I’m a gargantuan Chicago Cubs fan. So, as you might imagine, this being the morning after they punched a ticket to their first World Series of my lifetime — first in the lifetime of anyone younger than 71, if we’re being precise — I’m a tangle of giddy and goofy from lack of sleep as I type this.
But amid all the little boy’s dreams that came true 12 hours or so ago, the adult professional’s radar went up when Cubs manager Joe Maddon, in all his retro Rat Pack cool, was interviewed as the celebration raged on the field. Maddon, if you’re unfamiliar, is a journalist’s and marketer’s dream, pithy summations of baseball stratagems and philosophy drop from his mouth like home run balls into the basket on the ivy-covered Wrigley Field outfield wall.
Maddon talks in T-shirt slogans — creating several for his charity foundation from gems birthed in his brain. The most famous is TRY NOT TO SUCK — his counsel last year to a rookie who asked for tips on making it in the big leagues. Tens of thousands of T-shirts bearing that slogan have been sold — including the one hanging in my closet.
So last night, in his first interview after the Cubs clinched their first trip to the Big Dance since 1945, slaying the curses of billy goats and fans named Bartman, Maddon was asked a simple question, “What are your thoughts on breaking the drought?” He grinned and said, “Well, we didn’t suck.”
Drops mic. Or bat.