I must’ve been in about the fifth grade when my great grandma passed away. I didn’t know her very well, but I remember my parents cleaning her house and helping pack up her belongings. My dad generously gave me my great grandma’s television. It was ancient, complete with an antenna and maybe 10 channel buttons – though it only got 4 channels and even those were a bit fuzzy. But none of that mattered to me. I was a kid with a tv in her room and I felt like the coolest. One of the channels that old television picked up was channel 9 – WGN.
When I was in junior high and high school, I remember coming home and watching the Cubs on that antique television. My parents weren’t super into baseball (my mom is now) so I’m not sure how I became so interested. But I followed the team and developed a love for the so called “lovable losers”. The Cubs had some decent teams throughout the years, but never made it very far into the post season.
In college, my friends and I were so excited to see the Cubs make the playoffs, we even decorated our dormitory window with the players’ names (and were later asked to remove them because it was considered a fire hazard). We went to Wrigleyville during the playoffs and rooted for our team. Most people recall the infamous Bartman fiasco and a World Series appearance was just not meant to be in 2003. That also happens to be the year I met A, an even bigger Cubs fan than myself, and I remember texting him and exchanging emails about the Cubs. He even sent me a newspaper photo of my favorite player.
Throughout the years, A and I have enjoyed so many games together. Cheering on our beloved Cubs no matter how pitiful they were, never wavering in our support and devotion. We had fun taking the boys to their first Cubs games. And this year, we had the opportunity to attend 5 games, including one in Pittsburgh.
And then last night happened. The moment we’ve been waiting years and years for. The moment we thought would never ever happen. Sure, we always hoped, dreamed, wanted, and wished, but the Cubs were known for losing in spectacular fashion and breaking hearts. It was something we’d grown accustomed to. Yet somehow, our team came back from 2 games down, winning three games in a row, winning in extra innings, to be crowned World Series Champions.
Some say it’s just a game. But it’s so much more than that. There is something to be said about supporting a cause bigger than one’s self. The emotions that come with each victory or loss, the camaraderie with fellow fans, the passion, the perseverance, the inspirational moments that accompany a game, the vulnerability. Supporting something you have absolutely no control over and keeping the faith isn’t easy, yet somehow it’s good for the soul. And when the stars align and the impossible happens, the sheer joy is worth every heartache, every tough loss, every disappointing year. In so many ways, sports are a metaphor for life.
No more waiting. "Next year" is here.
If the Cubs can win a World Series, anything is possible.