By Fred Kusch —
“Go higher and higher, until it becomes impossible to bring you down, I wanna use a microscope to locate you, don’t even dream of coming down.” — Michael Bassey Johnson
I beg you to indulge my sentiment in today’s column. Thank you in advance for your patience.
For 65 years, at the top of my bucket list was “The Cubs are World Series champions.” The “Loveable Losers” from Chicago’s North Side made losing into an art form for most of my lifetime. The sentiments “wait till next year” and “hope springs eternal” were clearly a part of my lexicon.
My dad took me to my first Cubs game in 1952 and I was hooked forever. I never missed an opening day game at beautiful Wrigley Field from the time I was 12 until I was 30. My brother and I, accompanied by several friends, would make the journey by car or train from Wonder Lake, Illinois, to Sheffield and Waveland. It was like a pilgrimage to baseball “mecca” for us. I bled Cubbie blue before it was fashionable.
During those years leading up to Nov. 3, 2016, I learned what it meant to be a Cubs fan. By the time I was 10, it was taunts and ridicule of “How can you be a Cubs fan, you loser.” Without a doubt, it was tough being a Cubbies fan, but the lessons of perseverance, resilience and optimism were well honed. Being a Cubs fan was ingrained in my personal culture. I learned how to champion the underdog.
I learned about the character of great athletes like Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Billy Williams and Ryne Sandberg. I learned about the love of the game. I learned, too, about diversity and that one’s skin didn’t make a person good or bad, better or worse.
Over the years, I have stated that I hoped the Loveable Losers would win the World Series before I die. They did, and I thought of my dad and the Cubs legacy he left me. I smiled and I cried when the last out was made. The Cubs are world champions!
So, to all those naysayers from over the years, I say, “Nah, nah a nah nah, every dog has his day.” And baby, Nov. 3, 2016, was my day, and the same for every Cubs fan around the world.
“Grace is the celebration of life, relentlessly hounding all the non-celebrants in the world. It is a floating, cosmic bash shouting its way through the streets of the universe, flinging the sweetness of its cassations to every window, pounding at every door in a hilarity beyond all liking and happening, until the prodigals come out at last and dance, and the elder brothers finally take their fingers out of their ears.” ― Robert Farrar Capon from “Between Noon and Three: Romance, Law, and the Outrage of Grace”
Fred Kusch, president and CEO of JFK Associates, is a well-known speaker, author, consultant and business coach. For more information, visit jfkassociates.com.