Member of the Tribe

By Lloyd Graff.

My team, the Chicago Cubs, is terrible again this year — like last year, and the year before. They haven’t won a World Series in more than a century.

But I still follow them. I still check the results – every night. I still check the batting averages. Believe it or not, I research the minor leaguers too. They are our hope – our “stars of the future.”

Why do I do this? Why do I care so much? I mean, I checked the score before I went in for heart surgery.

I am a bloody fanatic in this crazy tribe of Cubs fans. My mother initiated me when I was three years old. She was brought into the fold by her father, who actually knew some of the players on the 1908 Championship team. His family owned a grocery store that was frequented by ancient Cubs like Mordecai “3 Finger” Brown, and Johnny Evers of the famous “Tinkers to Evers to Chance” double play combination.

I’m a member of the Cubs tribe, the Jewish tribe and the screw machine tribe, and probably a few more incidental ones like “folks with permanent double vision because of retinal detachment” and “people who love Sam Cooke songs.”

I think people who do not identify with a tribe miss a lot in life. Your tribe grants you an identity. If you are tribeless you are a floater who misses the great joy of connection and sharing that tribe affiliation brings. This does not mean that you cannot reject your tribe and join another, but if you are a frequent sampler of “otherness” you become the non-believer who can never seem to find a home.

I hope you all find peace and acceptance in your tribes. Maybe you will be a brave soul and start your own, a noble though rarely rewarding venture.

Meanwhile, watch out for the Cubs in 2015. This time, we’re building a dynasty.

Question: Which communities or “tribes” are you proud to be a member of? Which tribes do you wish you were a member of?

Lloyd Graff is Owner and Chief Space Filler at Today’s Machining World and Graff-Pinkert & Co.

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6 thoughts on “Member of the Tribe

  1. Peter@PolygonSolutions

    When I moved from the Detroit area to southwest Florida a few years ago, my newfound friends asked me how I could still be a Lions fan? I still tell them that after rooting for a loser for so long, there’s no where to go but up!

  2. Josh

    Lloyd you are not going to like this one, I am 100% Milwaukee Brewers, and Green Bay Packers. And that will never change.

  3. Mike Duffin

    Sorrowful Cubs fans should not use the term “tribe” to describe your loyalty to the woeful Cubbies! The only legitimate use of “Tribe” in baseball is for Cleveland Indians fans. We also have a long history of suffering and a “wait ’til next year” optimism, but at least our Tribe made it to the World Series in ’95 and ’97 and to the American league finals in ’07. I note you are not even waiting until next year – you’re hope is for a good season in 2 years!
    Happy Rosh Hashanah and best wishes for the New Year.

  4. Don

    Thats like me and the DA Bears Lloyd, they will always be better next year. Now this year they will be. GO BEARS.

  5. Chris Steiner

    I have always been a fan of THE Tribe – Cleveland Indians. Also a member of the Seminole Tribe having graduated from Florida State University. Went to Cardinal Gibbons High School…we were the Redskins! Talk about being a member of a tribe – the only thing I am missing is a Casino and cigarette store on my reservation!

  6. Joe Leslein

    My Tribe is THE Tribe. And yes, we too are a long suffering Tribe of seasonal hopefuls quashed by annual ineptitude of Indians, Cavaliers and Browns. Hope springs eternal; here’s to Cubs VS Indians in 2014 Fall Classic!


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