Thursday, November 3, 2016

Did the Cubs Win?

Here's a weird sentence: The Chicago Cubs are World Champions.  

Here's another one: Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs.

And one more:  Finger monkey slushies never want raisins on whole wheat.

Okay,  that last one is really weird.  And off topic.  However,  all three of them are rarely written.  The first two I made up all by myself.  The last one is from MacBeth, or was it Othello?  One of those.

Well, now to the point.  Last night millions of people watched as the Cubs beat the Indians to win their first World Series title since 1908.  Do you know how many people watched them win in 1908?  6,210.  That's right.  Just the people who were actually inside the stadium.  That's because the television wouldn't be invented for another 19 years.  That may be difficult to imagine for some of us today.  Even if you did not watch the game last night, this morning you are no doubt being pummeled with highlights and social media buzz.  It's to be expected.  When something happens that hasn't happened since my kids' grandparents' parents' parents were alive, it's kind of a big deal.  Sure, it's baseball.  But baseball is kind of a big deal.  Not because I say so, but because.....well, look at the buzz.  It was a big deal before I declared it so.

I've seen some of this buzz (this is where we are in society; we now SEE buzz).  At least eleven people have congratulated the Cubs on their victory and included the words "well deserved".  I agree.  It was a well deserved victory.  But I think the reason it is well deserved is misunderstood.  The Cubs did not deserve to win just because it's been 108 years since they last did.  Baseball doesn't dish out titles evenly around the league but just decided to skip the Cubs in the rotation for more than a century.  Teams actually have to play games.  Lots of them.  They have to win the games.  The winner has to win a bunch of them during the season, and then several more in the playoffs.  In fact,  in the playoffs they have to win more than anyone else to become champions.  For now, at least.  Major League Baseball still keeps score.  So the Cubs deserved the title because they played well.  They had a great season and they outplayed their opponents in the playoffs.  That usually equals a championship.  It's earned.  It's well deserved.  

However, I must admit I liked the Cubs better when they were losers.  By "liked" I mean that I enjoyed reminding their fans that the first mass-produced Model T Ford automobile was only two weeks old the last time the Cubs held a trophy. 

I have a suspicion that even die hard Cubs fans, although elated right now, will eventually start believing that their team has lost something despite their winning. Maybe being perennial losers had an upside.  Maybe the tradition of losing instills a sort of upside down pride in fans.  They could always say they've stayed with the team through thick and thin (almost entirely thin).  Now, the die hards will find themselves surrounded by band-wagoners.  There will be a huge Craigslist market for used white sox merchandise as the sox fans convert to Cubs gear.  This win could turn out to be a curse for Cubs fans.  What's next?  A new stadium? 

Speaking of curses: The Cubs were said to be under the curse of the goat.  I don't even want to explain that for those who don't know already but this curse has been a good excuse for Cubs teams and fans for a long long time.  That's all gone now.  

Don't worry, I have this little guy in training for next year.