Odd to think a Cardinal fanatic would like (borderline love) Chicago Cubs fans. I lived in Central Illinois for many years but moved back to Saint Louis in 2012. The move plopped me firmly into the Cardinal Nation with plenty of local knowledge. I enjoy talking with many more fans who know what’s going on with the latest moves, game performances and general St Louis Cardinals banter.
But an unforeseen consequence hit me recently. I miss working in an office setting where half of the fans root for the Cubs. I took a moment to capture what I missed and it surprised me.
- I am a smart aleck by nature and sometimes tease people. Cub fans make for an easy target. As a last resort I can always fall back to the Lou Brock trade to hush them up.
- When a neighboring office cube wall is draped with a blue W it gets my goat. It’s humbling and I need that from time to time. That blue W flies even in a lopsided year like 2011 (10-5).
- Hearing GO CUBS GO irritates me and sticks in my head all at the same time. I wish we had a song. Something hip from Nelly would be nice.
- Many die-hard Cub fans know quite a bit about the Cardinal’s then and now. It’s a natural result of the rivalry, but I’ve come to learn many know as much as our Cardinal fans. I respect that a Cub fan knows that Randal Grichuk deserved a hard look at rookie of the year along with Kris Bryant.
In Illinois towns like Springfield, Decatur, Quincy and a myriad of smaller cities around them you find Cub or Cardinal bars, restaurants and even families. In the Land of Lincoln a certain well known speech talking about “a house divided” warped into a parody for husbands and wives with love of one another that surpasses love of their team.
Just ask Jan and Fred Snow, high school sweethearts who married despite their MLB affiliations. They maintained loyalty to their respective families and left it for children Kelly and Phillip to decide. Mom lost on both counts, but takes solace when reinforcing friends and family arrive during the holidays. Grandson Hayden bleeds Cardinal red too.
More from St Louis Cardinals News
- Cardinals Rumors: 3 pros and cons of signing Carlos Rodon
- Cardinals: Here is Willson Contreras’ first message for St. Louis fans
- How do the St. Louis Cardinals stack up with Willson Contreras?
- Cardinals: The insane asking price the Athletics had for Sean Murphy
- St. Louis Cardinals: Ask me anything with Josh Jacobs – 12/8
A pair of Auburn, IL brothers tell the story about one another ending up as rival fans. Their Dad drove them to St. Louis to see a game against the Cubs decades ago. Being brothers, they fought while riding in the back seat triggering a swing from Dad’s hand of justice. Shielded by sitting on the driver’s side, younger brother Dean was spared as Chuck felt the sting. At the game Dad turned to Chuck and asked, “Who are you rooting for son?” Chuck responded, “The Cubs”. Spite took hold as physical pain turned into years of mental anguish for Dad. Chuck’s been a true Cubs fan ever since with Dean remaining a loyal Cards fan.
"At the game Dad turned to Chuck and asked, “Who are you rooting for son?” Chuck responded, “The Cubs”."
Sometimes love can convert too. My very own daughter started life as a Cubs fan due to some unknown early childhood condition. What did I do wrong to see her don a Cubs’ uniform for her first Cardinals’ game? I vividly remember feeling physically ill while walking into the stadium. Luckily, repeated Cardinals’ game attendance brought her back into the light where she steadfastly remains thanks to a 2011 World series Game 6 experience. This year I enjoyed her wearing a Cardinal jersey while at Wrigley as a proud papa.
Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
2015 ended poorly and far too soon. The tables turned and we first moaned “Wait till next year”, but we still enjoyed great success. A 100 win season isn’t built from a team of slackers. That MLB leading 2015 St Louis Cardinals returns to fight for another division crown and the Mighty Cardinal Nation looks forward to games in October 2016. The return path travels through Chicago and I hope we meet again, but in the NLCS next year.