Hi, I’m Ken Sumka, you may remember me from such Radio Milwaukee blogs as, “Things Milwaukee Does Better Than Chicago” and “Don’t worry, Wisconsin, Portillo’s is a good thing“. While I was born in Chicago, I live in Milwaukee now and have fully embraced this city as my own; like most transplants, I still maintain my loyalty to the Chicago sports teams I grew up loving, it’s what being a sports fan is all about: loyalty. How genuine a fan would I be if I had moved up here and abandoned the teams I’d spent my entire lifetime rooting for? I witnessed two of the three most recent Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup wins (2013, 2015) as a Wisconsinite and sincerely hope that I will witness a Cubs World Series win in the same fashion.
Before I get to my reasons as to why should throw your formidable fan fervor behind the Cubs, let’s address the stereotype of the typical Cubs fan. Yes, Miller Park is often referred to as “Wrigley North”. Not only did Miller Park serve as the venue for Carlos Zambrano’s 2008 no-hitter (ending a 36-year team drought) but Miller Park’s amenities and abundance of parking and tickets (both scarce at Wrigley) makes it an attractive destination for Cubs fans. Wrigley doesn’t have a tailgate scene, mainly due to the lack of a unified parking situation, but I’ve tailgated many a Cubs/Brewers game at Miller Park (I walk to most games) and have found the atmosphere to be polite, with a slight dash of friendly rivalry. While I’ve heard a few stories about boorish Cubs fans embarrassing themselves, I’m fairly certain Cubs fans don’t have a monopoly on that kind of behavior but the incidences are probably multiplied because of the sheer number of games played between division rivals and Chicago’s proximity. It’s a larger sample size. Are there Cubs fans who are jerks? Absolutely, but there are Cardinal fan jerks too (I hate the Cardinals) and Pirate fan jerks too.
So, while you are certainly within your rights as Brew Crew faithful to collectively yawn at the excitement happening between two long-suffering franchises (68 and 108 year World Series Championship droughts respectively, which you may have heard about) here’s some reasons to root for The Chicago Cubs in the 2016 World Series.
- We’re neighbors, man
- We both HATE The Cardinals, those guys are jerks, so are their fans
- The beer trade deficit favors Wisconsin by a wide margin, no Illinois beers aren’t sold in Wisconsin but New Glarus is only sold in Sconnie and plenty of Illinoisans make treks for their beer
- You may call them FIB’s but they do funnel a TON of money into the State of Wisconsin in tourism dollars, nobody in Illinois goes ‘down south’ in Illinois for vacation but LOTS go ‘up north’ and certainly a fair amount of Sconnies have visited Chicago, no?
- Because a lot of the same people who developed Chicago also developed Milwaukee, both cities share a lot of street names: Kilbourn, Ogden, Clybourn among the many
- Milwaukee Avenue is one of the most prominent and longest diagonal streets in Chicago
- The Cubs and Brewers have only been division rivals for 18 years, you hated the Indians for a decade more and the Cubs/Brewers rivalry just seems friendlier
- NL Central represent!
- National League represent!
- The Brewers aren’t in the post-season this season but are certainly in the rebuilding mode the Cubs were in just a few seasons ago, with a few back-to-back 100+ loss seasons; it worked out pretty well for the Cubs
- The Brewers have actually been to a World Series, somewhat recently
- I donned a Radio Milwaukee cap at Wrigley after the Cubs clinched Saturday night and got a few high fives
- Iconic 80’s Hall of Famers Ryne Sandberg (Cubs) and Robin Yount (Brewers) each retired with identical batting averages: .285
- The Cubs don’t have a culturally inappropriate mascot/logo
So root, root, root, root for whatever team you want to but it would be the neighborly thing to root for the Cubbies; hey, I’m not asking you to root for the Bears. Eamus Catuli!