Waxpaperbeercup.com, left a comment on my last post that really got me to thinking. I had been wondering about all the angst and anger about the Cubs moving Andrew Cashner to the bullpen in AAA, and ccd chimed in that he just can't get himself worked up about the minutiae of this team anymore:
"here's some quick advice to tim and all of the season ticket holders that come by this site. fellas, i dropped my season tickets before the season. tickets i've had since 1998. you wanna know something, i thought i would miss it i really did. instead i have spent the spring doing mnany of the things that i always said i wanted to do, but usually couldn't because of my cubs ticket addiction. i've enjoyed it greatly. less time at clark and addison has given me some clarity on the low level of importance the cubs should have.
sometime next winter you will have a choice to make. i'm here to tell you that the choice that you always said you would never make is not that bad of a choice. it takes a little getting used to. but once you do i think it's a healthy change."
This is exactly the struggle I deal with every off-season. It used to be easy. When my seat was selling for $750 for the package, it was not much of a stretch to justify the expense. Even when they were trotting guys like Jeff Huson, Leo Gomez, and Damon Buford out there on a regular basis, I got to watch the sport that I love and I had security knowing that if/when the Cubs did manage another playoff appearance, I would have access to playoff games at face value.
But besides the actual cost, I don't pay as high a price in wasted time. I don't know exactly where ccd lives, but I'm guessing it is outside of the city, so there is some major commuting involved to get to a game. It takes me about ten minutes to get to my girlfriends place where I park (just outside of the night game parking ban area) and then another fifteen to twenty minutes to walk from there. People driving from outside the city can easily spend 45 minutes to an hour just to get anywhere near the ballpark and then they have to park and walk. If they don't want to pay for parking, it's a similar 20 minute walk, or they are shelling out anywhere from $25 (where the walk is still decent) to $50 or more for a parking spot.
Believe me, if I lived outside of the city, I probably would have given up my package after 2006. That year, I lived across the street from Wrigley by the McDonald's and it was a literal five minute walk from my couch to my seat in Aisle 424. That season made that walk seem like an eternity. It was painful to feel obligated to watch that team because I had the tickets and nobody wanted them.
But ccd also mentions a clarity in the realization that the Cubs just shouldn't be that high on anyone's priority list other than those actually employed by them in some capacity. That is a revelation I have yet to experience. I'm not proud of it, but there is part of my emotional well-being that is tied to the Cubs' success. Granted, I have learned to mute the effects. I would have committed suicide long before now if I hadn't, but my days are a little sunnier when the Cubs win. The flip side is the twinges of a dark depression that creep over me with a loss. It is a sickness and I'm looking for a cure. (Note to self: add a PayPal donation feature so that people can contribute money to my research project.)
When it comes down to it, I guess I still care. It would be easier if I didn't, and most certainly cheaper, but damn it, I care. I care whether the Cubs are going to destroy yet another phenom pitching prospect. I care whether moving Zambrano back into the rotation is the right thing to do, and the ramifications that result. I care about the Cubs winning their third series in a row so that I don't have to listen to the Cardinals fans that are with me talk about it all week.
But mostly, if I gave up my tickets, I'd have to come up with a new name for the blog. That's a deal breaker.