Okay, Dale, I know you’re only a few weeks into your first spring training as Chicago Cubs manager, but I need you to know you have already started on the wrong foot.
Don’t get me wrong. The team is clearly trying hard and they’ve played well through a week of exhibition games (4-3 record after today’s win over the Brewers). I’m glad you’re stressing fundamentals, and the future looks surprisingly bright with prospects like outfielders Brett Jackson and Matt Szczur (that’s “Caesar” to you plebs not in the know — get with the program, jeez) and first baseman Anthony Rizzo showing flashes of what we could see at Wrigley Field as soon as this summer.
But Dale, you have been misled. You have not been taught the way of The Mustache, a Chicago staple more important than deep dish, hot dogs, or corruption.
Why is The Mustache important? Here are four parades’ worth of reasons.
The evidence is pretty compelling. If I were a lawyer and if I could think of some metaphor for championships in law, I would win that case.
All of Chicago’s other “big four” (MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL) franchises have won championships in the last three decades with one thing in common: the man in charge had a mustache. Ozzie had some chin growth as well, but I’m making a point, so shut your mouth.
In case you’re wondering, it wasn’t having teams that had a game-changing offense/hot goalie combination (Quenneville), the best monthlong pitching streak in recent memory (Guillen), the triangle offense/Michael Jordan (Jackson), or arguably the greatest defense of all time (Ditka) that earned these men championships. No sir, it was the Mustache.
The Mustache’s power over the men of Chicago is not relegated to sports figures, either. You need not look further than Chicago police, firefighters, or my dad to see how deep The Mustache has ingrained itself in Chicago’s blue collar culture.
And let’s face it, Dale, that blue collar culture is your bread and butter now. Those are the people who buy the team apparel, pass down stories to their inexplicably mustachioed children (we come out of the womb like that), and lie about back injuries to earn workman’s comp to pay for the games. You wouldn’t want to disappoint them, would you, Dale? Would you?
So here’s what I’d like to see happen, Mr. Sveum. I’d like you to look in the mirror every morning and repeat, “Not good enough, not good enough,” until you have grown an 1800s prospector mustache and upheld the city’s mythos. Your family may hate the way you look. It may be itchy. It may even look atrocious on you. However, you say you want to make the Cubs win the World Series? Then do it.