An Open Letter to Mark Cuban
Brian Gongol

Mr. Mark Cuban
The Pavilion
2909 Taylor Street
Dallas, TX 75226

July 28, 2007

Dear Mr. Cuban:

About six years ago, I made what has turned out to be a lousy investment decision. In a moment of overenthusiasm, I bought a few shares in the Chicago Tribune company. I wasn't very analytical in the process; I just noticed that the shares appeared to be reasonably priced at a time when everything else on Wall Street was going dot-com berserk, and I knew that the Tribune Co. owned the Chicago Cubs.

You see, I've been a Cubs fan practically since birth, and that makes me one of legions of masochists who perpetually believe that this will be our year. You'll notice we're doing it to ourselves again this year.

I tell you this because I realize now that I've left a couple hundred dollars' worth of my own money tied up in a stock just because it allows me to say I'm a (miniscule) part-owner in the Chicago Cubs. Not my wisest investment decision, by a long shot. And even though the company's stock is sliding, I'm still holding on, hoping that in 50 years I can tell my grandchildren that I was a (miniscule) part-owner of the team that won the World Series in 2007.

Now, we know that you have your eyes on the Cubs. And, to be honest, there are a lot of us who probably wouldn't mind if you bought the team. But we know that Bud Selig probably would. And we know that you might have trouble achieving the three-quarters majority required among other team owners, even if you were the highest bidder.

Mr. Cuban, we have our concerns, too: Chiefly, we want the Cubs to stay at Wrigley, and we don't want anyone to mess with the place. You could offer to buy the White House and paint it purple for all we care, but we'll riot if anyone tries to change our friendly confines into a circus park.

But for all our concerns, we also know that you like to win. A lot. And it's been long enough now that we really wouldn't mind winning, a lot, too. And many of us believe that you're probably the one prospective buyer who really would try to win.

So, perhaps my reach exceeds my grasp, but I'd like to propose a partnership between you and, well, us. I've talked to dozens of other fans who agree that they'd be willing to put real money on the table in order to participate in a fan buyout of the Cubs, but we simply don't have any organization and our pockets aren't quite as deep as yours. Our only hope, really, of a fan buyout would be for us to rally around a potential buyer like yourself, and to participate in that person's offer as minority shareholders.

Here's what it means for you: A little more cash and a lot more heft with the powers that be who will probably try to block your bid. Most of us can't compete with your $2.3 billion net worth, but if there were 1,000 of us, or 10,000 of us, each willing to put some cash on the table, we could at least put a little bit of icing on the cake you've already baked (or at least take some of the sting out of risking half your net worth). But more importantly, we'd be turning a fight between you and Bud Selig into a fight between Bud Selig and the Cubs Nation.

Fan ownership of a team may be the second-best idea ever to come out of Wisconsin (the best was turning Old Style into the Cubs' official beer). And though I can only speak for myself, I imagine that thousands of us who really think this could be our year might be willing to front a few dollars apiece to ensure that we have a say in the future of our team.

So, would you think about it? Would you mind taking some of us along on the ride? Would you be willing to share some of the team in order to have a fan posse on your side against the powers that be?

I await your reply, just like I await our remaining 60 opportunities to win this season.

Go Cubs,

Brian Gongol