Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The psychology behind believing that the Cubs will suck

(wow...two posts in less than a week!)

I’m going into this season with no enthusiasm.

I’m going into this season with low expectations.

I’m going into this season looking forward to 2012.


Well, besides the fact that this roster doesn’t seem to figure into being very good and most experts predict the Cubs are somewhere in the middle or lower half of the NL Central this season, I think it has become somewhat a more of psychological thing.

What does that mean?

Well, over the last 8 seasons (since I became a season ticket holder), I’ve gone into the year with fairly high expectations 6 times….and I’ll list out those seasons…

In 2006 and again in 2010, I was probably unjustified in my enthusiasm for the team. Only once in those 6 seasons, 2008, did the Cubs actually meet my high expectations (at least in the regular season).

So let’s analyze those two seasons that are not on that list…2003 and 2007.

Those two seasons were the first years for the previous two managers on the team…Dusty Baker and Lou Piniella. Both of those teams got off to less than stellar starts. Both teams had great second halves. Both teams went to the playoffs. Both teams entered the season with the almost universal belief of low expectations.


It’s the first full season for Mike Quade and almost everyone has little or no expectations that this team is going to go anywhere except, best case, a .500 record.

Only once in my life time has a Cubs team that I expected to be really good actually been really good…2008. They came close in 1998, but that season I fully expected them to win the division, not the wild card (that team should have been a lot better than they were).

Another added truth about the Cubs is that at the moment you believe they are good or are going to achieve something great, they fall flat on their face and break your heart. You can’t tell me at the beginning of the 8th inning in game 6 of the NLCS in 2003 three you weren’t sitting there thinking…”Holy crap! We are really going to the World Series!” As soon as everyone believe in this miracles of miracles, our world fell apart again…or at least was smacked back to reality.

Psychologically I’ve trained myself now to believe this team is going to suck, because, quite frankly, thinking any other way only leads to disappointment. Believing that this team is bad will result in this team not breaking my heart. The worst that can happen is that this team meets my expectations, and that won’t hurt.

So as a result, the unexpected results can only be good…right?

Well…at the very least, this proves the Cubs have really messed with my head. I probably need therapy.

Wow…I think I might have found the key to creating a consistent contender: consistent low expectations!