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What happens when a fan becomes a free agent?

You can't change who you are
@CF_Larue
April 30, 2020

Sports fandom can be a miserable endeavor and it's a wonder any of us continue to put up with it. Even if you're a fan of historically successful teams like the Yankees, Patriots or Lakers, most of the time your season ends in defeat, bitter feelings and a sense of

Sports fandom can be a miserable endeavor and it's a wonder any of us continue to put up with it. Even if you're a fan of historically successful teams like the Yankees, Patriots or Lakers, most of the time your season ends in defeat, bitter feelings and a sense of anger directed at both everything and nothing at all.

It's not as if the good moments come easy, either. Preceding every triumph is a sense of dread and imminent destruction that probably isn't good for your health.

Naturally, then, after a particularly disappointing defeat, other teams start to look pretty appealing. The grass is always greener on the other side. What would it be like to escape this misery and join one of those happier fan bases over there?

That's precisely what one Cubs fan tried to find out after his team finished the 1980 season with the worst record in the National League. He wanted to try out another team. So, he wrote to them and offered his services. Some responded:

While the Brewers offered a place among their legion of fans and the Mariners extended a promise of a future offer, the Expos were the only team that knew how fandom works.

"However, if I also know anything about a long time and loyal Cubs fan - you will not only REMAIN one - you will WITHDRAW from your Free Agency threat and rededicate yourself to the Chicago Cubs," they wrote.

And that's just what happened. This fan stuck with the Cubs and, after a lifetime of suffering, finally saw them win a World Series in 2016.

We're not saying it was worth it all, but it was at least something.

Eric Chesterton is a writer for MLB.com. He is an appreciator of the stolen base, the bunt against the shift and nearly every unconventional uniform design. He eagerly awaits Jamie Moyer's inevitable comeback.