Thursday, November 3, 2016

Cubs Nation victorious at long last

So, the long wait in Chicagoland is over.

Photo: AP

It may seem like a very small thing, considering how close we have come to the corrupt, socialist oligarchy that is already in power preparing to completely unleash their coup d'état, depending on which way the electorate goes on November 8. Have you heard the news on WikiLeaks, by the way? Russia, my ass.
Anyway, let's take a trip back to an America that was strong, that had to fight for everything it was to gain, whose population was used to going without but had a sense of purpose and community and was still on a high from the aftermath of the Spanish-American war victory. The upright vacuum cleaner had just been invented and its creator was seeking a patent for it. Ernest Shackleton set off for Antarctica on the Nimrod. The first Model T automobile was introduced by Henry Ford. And the Chicago Cubs won the World Series.
That year was 1908.
Until November 2, 2016, that was the last World Series title the Cubs ever saw. Since then, many teams have established themselves as perennial winners: The Athletics, both in Philadelphia, then Oakland. The Dodgers, in Brooklyn, then Los Angeles. The St. Louis Cardinals. The New York Yankees. Eventually, many years later, recent exhibition teams such as the Kansas City Royals, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Florida Marlins shook up baseball. Older teams such as Baltimore and Detroit got a title each. The Red Sox broke the curse after an 87-year drought. The White Sox won the year after, ending an 88-year curse.
The only teams left standing, that aren't post-1969 additions to the league, that hadn't won a title in ages were the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs. Indeed, how fitting that both should compete in the World Series.
Cleveland has been in the playoffs regularly since the mid-1990s, having come in first place in their division seven times since then and appearing in the '95 and '97 World Series contests. The Cubs hadn't been in a World Series since 1945. The last time they came close to being in the WS, in 2003, it was ruined by a fan interfering with a fly ball that Moises Alou would have otherwise caught in the National League playoff series. So, if you didn't know the back history, there it is. The Cubs were demonstrably worse off than the Indians, whose most recent championship title was 68 years ago.
My wife and I had friends in Chicago that we saw in person in 2005 and 2006. Both were Cubs fans. I learned a lot about Cubs fan culture from them. It shared similarities with the agony that Red Sox Nation had experienced, but at the time, we had just won the first out of three championships with which we have been blessed since the turn of the century. And the outrage at the 2003 NL playoff fan interference was still being felt by Cubs fans. I heard commercials on Chicago radio referencing the time-honored patience, resilience and ultimate resignation of Cubs fans.
During our first visit to Chicago in '05, I was wearing my Red Sox cap through customs. The officer there said, "Oh, trying to rub it in?" I smiled good-naturedly and insisted that I wasn't. "Well," the officer sighed. "You know what they say. The enemy of my enemy is my friend." He was alluding to the St. Louis Cardinals, one of Major League Baseball's most successful teams, second only to the Yankees, and a divisional rival of the Cubs.
I have looked Cubs fans in the eyes. I have known what they must have felt up until now. And I definitely know the jubilation, ecstasy and elation they must be feeling today. I'm happy for you, Cubs Nation. Well done. Let this be just the start of a very successful string of World Series victories for you. You definitely deserve it.
In fact, have a dragon on me:

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