American sport does narrative really, really well. And baseball has a fixed reference point that is unlike any other sport in the world, whose definitions of success change over the years. After all, the Super Bowl has only been around since the 60s and in England, the Football League has been replaced by the Premiership. The World Series, however, dates back to 1903.
In any sport, for a team to have a 100+ year history is incredibly rare. And for that team to have tried and failed to achieve its unchanging goal for more than a century, is probably unique.
I have been a Cubs fan since 1982, when my college girlfriend's father - Andrew Andrews - introduced me to baseball, the Chicago Cubs and Leinenkugel all in one day.
Andrew was there last night, in spirit, as was his wife Dorothy.
So too were the thousands of people memorialized on the walls of Wrigley Field over the last few days by their loved ones - grand parents and parents and siblings and husbands and wives and children and best friends and neighbors and fathers and mothers of girlfriends and boyfriends - all of whom had left us before we could share this with them. One man drove 600 miles to share last night with his father, keeping a promise they had made to each other if the Cubs ever got to the World Series. When he arrived, he took his radio and listened to the game, sitting beside his father’s grave.
The Cubs are a metaphor for so many aspects of life. But in the final analysis, they are the ultimate human story of perseverance against the odds.
The drama of last night surpassed any fiction. The great plays, the terrible plays. The heroism, the stupidity. The confidence, the fear. And the grin that swept across Kris Bryant's face as he scooped up the ground ball that would win the World Series and fired it across 108 years of history and into the mitt of a lifelong memory.
The sudden rain storm that came out of nowhere at exactly the right moment, giving the Cubs a chance to regroup when it looked like they had thrown away a certain win and we had started to believe this was our destiny, as well as theirs.
And then their ability to prove that, finally, they were the team we had always hoped they would be but had always feared they could never be - a team that could overcome everything anyone could throw at them. A team that could rally again and again and again until, with one last heroic effort, they carried not only themselves across the Rubicon, but us with them.
There was a moment last night when I wanted to accept that we were going to lose. That the momentum had turned and that we could do nothing to stop it. That somewhere, in some existence, we had already lost.
And then I decided, sitting alone with just Ally for company, that tonight would not be that night. That the outcome was not settled. That hope was still possible.
In that moment, I posted this on my Facebook page.
"You gotta believe. No doubts, people. Just pour positive energy their way. They got this. #flytheW"
34 minutes later, the Cubs were World Series Champions.
I don’t know that the two are connected.
I don’t know they are not.
I do know that hope trumps fear.
I do know that love trumps hate.
I believe Hillary will win next week.
Just pour positive energy her way.
She’s got this.