Perhaps I shouldn't bring this up. After all, I've been here more than nine months now, and things seem to be going well. I've been accepted by my new neighbors in Carroll County, and maybe I shouldn't rock the boat.
But I have a secret, and I need to get it off my chest.
The truth is, I'm a Chicago Cubs fan.
I know, my readership just experienced a marked decline. Here I am, in prime St. Louis Cardinals territory, and I just admitted to rooting for the Cardinal's biggest division rival, baseball's longtime losers. But, I am what I am.
I first became a Cubs fan in 1982. I was 12, going on 13, and I got hooked the way I guess a lot of Cubs fans do, watching them play on cable TV. Harry Caray was still broadcasting games then on WGN and even though the Cubs had one of their typical tough years, they won just enough to get me excited.
Back then, there were no lights at Wrigley Field, so the Cubs played all their home games during the day. For a baseball-crazed boy on summer vacation, it was perfect.
Two years later, in 1984, the Cubs won the division title and then took a 2-0 lead in the National League Championship Series. Since the NLCS was a best-of-five affair back then, they needed just one more win to get to the World Series for the first time since 1945. It didn't happen. After the San Diego Padres recorded the final out in Game 5, I sat in stunned silence for what must have been an hour. And Steve Garvey is still the player I despise most in the history of baseball.
Thirty seasons later, the Cubs still haven't returned to the World Series. I thought it would happen in 2003, but we know how that worked out. Meanwhile, the Cardinals can't seem to stay out of the Series.
But, a new season starts Sunday. Cubs and Cardinals on Opening Day at Wrigley Field. The Cubs have a new manager, a new ace pitcher and some of the best young talent in baseball. Despite everything that's happened since that last World Series title way back in 1908, I'm starting this season with high hopes. That's the way it is when you're a Cubs fan.
Scott Loftis is managing editor for Carroll County Newspapers. His email address is CarrollCountyNews@cox-internet.com