Holy cow: Cubs win, Cubs win, Cubs win
That’s why we watch.
So that one day, after all the dreadful seasons and after all the heartbreak, it finally happens.
There are Cubs fans all over the planet walking around in a daze right now.
Yes, it really happened.
When the San Francisco Giants finally won in 2010 and broke their 56-year drought, a mere dry spell, compared to the Cubs’ 108 years, I literally hyperventilated. My brain could not comprehend that the Giants had won it all. When I went to San Francisco for opening day the next year and they replayed the final out, I hyperventilated again.
For me, my team winning was a sign that good things can really happen in this world. This may sound a little melodramatic, but I was coming out of a dark time, which included my father’s death, a sobering experience.
I can only imagine how Cubs fans are feeling right about now. The amount of history — both throughout the world and in personal terms — in 108 years staggering. William Howard Taft was the president running against William Jennings Bryan. (Colorado’s five electoral votes went for the latter. I’m a politics junkie as well — Florida had only five electoral votes in 1908. The quintessential swing state in modern elections now has 29.)
In these 108 years, we’ve gone from new-fangled things called automobiles to walking around with what are essentially computers in pockets. Countries have risen and fallen, not to mention two worldwide conflagrations.
But it’s more about the personal history. Generations of families are rejoicing in person or spiritually. As for the latter, former Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray’s grave was beautifully littered with tributes on Thursday. (Caray is a member of the family for Cubs fans.)
How many raised a glass of whatever they like to a family member or friend on Wednesday night?
By and large, sports are a much-needed diversion from real life, and, for Cubs fans, this is the ultimate. Enjoy, savor, and, if you’re like me, buy everything that says your team won.
Other thoughts on the Fall Classic
• Yeah, I feel for Cleveland fans. Yes, the Cavaliers won the NBA title this summer, but the Indians and the Browns are the teams that are really interwoven in the psyche of that city. The consolation is that the Cubs (108 years), the White Sox (88 years), the Red Sox (86 years), and yes the Giants (56 years) have all won in the last decade or so. These victories tell us that the Cleveland Indians’ time will come.
• Was this is greatest World Series Game 7 ever? If you’re a Cubs fan, obviously. I’d vote for 2014, but both Cubs and Giants fans are biased. We need to avoid the trend of proclaiming the most recent event the greatest ever.
Bill Mazeroski and the Pittsburgh Pirates beating the Yankees, 10-9, in 1960 is still the leader in the clubhouse. A walk-off homer to beat the vaunted Bronx Bombers? That’s hard to beat. That suffers from being from an era when TV wasn’t as universal as it is now.
The 1991 finale — Twins and Braves — and Jack Morris outdueling John Smoltz is also a contender, as is Diamondback-Yankees in 2001.
• Was it a terrific Game 7? Absolutely. It was heart stopping to watch, even with no dog in the fight. I’m amazed most Cubs fans are still alive after that one. You’re up 5-1 and 6-3 and then Rajai Davis Homer to tie it in the bottom of the eighth? There is a side of the warped fan’s brain — and I count myself as warped — that you are not going to win after that.
This was also a terrific Game 7 for baseball, the most watched World Series game since 1991, according to the Wall Street Journal. Yes, I love the NFL, but baseball is my favorite sport and this was good for the game.
• Did Cubs manger Joe Maddon over-manage this game? Yes. Taking out starting-pitcher Kyle Hendricks after four-and-two-thirds innings with a 5-1 lead was a little much. Hendricks could have soaked up more innings.
This was key as Maddon over-pitched closer Aroldis Chapman in Game 6 with a big lead for some reason, and Chapman was clearly gassed by Game 7.
But, let’s face it, the Cubs were due a break cosmically. Enjoy, Cubs fans. Your long national nightmare is over.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.