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Five steps to coping with the epic failure that was the 2009 Cubs season

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BY JUSTIN ALLEN Sports Pros(e) Correspondent

I couldn't help myself Sunday. During a key second-half Bears drive, I did the unthinkable: I switched over to the Cubs game.  

"What the hell are you doing?!?" My friends stood in awe of my audacity. 
"I just wanted to see the score," I shamefully justified. 
"That's because you're an idiot," one said. "The season's over." 

It was a one-two knockout punch of truth.  

As of Monday, the Cubs magic number for elimination from the NL Wild Card race was one, with seven games remaining. You don't need to be a math whiz to know that it would take a Disney-produced finish for the Cubs to somehow shoehorn themselves into the playoffs.  

And I am and idiot for using even a pinch of brainpower to think up no less than ten fantasy scenarios in which the Cubs eek into the playoffs (many of which involve Gary Busey reprising his role as "The Rocket" from Rookie of the Year). In other words, this year is certainly not the year.  

So for those of us who reside in Cubs Nation, what now? There's been an air of discontent in Wrigleyville all season, and it will presumably remain throughout the off-season. After all, much like a drunken Lincoln Park yuppie who scored big at the bar with a hot cougar, only to get home and find his, er, equipment won't work, Cubs fans are desperate for results. 

But before we all spiral into panic mode, I've devised a five-step guide to coping with the failure of 2009 while preparing for the probable disappointment-fest of 2010. 

Step 1: Get it in your head that it's never going to happen. Ever. Throw away anything you have that says "It's Gonna Happen" or "Wait 'Til Next Year." That way, when next year sucks just as much, you're less likely to slip into Cubs-induced depression. 

Step 2: Never start a sentence with, "If I was Jim Hendry ..." unless it ends with something to the tune of, "... I'd make nacho cheese more readily available at condiment stands throughout Wrigley." There's a reason you're an accountant and not the GM of a baseball team. Plus, your job is probably more stable right now. 

Step 3: Use the off-season to find another summer hobby. One of the best things about living in Chicago is the summer, so find something to do that doesn't involve the Cubs. For example: Like to day-drink? Of course you do; you're a Cubs fan. There are plenty of great places outside of the Friendly Confines to get your fill of the sauce. I recommend the beer garden at Justin's for decent food and cheap beer. Neat name too! 

Step 4: Transfer some of your undying optimism for the Cubs to the other teams in the city. The Bears, Hawks and Bulls are all looking to have decent seasons this year, and any of these teams could fill some of that void the Cubs left you with. DISCLAIMER: Transferring all hope to any of these teams could lead to further heartache, depression and drinking. 

Step 5: Avoid the Cubs convention at any and all costs. It'll be an all-out hope fest for 2010, peppered with reflections on the failure that was 2009. That's not what you need for your recovery. Instead, schedule an appointment with a therapist to uncover what happened in your life to make you such a masochist. Plus, it'll be cheaper and likely less painful in the long run. Bonus! 

Enjoy the off-season, Cubs Nation. See you in Mesa where we'll have completely forgotten all of these steps and proclaim 2010 to be the year! Yay!

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1 Comment

I actually think that at long last, the Cubs organization is on the right track, trying to win year in and year out.

There's something about baseball where the team has to prove it, for an inordinately long time, that they want to win. The model I choose to put forward is the Red Sox. They've been in earnest for decades, at least since the 1980s, and it took them, oh 20 years or more to get it done.

You might say the Dusty years were at least trying to win, so maybe we're looking at 10-15 more years, but the Cubs will definitely one day win it.

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This page contains a single entry by Kevin Allen published on September 28, 2009 10:22 PM.

Keeping up with the Kardashians: Kim back with Reggie Bush? was the previous entry in this blog.

Steve Kerr would really like you to come on out to a Phoenix Mercury game is the next entry in this blog.

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