Donna and I went to see Garrison Keillor at Ravinia. It’s perhaps our sixth time attending his live radio broadcast of “Prairie Home Companion.” His show is always – always – a treat.
Mr. Keillor discusses the goings on in Lake Wobegon but he inevitably gets around to talking about Chicago, the North Shore, Illinois politics and such. Last night was no different. But last night he talked about the Chicago Cubs. And he came to the divine conclusion that the Chicago Cubs’ failures over the last hundred years are due to the fact that they are (are you ready?) a Lutheran team. He went on. And on. And the audience loved it. And collectively thought gosh maybe it’s true. . . .
In 1914, Wrigley Field (then known as Weeghman Park) was built on the grounds of the old Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary. Because Lutherans (who are in abundance in Lake Wobegon) are devoted to “service to others,” this mantra has seeped from the ground and stuck. On the Cubs. And the Chicago Cubs since 1914 have been the living embodiment of Lutheran theology — “in service to others.” Devoted to ending other teams losing streaks. Ending batting slumps. Lowering opposing pitchers E.R.A.’s. And so on. The Chicago Cubs failure to ever win a World Series while playing in Wrigley Field is not because of a Billy goat. Not because of poor management. Not because of poor players. It is because – they are Lutheran. Having grown up as a Lutheran, I kinda see where he’s coming from . . . . .