Our Pledge To You

News

Cubs clinch record 4th-straight playoff berth — but fans want more

The Cubs are headed to the playoffs for the fourth year in a row — a record for the club. But fans of the team once dubbed the “lovable losers” are no longer content to just celebrate a post-season appearance.

On Thursday, the day after the team clinched the berth with a 7-6 extra-innings win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, fans were happy — but not overjoyed.

“[We] definitely want more,” Richard Colaizzi, a Cubs fan from Denver, Colo. said. “I think the team would say the same thing. Their expectation isn’t just to make the playoffs, same with the fans. I think World Series is the goal.”

 

Fans gather outside of Wrigley Field before the Cubs’ game against the Pittsburgh Pirates Thursday evening. | Emily McTavish/Sun-Times

 

Tom Hoffman, a Cubs season ticket holder and lifelong fan, agreed the feeling amongst fans has been completely different as he headed to the stadium for Thursday’s game. He was at Wrigley Field for the infamous ‘Bartman game” the Cubs lost on the way to missing out on the World Series in 2003. He was in the stands again in 2016 when the Cubs battled the Cleveland Indians for their first World Series title in 108 years. Both years, the scene was nervous and chaotic.

But on Wednesday night as he watched his team punch another ticket to the playoffs, it was a different world.

“It was calm inside Wrigley last night,” Hoffman said. “We expect this now because we’ve been here. The fans now are relieved because we’ve finally won the World Series, but now that’s the expectation.”

Short of the World Series, fans do want the team to hold on and clinch the National League Central title over the Milwaukee Brewers. Fans will no doubt celebrate then. But even if the Cubs take that crown, fans in 2018 are saving the biggest cheers for a repeat championship.

“All Cubs fans want the title,” Brad Francis, a fan from Lafayette, Ind. said. “We want another World Series. We want to hang another World Series banner. We want it every year.”

Contributing: Emily McTavish