The other day, I encountered a Cubs fan wearing a 2008 Division Champions hat, which got me thinking about this past 97-win season and my feelings about it.
I wondered just how proud of the Cubs I truly am today. Sure, the team won a ton of regular season games, gave me plenty of thrills and much for which to be thankful, but ultimately let me down with another early playoff exit.
Should I be content with a second-straight division title even though my favorite team recorded zero victories in the NLDS? Does an October collapse detract from all the joys I experienced from April through September?
Of course, I want the Cubs to win the World Series. I invested a lot of energy into the team in 2008 but didn’t get the full return for which I had hoped. This is why I refused to buy any Cubs playoff merchandise; I would do so only when the Cubs won the Fall Classic.
And yet there I was, in the dead of winter, spotting a Cubs Division Champs hat. Perhaps I could learn something from this fan, something about cherishing what has gone well in my life despite my disappointments, and how 97 hard-fought wins outweigh three crushing losses.