It's (Not) Gonna Happen: The Aftermath

October 05, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

So much for destiny.

This was the Cubs year and there was no denying it. The 100-year anniversary of the last World Series win. The catchy slogans ("It's Gonna Happen") and catchier Eddie Vedder songs ("All the Way"). The talent was there, and dammit if these Cubbies weren't lovable. But for a change they were lovable winners, not losers. This was destiny.

The summer was unlike any other. This Cubs team was special. The personalities, the comebacks, the emerging stars. Kerry Wood, the Comeback Kid. The emergence of Geovany Soto. Ryan Dempster's redemption. Zambrano being Zambrano. Jim Edmonds and Reed Johnson, left for dead, rising from the ashes. This was destiny.

You could feel it couldn't you? Something was in the air. Even non-Cubs fans seemed to sense it. For the first time in my life I would go to the ballpark or flip on the game, and expect to win. This wasn't a cocky sense of entitlement. It was just fact. This was destiny.

But baseball is a funny thing. See, no one told the other 29 teams, and more specifically the Dodgers, that the Cubs were supposed to win this thing. Apparently they don't hand out World Championships based on who is the most deserving. You don't win it all simply based on having the best stadium, a rich and colorful history or the longest suffering (and best) fans. You don't even win it all by having the best team. You still have to play the games. They say that the season is a marathon and not a sprint, but the playoffs are the straightaway, and you need to have some left in the tank for that final lap.

We were outplayed. We were not outcoached. We tried, but we failed. This hurts, but this season was no lost cause. The worst week of the year was preceded by the best six months I've ever enjoyed as a Cubs fan. Do we need to blow this thing up? No. Do we need to tinker? Of course. We can get better. We will get better. This is the hope that springs eternal for Cubs fans. Someday we will go all the way.

So much for destiny.