I was prepared to tell you all about UT's loss at Auburn this weekend. I was going to give you a first-hand look at what went wrong and what needs to be done to correct it.
Then I got to thinking (it happens occasionally).
What did I see from the press box that you didn't see from your seat at Jordan-Hare Stadium? Or your seat at Jefferson Commons? Or at North Carrick?
You saw how the running backs need to get back on track. And how the O-line needs to start helping them.
You saw the continuation of poor tackling and costly penalties. The heart and leadership of Casey Clausen. The struggles of the defensive line. The development of a decent passing game.
You saw it as well as I did.
But you might not have seen what happened Sunday night.
And let me warn you ... this has nothing to do with the Vols.
Let me warn you ... I'm about to completely change the subject and it's probably going to be an awkward transition.
I just have to talk about my dearly beloved Cubbies, though.
I have so much invested in this team that I hardly know what to do with myself these days.
And I'm not talking about money. My God, I've watched this team enough over the years to know better than that.
No, I'm talking about emotional investment - the kind you wouldn't dare put a price on.
The kind that makes you call your equally Cub-crazy dad after every heart-pounding game down the stretch.
The kind that makes you skip class to drive to Atlanta with a few buddies for last week's first round of the playoffs and then arrive back in Knoxville just a few hours before a morning test.
The kind that makes you care little about how you did on that morning test.
Honestly, at this very moment, the fate of the Cubbies is my only care in the world.
I guess it's just in the genes. My dad grew up listening to the Lovable Losers and I grew up watching them. I've loved them for as long as I can remember.
Favorite music growing up?
Harry Carey was, and still, is my all-time favorite singer.
The one with a brick wall and a bunch of ivy, of course.
While some little kids played video games, I watched the Cubs. While some watched cartoons, I watched WGN.
For me, Andre Dawson was the real Incredible Hulk. Sammy Sosa was the real Superman.
And Ryne Sandberg was real close to deity.
So as you can imagine, I was flying high Sunday night as I watched the Cubs beat the Braves to win their first playoff series in 95 years.
I think I'll type that one more time.
The Cubs won their first playoff series in 95 years.
So yesterday, as I was walking to class at 9 in the morning, I was feeling about as good as you possibly could while walking to class at 9 in the morning.
And then I saw a Cubs hat. And 30 seconds after that, I saw another. And another.
In the next five minutes, I saw a Cubs shirt over by the UC and a Sosa jersey over by the library.
Geez, I half expected to see a Kerry Wood baseball card stuck in that Gideons Bible I was given.
Now don't get me wrong - it's not that I don't enjoy being around my fellow Cub fanatics. I think I high-fived about 11,000 of them at Turner Field last week.
And if you're like me and have stuck by the Cubbies through all the heartache and are now proudly wearing your blue hat around campus, I sincerely apologize.
But you'll have to excuse me if I'm a little skeptical of some people out there.
And you know who you are.
You're the guy who cheers for the underdog through thick and thick.
You probably cheered for the Marlins in 1997 and the D-backs a few years later.
Hell, you probably cheered for the Yankees in between. They were winning, after all.
You love teams when they win and run like they've got herpes when they lose.
You're a front-runner. A bandwagon-jumper.
And we faithful don't want any part of you.
So if you're a Cardinals fan, you can't claim you've "always kind of liked the Cubs." If you're a Yankees fan, you can't claim the Cubs have always been your favorite National League team.
Sorry. Those are the rules.
Go back and cheer for the evil Yanks. Or maybe the feel-good Fish.
Go root for undefeated Oklahoma or the undefeated Chiefs.
Go hang out with the equally-suffering Red Sox fans or the insufferable Georgia fans.
They're all winning right now and I'm sure they can find room for a view temporary visitors.
But please not here - no jumpers onto this old, creaky wagon.
It's been running for 95 years now and can't hold anymore.
And we faithful got here first.
- Brett Edgerton is a senior in journalism and is already chewing his fingernails over tomorrow's NLCS opener. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cubbie fever...dont catch it
Published: Tue Oct 07, 2003 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 05:27 p.m.