I Think it Was a Good Year, Right? Thank You and a Cubs Celebration

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I Think it Was a Good Year, Right? Thank You and a Cubs Celebration

Analysis and Commentary

So, that’s it for 2017. A year that required a near-daily reassessment of what is real, and, for Cubs fans, a year that required a reassessment of our place. What would it be like to exist in a world where the Cubs *have* won it all? What would it be like to watch the Cubs winning an April game against the Brewers without trying to stifle the irrational screams of your soul that this – YES THIS! – victory was a sign that the year had finally come? What would it be like to wander for a few months, uncertain of what would bind Cubs fans together now?

Just because today marks the end of 2017, that doesn’t mean we have to know the answers to those questions. I think for me, I’m still feeling my way around what it is to be a hardcore Cubs fan in this existence where they’ve won the World Series, have gone to three straight NLCS, and are generally favored in the NL Central for the near-term future. Like I wrote before the 2017 season began, we are no longer the thing we were. What are we now? Eh. I’m still working on it.

On the whole, I think it was a good year, though, right? The Cubs did get to that third straight NLCS, winning a wild NLDS on the way. They won the NL Central for the second straight year, and went to the playoffs for the third straight season – something none of us has seen in our lifetimes.

The year wasn’t without challenges. The Cubs came out of the gate rough, and finding footing in how we all could talk about that violation of expectations was a slog. We grumbled. We bickered. People were already struggling to adjust to this new life as the fan of a team that HAD won it all, and when the Cubs weren’t even playing well, it ramped the angst up to 50. The All-Star Break, the Jose Quintana trade, and the winning streak that followed … man, I am grateful for you three.

In part for those reasons, and in part for reasons tied to the ever-shifting content consumption landscape, it was a challenging year at the site, too. There were disruptions behind the scenes (some visible to you (remember when the site broke for a couple days? hopefully you don’t), some not visible to you (we had to entirely revamp the site architecture, the server, and the ad operations (the third of which is still ongoing))).

Whoa, I just totally lost myself in those embedded parentheticals. But, yes, challenging year at the site, a challenged aided by our efforts to build out our BN-for-Bears sister site, The Ten-Yard Line. I’m really excited of what’s coming for that site, and proud of the work that’s gone into getting it to where it is. But when you’re duel-tracking the operation of a site like BN while also building up a site like TYL? It’s a lot to take on, and I want to say I appreciate all of you for riding with us – maybe even especially those of you who don’t give a rip about football, and tolerated the periodic mentions of TYL anyway.

It was an up-and-down year for me personally, as well, continuing to balance the needs here with the kind of family life I want to have. We had the added challenge of our wonderful Littlest Girl’s developmental delays, and I didn’t always balance my feelings about that well enough with what I wanted to be here at the site. I tried to wall one off from the other too often – probably for self-preservation – and I let myself forget that so much of what works here at BN is that I’m not some nameless, faceless entity behind a screen. Neither are you. We’re all just real people, connected by our love for this game and this team. Sometimes, we are struggling. But this is a place we can come to relate with each other about something we have in common. Something that provides a respite from a world that isn’t always interested in your passion for dingers and hatred of bunts. I want to thank you all for the times – daily – you give me that opportunity to connect with you about our shared fandom. May I remember that opportunity more often in 2018.

To you all: thank you. Thank you for your support, for your comments, for you readership, for your friendship. Thank you for making BN a part of your Cubs and baseball fan experience, and thank you for giving me a soft place to land.

To Michael, Luis, Luke, and Gretchen: thank you for all that you do to make what we do possible. Thank you for a tremendous year together as a team, and I look forward to another tremendous year ahead.

And thank you to the Cubs for giving us the experience over which we can all connect.

Speaking of which, a couple opportunities to enjoy the 2017 Cubs season are here for you. May you enjoy them, and then look ahead to a fun, safe, and Cubs-filled new year:

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)


Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.