One of the classic rock songs I’ve always enjoyed is Foreigner’s “Feels Like The First Time.”
For them, that song really was the first time, when it came to people hearing their sound. It was the first song on their self-titled (because they were all like that, once upon a time) debut album. Since then, the band toured the world, made a fortune, and produced songs that will always be known to somebody, somewhere.
As a long-time, long-suffering fan of the Chicago Cubs, I can feel the emotions that Foreigner was putting into that song from so many years ago. The team has lost and lost and lost over the years, and on the rare occasion where they didn’t lose in the regular season, they found some way to lose in the playoffs, making the disappointment seem that much greater. And the numbness of the past three seasons was very difficult to bear, too. In short, being a Cubs fan has sucked for several decades now.
But I always think of a scene from Platoon where Charlie Sheen covers up the mouth of a screaming man and tells him to shut up and take the pain. TAKE THE PAIN! So that’s what I’ve done for all these years. I complain about it, and I write about it, but I always ended up taking the pain.
But this year there is no pain. There’s just talent on the field and in the dugout, and in the front office as well. There’s no sad sack losing, no “woe is me,” and most certainly no “wait ’til next year” with the Cubs in 2015. There’s just the pitching of Jake Arrieta, the mammoth home runs of Kyle Schwarber, and the keep it loose mindset of Joe Maddon, along with Rizzo and Castro and Bryant and Baez and Soler and all the rest.
So this really does feel like the first time for me, and also for a lot of other Cubs fans, I would suspect. Heck, how often in life does anybody get to have a First Time like this anymore? So many things have been done and then redone, and then recycled, and then repurposed, and then beta tested, so much so that nothing ever feels new or exciting or original anymore. But the Chicago Cubs are winning on the field, and having fun in the process? That’s a new one, for sure.
I would suggest that the next two or three weeks will be a lot of fun for anyone who wants to break new ground in their life. Whether you love the Cubs or you don’t–or you follow baseball or you don’t–it’s going to be fun watching this team win ballgames in October. Every living Cubs fan is now feeling like Foreigner once did in this postseason. And winning will never feel this way again, either. But we’ll worry about that when the time comes. For now, the best thing is to soak it all in and enjoy what’s been a very long time in coming.