Blog Entry

Wrigley's Fans in the NLDS

Posted on: October 5, 2008 6:28 pm
I'm sitting here watching some football and some ALDS action between the White Sox and Rays, and I'm noticing something in the latter. The Sox fans, formerly famous for only going to the park for wins are actually cheering their team. Down two games to none, down 1-0 in the game, the Sox fans cheer their team to a now 4-1 lead. They support their team.

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 this next year. Teach next year's team to be calmer under the pressures put on them by these other Cub fans, and win in 2009 for the rest of us, the supportive Cubs fans. The die hard Cubs fans. The true Cubs fans. I know there are more of you out there, and for you I am proud. We are not those who boo, but we do get grouped together with those fans by other teams, the players and the media. We deserve better than that reputation. We deserve a World Series Championship in 2009.




Category: MLB
Tags: Booing, Chicago, Cubs, Fans

Since: Feb 3, 2008
Posted on: October 7, 2008 11:03 pm

Wrigley's Fans in the NLDS

I didn't intend to take the blame completely off of the players. All I'm trying to say is why do we deserve any better when we don't even show the players a bit of support. They did not look scared the moment they took the field. The moment they took the field Dempster had a tightened strike zone in comparison to the Dodgers. I'm pretty sure more low and outside balls were called strikes for their pitching than our's, though Dempster was still a little wild. And only Soriano looked like an idiot swinging at balls that would probably be behind a left handed batter.

My intention was to say that the moment they fell behind our fans in Wrigley squashed the players' confidence plain and simple.

Millions of dollars and a regular season of wins isn't confidence. I know I have no confidence if the people behind me don't even think I can do it. You say that the fans can smell an impending collapse? I say that the bandwagon Cubs fans assume the collapse is coming and fuel it. The true Cubs fans expect better. Saturday it didn't happen. I expected us to do what has been done to us many times and win 3 in a row to take the series. Unfortunately the players didn't show up. For that there is no home field booing, that was purely the players.

I am very ashamed of our fans those 2 nights in Wrigley. I am horribly disappointed in our players.

Since: Oct 7, 2008
Posted on: October 7, 2008 1:29 pm

Wrigley's Fans in the NLDS

This is possibly the worst article I have read since the NLDS collapse.  It is this kind of blame shifting and excuses that perfectly caters to the Cubs "poor us, so much pressure" demeanor.  The TEAM, not the fans, sets the tone of the series.  And the minute the Cubs stepped onto the field, they looked timid and scared.  I would rather see arrogance than 9 guys who suddenly grew tails and placed them firmly between their legs.  This energy spread to the fans, and their faces fell- because a TRUE Cubs fan knows the smell of an impending collapse.  I'm not saying the Cubs didn't deserve support.  But the glaring difference between the Sox and Cubs this October was fight and heart.  The Cubs had neither and lost because of their own poor play and lack of stones.  The Sox fought until the end and were defeated by a better team.  I leave you with this: it is the players, not the fans, that are paid millions to perform.  We pay their salaries, yet we're the ones who are supposed to put on the show?  Come on.

Since: Feb 3, 2008
Posted on: October 6, 2008 11:06 am

Wrigley's Fans in the NLDS

I'm not trying to completely blame the fans, just saying that they did not help at all. Unfortunately though, there are boos at Wrigley during regular season afternoon games even. If things are going poorly or one player is having a slump, there will be boos. It never used to be the case. At least though, there is slightly more reason for those short lived boos.

It's true, it is a different type of fan at the playoff games. A fan I hate being grouped with that they would boo throughout an entire game.

And yes, they were afraid to lose. Trying to take a home run cut at everything. I forgot to even mention the error by every infielder in game 2 because of my rush to get to work when I finished this up.

Anyway, that's for the great comment.

Since: May 20, 2008
Posted on: October 6, 2008 12:48 am

Wrigley's Fans in the NLDS

I don't think you can blame it all on the fans, but it certainly seems that they were a factor. I didn't get to watch game 1 until it was nearly over, but I did watch the rest of the series. The Cubs were tense throughout. No smiles, no fun, no camaraderie = no wins. Lou needed to do something to loosen the players up. They were wound up so tight, it's a wonder they got any hits at all. It is the manager's and the veteran player's responsibility to do something to create a more relaxed atmosphere in the clubhouse. That never happened.

I also don't think that the fans there for the 2 playoff games are the same fans you have at Wrigley on a Thursday afternoon in July. In my opinion, your true blue bleacher bums were not the boo birds. Most of those people couldn't get tickets to the playoffs. The boo-birds were probably at their 1st or maybe their 2nd Cub game of the year. Your real Cub fans have loved this team forever, and if they didn't boo Willie Hernandez when he would give up 7 runs before they even got their first beer, they won't boo at a playoff game.

Lastly, I think the media, the whole curse BS, and the "lovable losers" attitude has put WAY too much pressure on this club. The next time they make the playoffs (hopefully next year) the manager has to get the team to have some fun and to get them to play with no fear. It seemed to me they were afraid to lose. They have to remember that this is a "game" that is "played"... it isn't open heart surgery. Have some fun.

Great post. Great season. Sorry about how it ended.


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