My grandfather was one of the biggest Cubs fans anyone has ever known, but you'd never know it to be around him.
Ours is a fanbase full of jaded souls, but none were more jaded than Ray Logman. He'd watch and laugh at the on-field shenanigans, making some version of the same joke over and over: "The Cubs should write a book called '100 Ways to Lose a Game.'"
The number would change — 100, 500, 20,000 — but he was convinced the worst self-help book of all-time would instantly become a best-seller.
However, even through all the misery — and being born in 1926, there was plenty of that in his lifetime — he'd never miss a game. He'd catch it on the radio if he had to, but could usually be found perched in his favorite rickety recliner, watching on television.
Wednesday night, as the dust settled on an exciting, emphatic 4-0 win over the Pirates in the wild card game, I thought of him. While Jake Arrieta was being lauded for yet another historic performance, all that was racing through my mind was how much fun he would have had watching this game.
My grandpa has been gone for several years now, having passed before ever seeing his beloved Cubbies hoist the World Series trophy.
He would have been amazed at the dominance of Arrieta or at the majestic power of our prized rookie, Kyle Schwarber. There would have been no room for jokes about new books on that night. He would have smiled. He would have loved it.
I have no idea where this postseason is heading. By the time you read this, the Cubs could very well be down 2-0 in the series to National League Division Series with the Cardinals. Hopefully we got at least one in St. Louis, though.
But whatever fun is left in this incredible, remarkably fun 2015 season, let it be in memory of those who aren't able to enjoy it. I am a Cubs fan, at least in part, due to my grandpa's passion for the team. I remember when they beat the Braves in the 2003 NLDS, three games to two, I caught the old man welling up a bit. He never would have admitted it, but I saw it and I know how much those wins meant to him.
That team winded up, well, you know. Hopefully this team is different.
This one's for you, grandpa.
Contact Managing Editor Adam Parkhouse at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-219-214-4170.