There are people who spent their entire life never seeing what I just witnessed: A Cubs World Series victory. Some fans have waited their entire lives to see this. Some have admitted to fighting to stay alive just to see it. I have no doubt some will consider this a reason to finally take their deserved rest. I finally had a chance to see it and, by some measures, I’m a recent convert to Cubdom. If you think about it, my love for the Cubs began around the time I moved to Chicago. For all my allegiance to teams like the Patriots and Celtics, when it comes to America’s pastime, my heart belongs to 1066 W. Addison Rd. (Boston is a very close second and the story behind this arrangement is a long one that is best saved for another time.)
Game 7 of this World Series will immediately go down in baseball lore: the pitching, the home runs, the rain delay, Heyward’s locker room speech before taking the field to finish the game. An instant classic and just the latest in a long line of Cubs stories that will be re-told for years to come.
Except this one ends differently. The tone in the narrator’s voice will be devoid of that hint of disappointment. It will be free of the headshake at the end that is always accompanied by raised eyebrows and a gaze into the distance wondering when it will be our turn. It will end excitedly, with a smile and a different kind of shaking head; one that reads, “I don’t know how they did it. But they did.” There will be joy.
But not too much. These are Midwesterners after all, taught never to get too far ahead of themselves or take things for granted. It would not have taken much for the outcome of the game to be different. Nothing is ever as good, or as bad, as it seems. It just is.
But for now, we celebrate. Ray Ray bought me one of the now-famed W flags and it arrived today. She encouraged me to open it during the game, a sure fire way to jinx the team if ever there was one. It stayed sealed in the its packaging until the final out. Had the game gone the other way, it would have stayed in that package until next season. That’s how these things are.
Time to get back to celebrating. If you can't watch the video above, check it here.