Commentary: Why settle for less than a championship?


Behind the laughter of “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” was a message that hits so close to home.

“If you ain’t first, you’re last.”

And while it surely brought upon laughs when Ricky Bobby’s father rebuts by saying, “That doesn’t make any sense at all, you can be second, third, fourth… hell you can even be fifth,” the saying still holds weight.

Which is why I ask of all fans of all professional sports to never be happy or satisfied with their team unless they win the ultimate prize: a championship. It is the ultimate goal after all, right?

If your goal is to win or accomplish something, and you don’t, how can it be considered anything other than a failure?

This is why I become frustrated when some people last year said the Chicago Cubs’ season would have been a success if they simply made it to the World Series. That implies if the Cubs got swept in embarrassing fashion in the World Series, the season would have been just splendid.


Same goes with the White Sox fans. People thought last year was a success because all the “experts” said they would finish fourth in the AL Central. Last I checked, the players played the game not Steve Phillips——who isn’t a general manager anymore for a reason, by the way.

Both Chicago baseball teams failed last season. And when and if the Chicago Bulls make it to the playoffs and get knocked out in the first round, their season will be a failure too.

In no way, shape or form am I advocating locking yourself in a crawlspace for months on end or picking fights with elementary students when your team comes up short.

Odds are, they will. But I do advocate expecting the most out of your team. You invest time, emotion and money in these clubs; you deserve to be rewarded with championships.

Many fans most likely reduce their cognitive dissonance by making themselves satisfied when their team gets knocked out—”At least they made it to the playoffs,” “They can use that as momentum,” “They’re still young” and many other rationalizations. Get real.

Get frustrated when your team comes up short. Because when they do come through, you’ll be there to reap the benefits.

And it will be so worth it.