A Program of Recovery: Chicago Cubs

I sat stunned in my rocking chair (yes, I sit in a chair and rock).

The Chicago Cubs had won the World Series.  “Cubs” and “World Series” is a non sequitur of the first order.  And here I sat contemplating a world where the Chicago Cubs could win a World Series.  After 108 years a groove sets in, a way of thinking, a default attitude.  The Cubs are many things:

  • The Cubbies
  • The Lovable Losers
  • The Flubs
  • The Baby Bear

When I arrived in Chicago in February of 1971 the Cubs had not won a World Series in 53 years.  In 1973 I moved to the north side, just five train stops from Wrigley Field.  On every trip to or from the Loop I’d pass Wrigley Field and be reminded how futile life could seem.

  • Each year another losing effort
  • Each year a new illustration of failure
  • Each year a reminder that success was somewhere else

And then the talk of curses, billy goats, black cats and Steve Bartmann – all reminders that baseball dreams die in Chicago.  As I sat and rocked in my chair I remembered my times at Wrigley, or listening with my friend Neil to Jack Brickhouse call the games on WGN.  45 years of memory, 45 years of a lost cause.

And then in one moment the lost cause vanished.

  • No more losers
  • No more “ain’t gonna happen”
  • No more curse
  • No more wait till next year

As I rocked back and forth I was seized with the notion that life had suddenly radically changed for the citizens of Cubdom.  I wondered how, after 108 years, my adopted home town would digest the reality of World Series championship.

Then it dawned on me that I had been taught a 12-step lesson in the building of this championship team.

  1. It began with accepting the totality of their perfectly broken team
  2. They came to believe they could build over time an entirely new team
  3. Each Cub trusted implicitly in a new system
  4. They rendered a true accounting of the state of every part of the organization
  5. They admitted to one another the exact situation of the entire organization
  6. They accepted in its entirety what was needed to build a winning team
  7. They developed the talent to match the needs of the team
  8. They garnered the support of the city and fans to endure the rebuilding process
  9. They introduced new players and new coaches into a new system
  10. Practiced, practiced, practiced
  11. They changed the mythology from “Lovable Losers” to “Wonderful Winners”
  12. They executed a game plan, winning 103 regular season games

The great thing about the 12 steps is that they can apply to all manner of life challenges.  So, after 108 years of losing baseball the Chicago Cubs have embarked on a program of recovery.

Just a thought…


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Copyright © 2016 Patrick J. Moriarty. All Rights Reserved.