This season the support at Wrigley was very apparent throughout most of the year. There was a skid or two where some boos rained down, but for the most part it was a good year. The year hit it's climax on September 20, a game I was actually at. The Cubs clinched the division with a 5-4 win over the Cardinals. I taped the clinching moment on my camera, the excitement afterwards, and some of the postgame celebration down by the diamond. The support was there. It was magical, the Cubs were going to go far this year.
Then the NLDS started. DeRosa homered in the second to put the Cubs up 2-0. The magic was there, the fan support was there. But then, the moment things turn bad, the support is gone. Boos start to pour on to the team. A team that has 100 years of pressure put on them by the media, the city of Chicago, and (unfortunately) some of the fans as well. I don't care if this is a 97 win team. Booing is not going to relax this team. Booing is going to put more pressure in their minds. It's bad enough Soriano is going to strike out swininging on 3 pitches in every postseason at bat no matter what, but now we're causing other players to do it too.
The booing continued into game 2. Listening to the entire game, there was always a faint booing in the background. It grew stronger as Lee and DeRosa made errors. It grew stronger as we fell further and further behind. A team that just 2 weeks ago scored 4 times with 2 outs and nobody on in the 9th to force extras against the Brewers (another playoff team), and the fans forgot that. Those in Wrigley forgot that a comeback like that was possible for these Cubs. Instead they booed.
We helped feed the media. Their calls of curses and jinxes increased, when really all it has been to cause our 100 year drought was aging players, poor play, poor ownership, and more poor play. Now we had ownership that was trying to win to help sell the team at a higher price, players that were good and playing extremely well, and the best record in the National League this year. But the fans expected to not let go a run the entire year. They expected too much and the booing then caused the players to try to do too much. It seemed the only players that could keep composure through it were Lee and Sean Marshall of all people. Relying on these two wasn't going to be enough.
How can we expect to win when we do this to our own team at home? Home field advantage is the worst thing we could get in the playoffs when that is our fans' behavior. How can we expect to remain successful in the future? When contracts run up, or free agents look at the Cubs, why should we expect them to play for us when we treat our players so horribly? Why do we deserve to win when we boo so loudly at our own playoff team? Why do we deserve the good players to come help us end our drought? Until these Cubs fans that were booing throughout the game at Wrigley or on their couches at home shape up, we don't. We deserve being swept in round 1 every year until the fans become less selfish, ignorant, and greedy and become true fans.
I never thought I'd see the day when White Sox fans were better baseball fans than my fellow Cub fan, but that day has come today. I am ashamed.
Lou, Jim, and company: Please ignore these other Cubs fans. Their behavior is dispicable and wrong, but they obviously don't know any better. Please continue to improve this team. Give us another chance