Forgive me. I was wrong.
The World Series is over, and for the first time in 108 years, the Chicago Cubs are riding off into the sunset with baseball’s most coveted prize under their belt.
It almost sounds too good to be true. The Chicago Cubs are World Series Champions.
Over a century of frustration: gone. Steve Garvey, Steve Bartman, Will Clark, Daniel Murphy, the Billy Goat….all the frusturation erased in one of the most epic game sevens that you will ever witness.
There were dingers. There were errors. There was a 3 run Cubs lead in that vanished when they were just four outs away from glory, when it loked like the Billy Goat was going to rear its ugly head just in time to add another chapter of misery to Chicago Cubs lore.
There were extra innings. There was a freaking rain delay in extra innings, if this game wasn’t insane enough as it was.
And there was Ben Zobrist, who delivered in the early hours of November 3, 2016 to send Chicago to the promised land.
And when Kris Bryant threw that slow roller down to Anthony Rizzo at first base to record that elusive final out, one at bat after a single that cut the two run lead in half, the celebration was on.
They dogpiled. They flew the W. Cubs superfan Bill Murray gave us an interview to remember. David Ross ended his career in the most magical of ways. Theo Epstein even cursed on live national-television.
Back in Wrigleyville: complete pandemonium. Packed-out bars erupted. Fans ran aimlessly down the streets. Food and drinks were flying. Fans broke into the stadium and breached the field. They climed street poles. They even uprooted an electrical pole and carried it down the street, live wires intact.
And here I was, having a hard time comprehending what I was seeing.
Three times Aroldis Chapman blew a save this postseason, all in the 8th inning. Four times the Cubs were shut out. Twice they went down in a playoff series, and 3-1 looked impossible to claw back from. Not when you’re going back to Cleveland. Not when no team has accomplished such a World Series comeback in nearly 40 years.
And yet, maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised. The comeback in game 4 of the NLDS (which I am still in denial from, resident Giants fan here). Three straight wins to knock of the Dodgers after going down 2-1 in LA. Hanging on after going down 3-1 to force a game seven in this series. I wrote off Chicago after all of those instances, and yet they proved me wrong. And hey, Cleveland was bound to blow a 3-1 lead after all at some point in 2016 right?
Turns out that was just the case.
So go treat yourself to a deep-dish pizza and Chicago dog. Free the chains from Steve Bartman once and for all. The Chicago Cubs are no longer the loveable losers, and you should savor these times. We may not see it again in our lifetime for all we know. Nothing is guaranteed. I don’t think anybody in 1908 thought the Cubbies would go 108 years without bringing another one home. But don’t let that thought bog down these happy times on the Northside.
Legendary Cubs boardcaster Harry Caray once said “as sure as God made green apples, one day the Chicago Cubs will be in the World Series. That day may be sooner than we think.”
Sure enough, they did make it back sooner than many of us any thought. And now, whether it be on the corner of Addison and Clark, or from high up above in the heavens, Cubs fans past and present can party at a sight that they thought they might never witness.
Because the Chicago Cubs freaking won the World Series.
***Feature image courtesy of CNN***