For much of the next 10 years this cycle would repeat itself. The Cubs could've, would've, should've won in 1970 and '71 with mostly that same all-star lineup. In 1978, I went off to college on Aug. 20 with the Cubs in first place by nine games, but they ended up losing the division by seven. In 1984, the Cubs won a division title and then pounded the lowly San Diego Padres in games one and two in the best-of-five playoffs. One win away from the World Series, my team dropped games three and four, but no worries -- we had the Cy Young Award winner Rick Sutcliffe pitching in game five.
Read the rest of Stephen Moore's column on the travails of being a Cubs fan.
His record that year was 16-1, and he had won something like 12 games in a row. The Cubs were winning 3-0 going into the sixth inning, and then my idiot brother came over and uncorked some champagne. We all knew we were done for. They lost. The first baseman Steve Garvey, playing for the Padres, hit a game-winning home run and rounded the bases with his fist in the air, and for that he was recently voted the most loathed professional athlete in Chicago history.