Yeah, this is what I feared - the Cubs, or rather a Cub, new left fielder Kosume Fukudome, on the cover of Sports Illustrated. What's more, with a proclamation that the team is poised to break its century-long curse.
This is potentially bad. Way bad. This is the convergence of two major curses - the one that has hung over the Cubs for more than 60 years, and the one that dictates that if a team or player that's in contention ends up on the front of SI, disaster may be just behind the corner. Save Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali and the swimsuit cover model of the year, perhaps, no one seems to be immune to eventually falling prey to this malady. And that includes the Cubs. The last time the magazine stated so prominently that the light at the end of the tunnel was forthcoming was at the beginning of the 2004 season:
Of course the Cubs didn't even make the playoffs (though they did win one more game than they did the previous year, when they were five outs away from the World Series). Speaking of 2003, Kerry Wood also made the cover after the Cubs beat Atlanta in the first round of the playoffs. But we all know how that went.
Still, there are mitigating circumstances. For one,
Emily. (Thanks, Beth.) For another, the Cubs did make the cover last year during spring training, with Lou Piniella and Alfonso Soriano lounging on the green grass in the middle of the Arizona desert. Perhaps it was mitigated by the snarky subhead of the headline ...
... but the Cubs did go on to win their division, to the shock of many.
So maybe this isn't as cataclysmic as some Cub fans, myself included, make it out to be. And, as I did say, the season is still young. Besides - if Fukudome does lead Chicago to glory days, that Japanese phrase is going to look sweet on a blue T-shirt!