Return one of the Bulls' titles? Lose the booze? Give up sex? And how much would it matter, really, if the players cheated?
May 7, 2009, 7:34 PM
By: Wayne Drehs
In reacting to the news that Major League Baseball will suspend Manny Ramirez 50 games for violating its drug policy, ESPN.com colleague Bill Simmons wonders whether Boston's 2004 World Series title will someday be looked upon as performance enhanced.
Come on, let's be Series, shall we. Just what would you give back in order to secure a title for the Cubs? One of the Bulls' championships? They won't miss only one trophy.
In his column, Simmons imagines taking his son to Fenway for the first time in 2014: When he points out the 2004 championship banner, the Simmons of the future struggles to answer his son's questions about who was clean and who wasn't. Manny? Big Papi? Pedro? Millar? Damon? Simmons also is conflicted about Boston's 2007 Series win and is left feeling confused, bewildered and maybe even wondering whether winning the titles was all worth it.
And that's what got me thinking: What would a Cubs fan give for a World Series championship?
Now that the Red Sox and White Sox have won and the Cubs are left on Loser Island, what would a Cubs fan be willing to pay to guarantee his or her team would win the World Series?
A finger? An arm? A leg?
$10,000? $25,000? $200,000?
Would you give back the '85 Bears? Michael Jordan? Ernie Banks? What about Bulls championships two through six? Brian Urlacher? Or Bobby Hull?
What about Wrigley Field? If I could guarantee the Cubs would win the World Series if they played the rest of their games at U.S. Cellular Field, would you sign on the dotted line?
What if you had to give the Sears Tower to France? Permanently move to Gary? Or never again eat deep-dish pizza, an Italian beef sandwich or a Chicago-style dog?
How about surrendering The Fridge and his 1985 Bears? Would a Cubs title be worth doing away with Ditka's "Monsters of the Midway" and "The Super Bowl Shuffle?" (Well, maybe we could work a deal on the "Shuffle"!)
Where would you draw the line? Would you give up sex for a year? Five years? Ten years? Forever? Would you quit drinking? Would you promise to drive the speed limit for the rest of your life?
What would that World Series be worth? What if it took cheating? What if the Cubs won because they filled their bats with corks? Or took ball-doctoring lessons from Gaylord Perry? What if no one ever knew, except for you? Would you be OK with that?
Or what if -- as Simmons alludes to in his column -- five years after the Cubs' first World Series triumph, whispers of steroids, human growth hormone and other performance enhancers surrounded the team? What if it were discovered, years after the smell of champagne had left the Cubs clubhouse, that half the curse-breaking team played the Series while artificially enhanced?
Would you care? Would you someday struggle to explain it all to your son or daughter? Would you continue to bask in the glory of your Cubs World Champion hat, T-shirt, bumper sticker, dog collar and permanent tattoo?
Or would you accept none of it. And just keep on waiting?
Wayne Drehs has been a feature writer for ESPN for nine years. He can be reached by e-mail.