Playoffs normally stress me out, but I vow to myself to thoroughly enjoy the playoffs this year. I vow to myself to cheer AS IF THE DREAM IS THE REALITY. I vow to myself to shed the “cautiously optimistic” crap.
I used to always believe. I don’t know exactly when “I believe” was scarred over with “cautiously optimistic”. I always believed when I was younger. I chanted JO-DEE as if he hit homers every at-bat (he only hit 19 in ’84). I knew Sutcliffe was going to win every game that he pitched. I really believed that Mitch Williams was going to somehow get out of the mess that he created. I even knew that punchless Dave Owen would beat the Cardinals in the Sandberg Game.
But yes, that also meant that I knew Jerome Walton would have a dozen more years like his first. I knew that the Cubs got a huge break when they were left with Mark Prior rather than Joe Mauer. I thought Jeff Pico, Drew Hall, and Lance Dickson were for real. I believed in Billy Hatcher, Kevin Orie, Gary Scott and the can't-miss Earl Cunningham.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m still a HUGE fan, but I almost know too much about the team. I’m more critical. My heart is totally invested in this….but my sanity is kept together by being either cautious or doubtful. I...or I should say "we"...have all been burned before.
NOW that we’re in the post-season, I want to enjoy it all. I want to believe.
I VOW TO:
...not panic after a Game 1 loss.
…not worry about getting the cart before the horse. That’s what fans do.
…not think about hexes, curses or jinxes....and howry's.
…not say “double play” when Lee comes to bat with the bases loaded.
…not say “here we go again” when Wood goes 2-0 on a batter.
…not worry about Theriot’s range, but instead honor his consistency
…not panic when Zambrano starts talking to himself on the mound.
…not repeatedly say “don’t hop” until the fly ball is safe in Soriano’s glove.
…not mutter “Jacque Fukudome” when he weakly grounds out.
…not say “bounce a curve ball and he’ll chase it” when Soriano is batting.
Nope…this year I am going to cheer loudly and positively every bit of the way. IF this is not the year, does “cautiously optimistic” really save me any heart ache? IF this really IS the year, I want to enjoy every pitch of it. I will cheer AS IF THE DREAM IS THE REALITY. I want to LIVE the dream rather than DOUBT the dream.
I may be drinking the blue koolaid…but it is starting to taste like champagne!