Greg Cote

Cubs’ victory proves to sports fans everywhere there is hope for the rest of us, too

Chicago Cubs fans celebrate in front of Wrigley Field in Chicago on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, after the Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game 7 of the Major League World Series in Cleveland.
Chicago Cubs fans celebrate in front of Wrigley Field in Chicago on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, after the Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game 7 of the Major League World Series in Cleveland. AP

At the moment more than a century's wait finally ended for the city of Chicago, TV cameras were scanning the crowd for the oldest Cubs fans they could find – not that anyone there was alive when this last happened, in 1908. But it was a millennial who caught my eye. He wasn't the focus of the shot. He was in the background amid the bedlam as he held up a hand-drawn sign.

“This one's for you, Grandpa,” it read.

This was for all the believers, the never-quitters, the always-next-year faithful.

This was for all those generations of fans who never lived to see the day, but said goodbye and handed down the hope with a Cubs cap in their coffin.

This was for the unending resolve in sports and in life that good things come to those who wait. Eventually. Probably. Maybe.

The Cubs win the World Series!

The Cubs win the World Series!

Anything is possible, is what this means. Miracles happen. If the team with the 108-year championship drought — longest of any of 122 franchises in baseball, football, basketball or hockey — can win it all at last, what is impossible?

Heck, there might be hope for the winless Cleveland Browns yet.

Chicago turned Cleveland's stadium into Wrigley Field East on Wednesday night. By the time it got to be Thursday morning and the 8-7, 10-inning, rain-paused Game 7 victory over the Indians was complete, you closed your eyes and it was Wrigley. You could almost see the ghosts of Harry Caray and Ernie Banks dancing a jig.

I mean, 1908!? Put it this way: In 1908, sliced bread hadn't been invented yet.

Is anybody in the entire city of Chicago working today? Cubs fans are too busy sleeping in with smiles because their dream became reality, then raising those blue 'W' flags, then checking with their neighbors to make sure it actually happened. That it's real.

The Cubs trailed 3 games to 1 in this best-of-seven series, becoming the first team since 1985 to win three in a row for the World Series title. Wednesday, they saw a 5-1 lead evaporate before rallying.

You had to feel bad for Cleveland Indians fans, who were poised to celebrate their first championship since 1948, a 68-year drought, second-longest in all of sports. (Miami Dolphins fans, waiting to cheer another Super Bowl champion since 1973, must get in a long line behind so many other fans waiting longer).

Cubs-Indians made for the perfect World Series. Or the “perfect world” series, perhaps, because somebody's long suffering was going to end, guaranteed.

There is a theory floating around that the Cubs finally winning is bad for baseball. USA Today had a story suggesting the Cubs were certain to lose in Game 7 – either the game, or their mystique.

Go ahead and suggest that notion to Cubs fans today. They won't hear you. They're a bit distracted. They're too busy cheering, and crying with joy, and remembering loved ones who died living for this day.

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