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How I'm making my son grow up a Cubs fan.


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21 replies to this topic

#1 Dave

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 06:57 AM

I think I’m a pretty good parent. I love Alex, my son; I encourage him in everything he does, I allow him to decide what he likes and who he is. Basically, I encourage him to explore and become whatever he wants to be. Except a Cardinals fan, that it.
I’ve been a Cubs fan all my life, in spite of being born on Chicago’s less than beautiful South Side. Since the age of 14 though, I’ve lived in Cardinals territory and it hasn’t been easy. The Cubs have made the playoffs just 4 times, including the magical (and surprising and ultimately disappointing) 1998 season, my first spent behind enemy lines. The Cards have made it 7 times, winning 2 pennants and a World Series. I’d say that’s advantage Cards fans. Considering the lopsidedness of the rivalry, I’d say Cards fans and I have co-existed peacefully over the years. I’ll wear my Cubs shirts (or, on a special occasion, my Cubs Jersey) and catch some 1908 or goat related flak and I’ll mumble something about steroids or the douchebag manager and players and its all over with. Once (on a train headed to a Cubs-Cards game in St. Louis) I did get into a rather loud argument with a Cardinals fan whose only redeeming quality (other than the luscious flowing mullet) was his disdain for the Yankees. The enemy of my enemy is not, however, my friend.
Alex comes into this because his mother happens to be a local, one of the few who has lived both sides of the rivalry but somehow picked the wrong one. While she was born in Missouri, she was raised in Chicago and moved back to MO for college. She says her time in Chicago only solidified her Cardinals fandom. That seems wrong. Wrigley is a cathedral, a beautiful park in an amazing neighborhood. Busch (both old and new) is a massive toilet, underneath a highway, surrounded by parking lots. Alas, as all men have needs and she had few other faults, our son was born, immediately into controversy. His mom argued that baseball is like religion, the kid inherits it from the mother. I countered by reminding her that he would be spending more time at games with me than with her. And back and forth it went. I’d buy him a Cubs shirt, it would mysteriously disappear. We would go to a game in St. Louis and I’d make sure Alex was wearing blue regardless of her wishes. This kept on as he got older though I’m not sure he’s ever really understood what was going on. In order to make sure I won, and that Alex chooses that path of righteousness I decided to go nuclear by putting the fear of god into my son. Not by shouting or hitting or any of the stuff that with short term gains and long term losses, but through little white lies, spread out over time that will lead to him having the inherent hatred of the St. Louis Cardinals that all little boys should have.
It started by accident a short time before Alex’s 4th birthday. In store one day we saw a Cardinals shirt so I pointed at it and said, “Alex, that’s a bad bird.” And he just looked and nodded, as little kids so. I realized that I could be onto something, but that I couldn’t overdo it, so I laid low for a while, mainly praising the “Blue Bear” instead of tearing down the Cardinals. After a few months, baseball season started up again. Living in the home of the Cardinals AA affiliate meant that in order to see real live baseball, we had to go to a Cards game. Ugh. I sucked it up and went anyways, using the opportunities to make my son hate the Cardinals. Whenever the Cardinals mascot came around, I’d tell Alex to hide his hot dog because the bad bird was going to steal it. He still does this, over a year later. I knew I’d have to go deeper than that to get that hatred really stuck in there, so I hit him at a primal level. Around the time the 2011 baseball season began I told him that the red bird is bad because it punches babies. As a kid himself, Alex has a soft spot for babies and, obviously, disagrees with them being punched, so this took hold. I went a step further and told him that the only thing that can prevent a baby from being punched is to have a “Blue Bear” round. Months later, about a week before his 5th birthday, he spotted a Cardinals stuffed animal in a store and told his mom that it’s a bad bird, it punches babies, and that he won’t go near it. She tried to reason with him, but reason doesn’t work on a 5 year old. That’s why I didn’t explain the Cardinals drug culture to him. It’s why I didn’t tell him about Tony La Russa being a big baby himself. It’s why I didn’t tell him how awful the Best Fans in Sports ® really are, or how crappy the city is. It’s why I convinced him that Cardinals=punched babies unless there is a Cub nearby. It worked. I won.

#2 Fishin Phil

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 07:01 AM

Good for you! My parents did it to me, so I'm glad to see you carrying on a fine tradition.
Please don't feed the psychos.

#3 Brett

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 07:09 AM

That is hilarious and awesome. Front page material right there.

I'm fortunate that my wife is on board with my forcing our daughter to be a Cubs fan. My daughter, on the other hand, is not fortunate at all.

#4 SirCub

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 07:31 AM

Great post, Dave. I am very impressed with the way you went about planting the idea in your son's head. You may have achieved true Inception.

#5 MichiganGoat

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 07:49 AM

So when my daughter was born she had one of those play mats with things hanging from above to grab and one of the items was a cardinal. So every time we played I showed and encouraged her to hit the cardinal while I sang Go Cubs Go. She would squeal every time she hit the cardinal and would look at me disappointedly whenever I'd stop singing. Now she is three and sings Go Cubs Go whenever she sees anything baseball related, but the best is when she saw a man in a Pujols jersey and proudly said to me "Hit him, right daddy"... That's my girl!

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#6 King Jeff

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 10:11 AM

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#7 Fishin Phil

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 10:17 AM

Nice Jeff, I actually LOL'd. :lol: :lol: :lol:
Please don't feed the psychos.

#8 Dave

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 05:41 PM

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Oh god the fact that this exists is awesome.

#9 CUB5

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 07:52 AM

Sounds a lot like me and my 3 year old, but your tactics are much better.

Me: "Cards suck, and for that matter any team that has to name themselves with a color like Reds or White Sox, okay buddy?"

Son: "Okay."
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#10 Glenallens One Homer

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 08:21 AM

Great post, this should be printed and sold to prospective parents. My brother's daughter (~20 months old) is awesome and I helped watch her over the summer, which obviously means that sometimes I would turn off Dora and turn on the Cubs, which she actually didn't seem to mind. One time she said "Castro" and I almost teared up from how proud I was.

#11 Dave

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 07:42 PM

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We're in Chicago for the holiday and instead of spending time with my family, since we were having dinner later, Alex and I spent most of the morning cruising the town. After going by the house I grew up in, we went all the way to the other side of town to check out Wrigley. I got pics of Alex with each of the statues and this one with the marquee. I think I've solidified his Cubs fandom, we stopped in Bloomington for some coffee on the way up and when we drove by the football stadium (I assume) at Illinois State, he pointed out the bad bird. He argues with his mother when she tells him that Cardinals aren't bad and they dont punch babies.

Oh, and the Starbucks across from Wrigley was open, I strongly considered going in to see if Theo was hanging out inside.

#12 Katie

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 08:45 AM

This is still awesome and hilarious!
In my family, my mom and step dad are Cards fans and my brother is a Braves fan. My ex hates baseball (part of the reason he's my ex) so my son has been pulled in many directions. He still comes back to the Cubs but is expressing an interest in (gasp) soccer!
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#13 MichiganGoat

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 09:21 AM

This is still awesome and hilarious!
In my family, my mom and step dad are Cards fans and my brother is a Braves fan. My ex hates baseball (part of the reason he's my ex) so my son has been pulled in many directions. He still comes back to the Cubs but is expressing an interest in (gasp) soccer!

I had the same problem with my ex, she'd get angry whenever I watch a Cub game and get angry. It is a mandatory part of any future relationship that my partner can at least enjoy baseball and NEVER complain of my devotion to the Cubs and baseball, and deal with the irrational and reactionary nature of watch the Cubs play.

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#14 Stinky Pete

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 04:29 PM

I taught my daughter to say yucky at the Mets Logo. i was pretty proud of myself. But... they grow up sometime and no amount of programming could overcome how pretty David Wright is...
Stupid David Wright.

#15 Dave

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 06:53 PM

This is still awesome and hilarious!
In my family, my mom and step dad are Cards fans and my brother is a Braves fan. My ex hates baseball (part of the reason he's my ex) so my son has been pulled in many directions. He still comes back to the Cubs but is expressing an interest in (gasp) soccer!

I had the same problem with my ex, she'd get angry whenever I watch a Cub game and get angry. It is a mandatory part of any future relationship that my partner can at least enjoy baseball and NEVER complain of my devotion to the Cubs and baseball, and deal with the irrational and reactionary nature of watch the Cubs play.

I'm tempted to play matchmaker here, but then I remember that this isn't a dating site.




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