That's another baseball season without a Cubs World Series appearance. This one wasn't even close. Chicago's north-side team lost more than one hundred games this year. The only consolation that Cub fans can wear as a badge of honor would be the fact that the Houston Astros lost even more. How's that for bringing honor to the franchise? In the meantime, there are other teams that are resetting their championship clocks. Pennants are being won by improbable groups of upstarts. Playoff games are being played in a Cub-free environment. Again.
This comes as precious little consolation to those of us who walk about mumbling the same nonsensical mantra: "Waitilnextyear." The Hundred Years' War lasted just a few years longer than these National Leaguers have waited around for a championship. In my half-century, I have yet to see the Cubs show up anywhere but in the bleachers for a World Series game.
But this is all history. Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. In other words, if you don't learn from your prior experience, then you will keep doing it. Over and over and over. What sort of person does this? Saint Jude? And a nation of panda-shaped men who spend nine months of every year wishing and hoping for things to change. Well, that's not completely fair. Most of us spend the first four and a half of those months being hugely optimistic, and then start preparing our exit strategy from baseball season. I've met a number of these fellows in my travels. To a one, they maintain a charmingly self-effacing sense of humor about themselves and their allegiance, and they are the most loyal human beings you could hope to encounter. It is in their DNA. I suspect someday there will be a test for pregnant mothers to let them know if the child they are carrying is predisposed to this particular affliction.
For now, we'll have to take solace in that quirkiest of hopes: Next year has got to be better. For some of us. Time will tell.