tends to do that to a team.

And, just as bad, the despised Chicago Cubs managed to win the National League Central, galvanized by a classic Lou Piniella tantrum that made even George Will blush. So, I will root against the Cubs. Anyone but them!

But wait, why do I feel that way? With my team not even in it, what’s the point of all these negative wishes? They probably will, but why should I care if the Cubs lose? They’re obviously capable of playing excellent baseball, so why not hope to see Derek Lee do his stuff? Ted Lily got short-shrift in Toronto, and I rued the day the Blue Jays didn’t sign him, so I hope his curveball is at its wickedest.

Anti-wishful-thinking is a weird thing. I’ve often been intrigued when, say, Glasgow Rangers are in some cup final and, say, Glasgow Celtic supporters cheer for whatever team is playing against them, even if it’s a team from a far-off country known more for torture than football. What’s the point? Is it borne of jealousy? What innate thinking can make people that way? It verges on religious zealotry, and we all know where that kind of thinking has put the world.

I’ve never known any solo piper to have that kind of negative mindset. (Actually, no, not true, I know one solo piper who thinks that way.) Wishing your competition to do badly even when you’ve not made the short leet or you’ve suffered a break-down is just not on in the solos. But perhaps because of the team mentality bandsmen and women occasionally wish ill-will upon their rivals.

It’s said that hate is wasted energy and debilitating to the psyche, and I agree. So, with that in mind, I wish the Chicago Cubs the best of luck this October. They’ll need it. And the bright side is that finally winning a World Series after 100 years will make them, like the Red Sox after their 20064. triumph, just another team, and reduce their fan-base from being “lovable and long-suffering” to, um, fans. So, with that, I muster all my resolve and say, Go Cubs!

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