I am not an NBA fan. I remember the Bird and Magic era in the 1980s, and the Jordan era in Chicago is looking better and better as time goes by. But the sport itself doesn’t interest me that much. Certainly not like baseball does, and probably not as much as football, either. And there are no other sports even in this discussion.
With that being said, the Dallas Mavericks won their first NBA title tonight. Winning a title is something that, as a Cubs fan, I never have experienced, and by now don’t I know if I ever will. So when a team like the Mavericks–who played in the NBA for 30 years before winning a championship–finally breaks through into the winner’s circle, I’m happy for them, of course. But I’m more than a little bit jealous, too.
Since 1975, when I first started following the Cubs, they have not only failed to win a World Series, but they haven’t even played in a single World Series. Do you want to take a guess at how many of the other teams playing in the majors in 1975 can say the same thing? Zero. Z-E-R-O. Not a single one. (NOTE: The Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals are not being counted in this sense. My blog, my rules. Sorry.)
I’m not even going to address the issue of teams that did not exist in 1975 but have still played in, and even won, the World Series. That’s entirely too painful. But it sure doesn’t help to know that they are out there.
The Cubs this year–with their sinister union of bloated payroll and outlandish ticket prices–are just a game or two away from being the worst team in all of major league baseball. And yet, somehow, their manager seems to think that Cubs fans will come to the ballpark and pay their money to support this team. Sorry bub, but it won’t happen. Not for me, anyway.
There are thousands and thousands of happy Dallas Mavericks fans tonight, Mark Cuban being first and foremost among them. But there are also hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Cubs fans who are watching the Mavericks celebrate and asking themselves “Why don’t I get to feel that way?” And until that question gets answered, don’t expect to see me at Wrigley Field.