Enough With The Mystical Cubs Bullshit, Please

Can we talk about this? Can we talk about everything wrong with the notion that if the Cubs are to succeed—if they are to finally, evitably win a championship—they have to first tear down Wrigley Field? That there is bad juju on Waveland and hoodoo on Sheffield and black alchemy on Addison and maybe some cursed pirate treasure under that little triangular parking lot on Clark? That every one of the nearly 8,000 losses since 1916 can be chalked up to the dark magic hiding the mortar and ivy, instead of the statistical quirks of baseball? This is mythmaking at its most blatant.

Flowery sacrilege for its own sake, a WSJ-appropriate bout of highly effective trolling. The language is alternately Old Testament and older Mesopotamian, only befitting this bizarre need to consecrate the temple before tearing it down. No iconoclasm without icons:

The struts and concessions, the catwalk where the late broadcaster Harry Caray once greeted me with all the fluid liquidity of an animatronic Disneyland pirate-Hello, Cubs fan!-the ramps that ascend like a ziggurat to heaven-it's a false heaven-the bases, trestles, ivy, wooden seats and bleachers, the towering center-field scoreboard-all of it must be ripped out and carried away like the holy artifacts were carried out of the temple in Jerusalem, heaped in a pile and burned. Then the ground itself must be salted, made barren, covered with a housing project, say, a Stalinist monolith, so never again will a shrine arise on that haunted block. As it was with Moses, the followers and fans, though they search, shall never find its bones.

This is a stadium, we remind you, constructed to the exacting specifications of every single other stadium to ever host Major League Baseball. There is no mystery to running into the Yankees twice in the '30s or to Hank Borowy getting shelled on one day's rest, or a teamwide collapse before and after Steve Bartman became Steve Bartman. These are Things that Happen, and 96 failed seasons becomes a lot more explainable when you think of it as six failed owners, or 14 failed general managers, or 46 failed managers. Most teams lose every year—sometimes for many years in a row. Nowhere but Boston or Chicago does this get blamed on metaphysics.

That's why this piece is so infuriating, even as it's completely tongue-in-cheek: it does nothing but perpetuate the myth that there's something special about the Cubs. That their losses are unique. That God or the Devil gives a toss about baseball. Dan Shaughnessy built an industry on peddling this sort of bullshit, and it gets eaten up because fans want to believe that their bad luck has cosmic significance. It doesn't. The universe doesn't care about the Chicago Cubs, and it certainly hasn't imbued Wrigley Field or some fucking goat with a magical heartbreak rays.

You want to talk something uniquely Wrigley? Talk about the owners of rooftop viewing areas giving political donations to an Alderman who then came out against new advertising signs that could block those views. Dirty Chicago politics, blocking new revenue streams that could give the Cubs an edge.

You're not special. You're not cursed. You're just another baseball team that sucks most of the time.

Why Wrigley Field Must Be Destroyed [Wall Street Journal]