Commentary: Why I'm pulling for the Brewers to win it all

by - Columnist -
Jeff Curry - USA Today Sports
Jeff Curry - USA Today Sports

We all get angered at the bandwagon fans who jump on the train when our team is winning, then bail out the minute they lose, but there might be a little bandwagon fan in all of us.

Case and point: Prior to 2016, the Cubs went 108 years without a World Series title and during the vast majority of those years, they never even saw the playoffs. The true fans of the game are going to watch the playoffs and the World Series, and I’m sure they were cheering for somebody to win. Doing so didn’t revoke their Cubs’ cards.

Some will turn off the TV for the season once their team is gone and I can completely respect that, but in order to be a fan of the team, you must first be a fan of the game.

So, here we are facing a Game 7 in the NLCS, and I’m going to pledge my bandwagon fan loyalty to… believe it or not… the Milwaukee Brewers. You can agree, disagree or remain indifferent to my rationale, but before you start sending me hate mail or asking for my editor to fire me, at least hear me out.

First of all, I never bought into the idea that the Brewers and Cubs have developed any sort of true rivalry- at least not until this year. The Brewers and the White Sox had a rivalry, as Milwaukee was a long time, American League team, but the Cubs true division rivals have always been the Cardinals. There’s no doubt that the Bears and the Packers have shared an intensely heated rivalry for decades, and personally, I think the fans are trying to make this a whole Wisconsin/Chicago thing.

The way I see it, the World Series should consist of the best team from the AL and the best team from the NL, which would unarguably be Boston and Milwaukee. I’m not talking about the best two teams who emerge after September 30, I mean the best two teams coming out of the regular season. It was nice that MLB has constructed a playoff system which allowed ten of the thirty teams to enter the postseason, but geez, that’s a third of the teams in MLB.

Milwaukee stood up and took charge in the NL this season, overcoming a third-place, five-game deficit with just a month to play. Nobody wanted to see the Cubs go all the way more than I did this year, but the truth is, they weren’t the best team in the NL. You can argue with me all you want about how they had the best record in the NL as of September 29, but on October first, like it or not, that honor belonged to the Brewers.

When the Cubs were eliminated by the Rockies the following night, I had two choices; forget about baseball until late March or pick a team that I’d like to see do, what the Cubs should have been doing, and I chose Milwaukee.

When the Cards were in second place and hot on the heels of the Cubs toward the end of the season, St. Louis was facing the Brewers as the season wound down. Not a Cubs’ fan in their right mind was hoping St. Louis would win, and the Cards’ losses to Milwaukee would only help the Cubs. Did you root for the Brewers then?

With the exception of Houston, I can’t stand anyone in the American League, and I probably only tolerate the Astros due to their past affiliation with the NL. Last year I was rooting hard for Houston in the WS, as they were the underdog going in and had never won a title.

With Houston out, our three choices are now down to Boston, L.A. or Milwaukee. Boston has seven WS titles (eight if you count their one title when they were the Boston Americans), and the Dodgers have five from Los Angeles and one from Brooklyn; the Brewers have a total of zero and haven’t seen a World Series since 1982.

I’m not going to trade my Cubs shirts for Brewers tickets next year, nor (much to the dismay of some of you) am I going to leave CubsHQ to write for some Brew Crew site. Our friends to the north have earned this right after 48 years of existence, and I want to see them take it all.

Good luck Milwaukee, but watch out for Chicago next year, as every game will count.

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