Closeted Cub Fans?

July 03, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

"I wonder what the Cubs score is?"

No, I'm not talking about secretly homosexual Cubs fans (Chaim). I'm talking about Cardinal fans. No, I'm not saying that all Cardinals fans are closeted gays either (although I have said that many times in the past). Wait, what am I talking about? Let me start over.

I want to share a theory with you all that I've had for many years. I went to college in the middle of Illinois, which meant that there were fans of all kinds attending. The majority of NFL fans on campus were Bears affiliated, but there were Rams fans that you'd run into now and again, and even the occasional Colts fan (They were the ones missing teeth).

Baseball was even more scattered. Not only were fans split down the Cubs/White Sox line, but it seemed like campus was infested with Cardinals fans. Ew gross...

It was during these college years that I was able to hallucinate on mushrooms compare Sox fans and Cardinals fans side by side. After particularly tough losses, Sox fans would always be the ones to come and rub it in my face. But Cardinals fans would sometimes come over, even in the middle of a pennant race, and say things like "Yeah, that was a tough one last night". You'd talk back and forth with them and then realize that you're having the same conversation with them as you would with another Cubs fan.

Slowly, I began to realize that Cardinals fans are closeted Cubs fans. Whether they know it or not, all fans of the St. Louis Cardinals want to be Cub fans.

As the years went by, my case only got stronger. Cardinals fans, for some magical reason, are almost always up to date on everything the Cubs are doing, but not in a "Keep your enemies close" way, but in the way a real fan would. Cardinals fans would say things like "I don't care if he's a Cub. I really like Derrek Lee" or "My second favorite place to see a game is Wrigley Field, hands down". The clincher was how many times in 2003 I heard "If the Cardinals weren't going to win the division, I'm glad that the Cubs did."


Never in my life would I say the same thing. If the Cubs don't win the Central, I'd rather see it burned to the ground! The only reason I even pay attention to the Sox is so I know who the easiest target to pick on is when confronted with a smack-talking South Sider.

I decided to go back to the source. I recently interviewed the biggest Cardinals fan I know, who also attended college with me. We'll see if he can shed some light on this mystery. He will be referred to only as "Brando".

How long have you been a Cardinals fan? On a scale of 1-10, where would you place your fan-dom?

I have been a Cardinals fan since 1985. I was three years old at the time, and I still remember my mom's reaction to two things about that season: The first was during the NLCS when Ozzie Smith hit a walk-off home run from the left side of the plate to send the series back to Los Angeles (the famous "Go Crazy" call from Jack Buck, may he rest in peace). The second was during game 6 of the World Series when Don Denkinger blew a call at first base that was only an obvious out by Todd Worrell. It was during this moment that I heard words from my mom's mouth that I never even knew existed.

On a scale of 1-10, I would have to place my fan-dom as an 8. I have cheered through both the good and the bad seasons, but I don't get pissed off if they lose. I also try to make it to Busch Stadium at least once a year to see a game.

2. What's your opinion on Cubs fans?

I am on the fence on different levels. As a baseball purist, I have to say that Cubs fans are the most dedicated to their team. They have had losing seasons for YEARS and yet they still continue to pack Wrigley Field year after year. The two times that I have been to Wrigley, both have been amazing experiences. The first time I went, the Cards and Cubs were playing each other and Jim Edmonds hit a 3-run shot off of Kerry Wood. That same game, Kerry Wood threw at Matt Morris's head. Regardless, this game was like being at the playoffs. Every single hit/out the fans cheered thunderously. Not to mention, there was just as much red in the stands as there was blue. The second time, I was fortunate enough to see Ron Santo be inducted into the Cubs Hall of Fame. Why Cooperstown won't let him in I have no idea!

There are some Cubs fans that drive me nuts, though. I can't stand the ones who basically talk trash all the time and don't even know three players that are on the Cubs roster. I also can't stand the fans at Wrigley Field that get drunk and throw trash onto the field whenever the umpires make a bad call. For the most part though, the Cubs/Cardinals rivalry is fun and friendly. I don't know of any other where the losing teams fans will buy the winning teams fans a beer after the game is over.

Have you ever considered making the switch from being a Cards fan to a Cub fan? Be honest.

No. I am dedicated to the "Birds on Bat."

In years where the Cubs have made the playoffs and the Cardinals haven't, did you find yourself rooting for the Cubs or against them? Why?

I am actually one of the few Cardinal fans that will root for Chicago if they make the playoffs and we don't. I mean, come on, it's been a CENTURY! Their due sometime, right? Not to mention, my grandpa was a Cubs fan and I know that he would have liked to have seen them "get the ring" before he passed. The rivalry is fun, but if my list had to go in any order it would be this:

(1) My team (2) My division (3) My league (4) The game itself

Describe your immediate reaction to the following name: Jim Edmonds.

Best defensive center fielder to have ever played the game.

Seems like a straight-up Cardinals fan, right? But take a closer look. Sympathy for Ron Santo. A willingness to root for the Cubs in the playoffs/World Series. No hatred for Jim Edmonds jumping ship like we've seen here. Not out and out signs that Brando is actually a Cubs fan, but the sympathy toward our plight shows that the potential is there, just like all the Cardinal fans I've met.

And when you think about it, why wouldn't Cardinals fans want to be Cubs fans? We have everything the Cardinals have to offer. Want a 'roided up former great that was shamed out of the public eye? Sosa's got us covered. What about a lefty with a wicked curveball that suddenly forgets the strike zone? Rich Hill is just waiting to become a converted centerfielder. We've got great players, Lou Piniella and a fantastic ballpark. Plus, red and blue knocks just plain old red out of the ballpark (no pun intended) every day of the week. The Cubs are the colors of America. The Cards are the official color of Castro. I think the choice is obvious.

The scary thing is that if I'm right, any Cub fan walking around could potentially by a former Cards fan.

What say you, loyal readers? Know any Cardinal fans that you think may secretly yearn to break free and hop on the Cubs bandwagon?