Are Curses Fun?
If you’re a fan of any one of the 22 major league teams that didn’t make it into the divisional series round of the postseason, chances are you’re rooting for the Cubs to win it all. I know I certainly am.
The Cubbies have all the makings of a textbook bandwagon team: historic franchise, exciting players, eye-catching uniforms, iconic stadium, and oh yeah, that little 108-year World Series drought they’ve got going. There is pretty much one accomplishment in American sports that could top the Cavaliers winning the NBA championship as the sports story of the year, and this would be it.
Now, if you’re a Cubs fan, particularly an older one, and had to witness the Red Sox and White Sox end their historic titleless streaks (86 and 88 years respectively) in jubilant fashion last decade, I understand fully why you would want to win one for yourself.
But for us neutral fans…do we really want to end the Curse of the Billy Goat? Aren’t these arcane myths one of the most fun things about baseball, part of that indescribable sense of history and nostalgia that make it the National Pastime? We like to sit there and talk about all the times when the Cubs came thiiiiis close to winning it all.
We want to blame Steve Bartman while simultaneously repeating over and over again how it really wasn’t his fault. We want to stare deep into the embers of a bonfire on a cold November night and wonder if maybe, just maybe, there is some magic behind Chicago’s long run of terrible luck. If they win this year, is all of that gone?
Odell Beckham, Jr. might be one of the most talented wide receivers in the history of the NFL, but if he doesn’t learn how to control that juvenile temper of his, he could be going the way of the Gordon (Josh, that is).
We always knew OBJ was a prima donna, but things started to get out of hand last year with a vicious blindside hit to the head of Carolina Panthers’ cornerback Josh Norman in Week 15.
This season, amidst a slow start on the field in which he has tried to make even the most routine plays into one-handed highlight reels, Beckham has already been fined more than $24,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct against the Vikings and has been the subject of numerous sideline meltdowns and locker room drama.
The Patriots fan in me relishes these struggles, but the Fantasy Football owner and fan of greatness on the field just wants the guy to figure things out.
I’m usually all for flamboyant personalities in sports, but for OBJ my advice is the opposite: keep your head down, run your routes, and just let your ability do the talking. I promise it’s enough.
Ice, Ice, Baby
We’re in Oklahoma so you guys probably don’t care, but hockey is almost back! Preseason games are underway and the regular season of the NHL starts on October 12.
Look, to be honest, I can’t really say I care that much either. Even coming from a relatively hockey-crazy part of the country and having a hometown team — the Bruins — that is one of the most historic franchises in NHL history, I never could get into it. Hockey fans, though passionate and fairly numerous, always seemed to exist in their own separate dimension, like bikers or Bronies.
And yet it’s still generally considered one of the big four American sports leagues and actually finished closer to the NBA (supposedly booming in popularity) in revenue than the NBA did to MLB (supposedly dying). Just seems weird to me.