Chicago Cubs Fans, What is the New Quest? What Comes Next?

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Most Chicago Cubs fans would never probably admit this, but I’m sure many have pondered it already. “What if/when we win, what’s our identity then?” “What’s the new Holy Grail going to be?”

A friend of mine, on our group text message thread that we’ve been running consistently throughout the postseason (it absolutely exploded last night when I was at Clark and Addison for the victory celebration; not sure I’ve ever received that many texts all at once) worded the question this way:

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“Interesting how a quest is now met. Changed the feel of being a Cubs fan.”

Thus I posed the question, so what’s the feel now? Obviously, elated, but we’ll have the parade and rally tomorrow, but then what in the years moving forward?

I then, half-trolling, tossed out “becoming like the Boston Red Sox?”

“Blasphemy,” another friend responded.

It’s only natural to make the Chicago Cubs analogies with the Boston Red Sox because a.) all the similarities between the two franchises, their ballparks, their fans etc. etc. has already been done way more times than necessary, so we won’t do that here

b.) this was the highest rated World Series since 2004, the fall classic which saw the Red Sox end their 86 year drought

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After that series, the BoSox went on to win two more (2007, 2013) and their lovable plucky underdog brand was obliterated forever. The Red Sox had always defined themselves in opposition to the evil empire that is the New York Yankees. Most of America would usually side with rebellious Boston against the DeathStar in the Bronx.

Well, it didn’t take very long for most of America to quickly find Boston as despicable as New York. When the championship season recap tome/Johnny Damon autobiography became a best seller, and all the other “look at me I’m a Red Sox fan” entertainment consumer products flooded the market, the BoSox got stale real fast.

Credit Damon though, a basket of deplorables all by himself, for staying on brand in titling the book “Idiots.”

There is no false advertising there.

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Well, obviously Theo left Boston to build the Cubs into a winner, so naturally, even more Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox analogy columns will be inevitably produced everywhere. The comparison is not all that apt though.

First of all Chicago Cubs fans have never defined themselves in opposition to anybody like Red Sox royal rooters do. The St. Louis Cardinals may be the second most successful team in Major League history behind the Yankees, and Cubs fan do hate them more than anybody else, but it’s a different dynamic than Red Sox-Yankees.

Cubs fans never viewed the Cardinals as the one and only obstruction on their path to success, the persistent thorn in their side like the way the Red Sox view(ed) the Yankees,

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Secondly, and maybe more importantly, the Cubs are the bigger brand than the Cardinals, unlike the Red Sox being a subservient brand to the Yanks. It makes a lot of difference.

Last night did not end the “lovable losers” nickname forever. It’s a stupid, outdated moniker that was dying off by the early to mid 2000s. The arrival of the Theo regime hammered the final nail in that coffin. “Lovable Losers” dates back to the days when the Cubs were really bad, but well loved because of the WGN SuperStation and they were one of the very few teams on television everyday.

Go see the play “Bleacher Bums,” originated by Joe Mantegna in 1977, if you want to revisit and then remain in that narrative.

So what really does come next for the Chicago Cubs and their fans? Trying to build, and then maintain a dynasty is probably the most direct, accurate answer. Every single time a Chicago sports team wins a title, in every sport, the dynasty narratives emerge like Joan Collins.

Usually, these narratives are wrong but this Cubs team is actually built for that. They just set a record this postseason for trotting out one of the most youthful lineups in history. The MLB Network guys started the Chicago Cubs dynasty talk while the victory champagne was still being poured.

So what’s next? I don’t know, but as my friend put it “I am merely pointing out that the quest of Chicago Cubs fans became such a pervasive definer. Now the quest continues, but in a different way.”

That’s a good enough answer for me; at least for today.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, currently contributes regularly to the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye publication and Bold Global.

He also consistently appears on numerous radio and television talk shows all across the country. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram and Sound Cloud.

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