A Fan’s Guide to Enjoying the 2016 Chicago Cubs

~Lorenzo Patrick (@smartspeak89)

It’s officially April, which means baseball is back! Forget the fact that there’s less than four months between the end of the World Series and the start of spring training, making it impossible to be missed. Baseball is back dammit! Cold weather baseball, too, which means either watching your team catch a collective case of pneumonia, or having games snowed out.

None of that matters if you’re a Cubs fan, like myself. My favorite team is not only filled with young talent, but is the HEAVY favorite to win the World Series. April couldn’t get here soon enough once the Mets took the pennant from them last October. It’s been 108 years since the Cubs won a championship, and possibly the first time being a legitimate frontrunner in that same span. Because of that fact, many of the fans of the northside faithful might be a little lost on how to take things in this coming season. You might’ve been too young to remember 2003, still clinging to the hurt of the 2008 season, or, let’s face it, a fairweather fan. (Not winning a playoff game after a 98-win season stings a bit.) No matter how you found your way to the Cubbie blue bandwagon, here’s a surefire list of DOs and DON’Ts that’ll make enjoying this 2016 season a little sweeter.
DON’T name your pet Wrigley, Addison, Clark or Sheffield for “good luck.” Or “Bryzzo.”You aren’t clever, and your friends and your pet will hate you for it.

DO watch as many games as possible, especially the marquee matchups. Learn what other teams are a threat to win the title besides the Cardinals, Mets and Royals.

DON’T lose your mind when the inevitable losing streak happens. It’s baseball. Every team, even the good ones, will lose a series or two.

DO brag about this team being good. These are the early fruits of a project Theo Epstein and company have been working on since 2008. Enjoy these moments.

DON’T be surprised if this team doesn’t win the World Series this year. Or next year, for that matter. This is what it means to be in a “championship window.” The Cubs plan on competing for championships for MANY seasons, not just 2016. Unlike other sports, it’d be foolish to make any kind of guarantee.

DO let go of Steve Bartman, the curse of the billy goat, Ronny Woo Woo and any of the associated circus that made this franchise the “lovable losers” for so long.

DON’T expect Jake Arrieta to win another Cy Young this season. DO expect him to pitch well, however.

DO drink a can of Old Style beer at some point this season. Just one can. You’ll know why when you drink it.

Above all else, DO enjoy this season, and all the ones with the core of this team in tact. It’s a young, fun, energetic team, with a quirky and fun manager and did I mention fun? If you’re from Chicago, the Bears, Bulls and White Sox have not only been bad, but sincerely painful to watch. The Blackhawks keep winning, but it’s Friday morning, and it’s too early to be drunk enough to enjoy hockey. Let the Cubs be the saviors of your summer. Follow the steps above, rejoice and be glad in it.

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