“There’ll be strong winds during the game; that means there’s going to be some big hitting,” my mom said.

She then proceeded to frenziedly summarize the Chicago Cubs’ ideal defensive strategy, reminding me exactly how Kyle Hendricks, one of Chicago’s pitchers, would have to execute later that night if the team might pull ahead of the Cleveland Indians.

I don’t pay much attention to baseball, but I passively followed along as my mother quickly gave me the low-down on Game 3 of the World Series.

As an Illinois native, she elected to root for the cosmically-belabored Cubs rather than the slightly-less unlucky White Sox across town. And growing up in Atlanta, I was outfitted in a steady string of baseball caps, jackets and jerseys bearing the red and blue insignia belonging not to the Braves, but the Cubs.

As she finished up her over-the-phone analysis, I recognized the kind of excited hope in her voice that’s only ever felt by a long-time fan of a losing team; a kind of sports fandom I have yet to experience.

I was excited when the Cleveland Cavaliers were on the cusp of breaking their city’s 52-year losing streak, but that wasn’t my team; I hadn’t done the prerequisite suffering to say they were. And as anyone who saw “Believeland” knows, that championship wasn’t just exciting for the people of Cleveland; it constituted a seismic shift, a beautiful destiny fulfilled.

If the Cubs win this World Series, it won’t just be a neat thing that happened, it will mark the culmination of a struggle by one of the most roughed up fan bases in the world. The only problem is it’s starting to look less and less likely.

As I write this, the Cubs are down two games to the Indians’ three and the statistical chances of a comeback aren’t promising. Out of the 81 teams that have fallen behind three-to-one in a best-of-seven playoff series—as the Cubs did in Game 4—only 12 have comeback to win. In other words, only 14.8 percent of teams faced with the Cubs’ predicament have been able to pull out a series win; that number shrinks to 13.6 percent if you account for the fact that the Cubs will have to win their final two games at the Indians’ Progressive Field.

Although I’m still hopeful that the Curse of the Billy Goat has finally been lifted, I also believe that out of all the sports devotees in the MLB and beyond, Chicago fans are best equipped to handle a loss. What’s more, I think fans of the New York Yankees and Duke basketball are missing out.

There’s something beautiful about being part of a team that hasn’t won a championship since 1908. Because when the Cubs reach their peaks, Chicago fans get to wear that embroidered “C” of red and blue as a badge of honor as if to say “I was here the whole time.” And when the team stumbles into valleys, as it may after Game 6, real Cubs fans will continue to wear their caps and jerseys, united as only perennial losers can be.

An article from Psychology Today identifies two patterns of reactions among sports fans in response to team performance. The first, “Basking in Reflected Glory” (BIRG), refers to the process by which a team’s win might make fans feel better about themselves, prompting a more outward show of support. The second, “Cut Off Reflected Failure” (CORF), occurs when a team’s loss prompts fans to disassociate themselves in any way possible. The difference in reaction underlines the distinction between true and fickle fans. Fickle fans are more likely to assume the CORF line of action, while true fans will continue to sport team gear even after a trouncing.

I like to think that even if Duke was known as the perennial loser of college basketball—I know it sounds like the plot for a “Twilight Zone” episode—the Cameron Crazies would still pile into the stands and cheer on our squad. But any speculation on the subject is ultimately fruitless because as long as the crazed fandom has existed, Duke basketball has been a winning program. There’s no period for comparison.

In 1905, only 15 years after basketball was invented, Wilbur Wade “Cap” Card, director of a new program in physical education at Trinity College, began organizing a basketball team. Trinity reached the state’s first 20 victory season in 1917, and when Edmund M. Cameron became head basketball coach in 1929, his first two teams surprised by getting to the finals of the Southern Conference tournament while still new to the league. Cameron had a 14-year record of 226-99, and his teams won conference championships in 1938, 1941 and 1942.

The Cubs, on the other hand, experienced such demoralizing stretches of defeat that the only explanation seemed to be a curse. Chicago fans had to forge their love for the team from the little things. According to Daniel Wann, professor of psychology at Murray State University, Cubs fans don’t come back for the baseball dominance, but because they “love Wrigley Field...the bleachers and the community in the outfield bleachers.'”

And, of course, there is always the driving force of hope; the hope that one day a player dressed in blue and red might cradle the perfectly-designed Commissioner’s Trophy on a windy Chicago night.

Duke basketball has already raised their trophy five times and that’s one of things that makes the program so easy to love. How do you resist the temple of Cameron and the religion of Craziness? It’s a near impossible feat once you get to campus. We even get an easy pre-packaged response to level at the vocal haters: “Come back and talk to me when your team’s won five championships.”

And yet, if the Cubs win their last two games, and I hope they do, I like to the think all their fans will keep on remembering what was so special and romantic about rooting for the losers.

Victorious or not, go Cubbies.

Jake Parker is a Trinity sophomore. His column, "thinking too much, feeling too little," runs on alternate Wednesdays.