They have even been dubbed the "Lovable Losers" - by their own fans and every Ken Burns Documentary ever made. After all, about 108 years of no World Series Crowns, and 71 years of no World Series appearances make it apt.
But now, the Cubs are not the underdog. Not by a mile. They have been boastfully dubbed the "Big Bad Cubs" by just about everyone in the media, social media and public opinion in general. Enter the Tribe, the underdog - to the underdog. And that moniker fits just fine. Personally, my hope would be that everyone, and I mean everyone, keeps telling this bunch of Indians they can not win this thing. That has been the gas in the engine here all year long.
The Tribe has been written off even before the first pitch of this series. They are not enough of this, and not enough of that. Too injured, too young, we really aren't that good, blah blah... That alone, has been the very thing that has taken the pressure off this team all season long, and made them play as loose as a goose in a steam room. The Cubs, who are wearing a tight 108 year old iron collar around their neck coming into this season, now have the weight of being "a shoe in" for the title. The Indians can tell you all about that from 1995.
I've seen a lot of posts on Facebook and Twitter like, "Let's prove them wrong.." blah blah, but I'm not sure that's the way to go. I think Tribe fans should not be angry, and simply enjoy this as much as the Tribe does. Let's allow the Cubs, and their suddenly insanely arrogant fans, carry the same weight as the Red Sox, and the Blue Jays. According to the media they had much too much for the Tribe too. They are now playing golf, and Big Papi is watching reruns of his various awards ceremonies while we're playing for the title.
Under normal circumstances the Cubs would be a feel good story, but these are not normal for anyone. These Cubs are pretty darn good. But the Cubs have been pretty darn good before. Finally, the Cubs make it this far and they can't embrace who they are, or who they have been. They are now the big town bully, and the Tribe, are..well ...the Cubs. Ironic that after a century of waiting, you would think that the Cubs would have a hard time not being the underdog. They would have to deal with the Yankees, or Red Sox. But no one ever thought they would face - The Cleveland Indians. They make movies about those clowns!
So while the Cubs have to learn to be someone else, the Tribe can just go on being who they are and have been as long as anyone reading this can remember. They can be the underdog. In fact, they are underdogged to the 100 year old - underdog. Gonna make it all the sweeter when the Tribe wins this thing, and oh yeah, ends their own 68 year drought. Remember that? We are the only ones.
For this year no one wants to talk Tribe intangibles. Our own drought, The Cavs karma, a city on the definite rise. A team that somehow got home field advantage for the entire playoffs, and has seemingly thrived on the very adversity that was dispatched to doom them. As we step over the Bones of the Red Sox and Blue Jays strewn along the way. Destiny is playing here - this year.
Play loose, play easy, and enjoy this next week. Go Tribe!