New book examines the curse of being a Chicago Cubs fan

Rich Cohen is a best-selling author who grew up on the North Shore. He's written books on the Rolling Stones and the '85 Bears and his latest is about a team that's been a lifelong passion.

It's called "The Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curse." Some fans who treasured their impossible dream are having an identity crisis. Winning is a whole new ballgame for the lovable losers.

"I always thought the Cubs fan was the true Buddhist of the national game, because there wasn't gonna be an October, you knew that, so you learned to really enjoy an August afternoon and you got to experience the here and the now," said author Rich Cohen.

"I went to Wrigley Field when I was 7 or 8 years old, and coming through that tunnel, hit the grass and that's it, I'm sold for life," he said.

Cohen's dad took him to that game with a warning.

"Promise me you'll never be a Cubs fan. A Cubs fan goes to a game expecting to lose, look at me, I'm a Yankees fan, I expect to win. These Cubs fans, they'll have a bad life because of diminished expectations, because they expect all human endeavor to end in loss," he said.

"I have four sons and they're all sitting around watching the Cubs game with me, this is a few years ago, and they're not very good and they're all wearing Cubs jerseys and I'm like, oh my God what have I done, another generation of misery!" he said.

That all changed last year...

"They're gonna grow up with a completely messed up sense of the world. They're gonna grow up believing the Cubs are a great baseball team," said Cohen.

"What is the curse really? It's a story, and how do you defeat a story, you write a better story," he said. "The continual losing and near misses became kind of a story, and it had meaning and now suddenly that's changed."

Cohen describes being at the fateful game.

"I had my pass, I could go onto the field and partake in the party, but was not in the mood, I wanted to sit in a dark room. I was happy, but sad, too, a whole period of my life had ended. My childhood suddenly seemed much farther away. I walked back to my hotel alone," said Cohen.

You can meet Rich Cohen at a book signing party for "The Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curse" at the Billy Goat Tavern on lower Michigan Avenue. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. today.

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