It is 1:43 am. I have been crying for almost an hour now, and I can’t stop.
Tonight, for the first time in a century, the Chicago Cubs are World Champions.
The hows and whys will be discussed for years, maybe for the rest of our lives. This series was truly magnificent. Everything that you would want in a World Series matchup. No matter who won, shackles would have been released on a fanbase who were sick and tired of being downtrodden underdogs, sick of being laughing stocks. Sick of being just good enough.
Many times the fanbase identifies with the franchise. We take on its baggage as our own. For Cub fans, we spent a century trying to be hopeful, trying to be optimistic, but knowing that it was another year of of a fruitless harvest. Failure was our lot in life. We would be good, but not good enough.
We are champions. The team won, but we won, too.
The old ladies and old men who lived their whole lives thinking they might never see this day. The seriously ill or dying people who take strength from their team. The kids in the hospital who idolize their favorite players who come to visit, who hug them and treat them like a friend. The people who feel broken down by life, who see the Cubs winning as something good to hold onto. The families who will make the trip to gravesites tomorrow with copies of the paper.
“We did it, Grandpa.”
“We won, Nana.”
“The Cubs are winners, Uncle Joe.”
We are champions, all of us.
108 years have gone by since the Chicago Cubs have won a World Series, but tonight, that burden was lifted. That was erased, washed away by rain and the unleashing of a million tears of joy and release. And like the ivy that covers the outfield wall, we’ll come back, strong, deeply rooted in Wrigley, in the Cubs. We don’t have to say “Wait ’til next year” anymore. We don’t have to sing about someday going all the way.
Someday is now.