Chicago’s fortune is changing
By Selena Gonzalez Contributor
Hibernation is the physical state of energy reservation that many animals naturally resort to during cold, dark winters when food becomes scarce. For the average Chicago Cubs fan, a similar process usually happens during the baseball season. Preseason hype is stored up for several months and is later translated into hope for a potential march to postseason triumph. When the cold, dark autumns return, the Cubs’ fans attempt to live off the hope in a time where success is scarce.
The Cubbies are the last breed of lovable losers that everyone seems to rally behind. An 108-year-old championship drought tends to invite pity from most people.
Fortunately for all sports fans, Chicago’s snake bitten sons seem to have woken from their 71 yearlong slumber. The Cubs have finally made it to the World Series after seven decades of injuries, farce plays and paranormal superstitions that held them back (see the “Curse of the Billy Goat”).
They aren’t just happy to be here either; the Cubs can win the Worl d Sries this year. If not now, the next. There is s fresh feeling about this old franchise: the promise of the future has never been brighter.
Much attention has been made about the Cubs’ opponent in the title series this year, the Cleveland Indians. “The Tribe” is out to break their own championship drought of 68 years and they have looked impressive doing it. Cleveland steamrolled through the playoffs with dominant pitching and balanced hitting from their entire lineup. The Indians are helmed by one of the premier curse cancellers in the game, former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona, one of the many men responsible for breaking the curse of the Great Bambino in 2004 when managed the Red Sox to their first World Series in 86 years.
Cleveland’s track record may frighten other teams in the league but that doesn’t faze the Cubs. Thehy have everything needed to win it all this year. They have better pitching than Cleveland (see Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, Aroldis Chapman, etc). They have better hitting than the Indians (see Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, etc.)
If the Cubs hope to beat them and go on to hoist the Commissioner’s trophy for the first time in more than a century, then they must not underestimate Cleveland. The Cubs struggled at times with not performing at their optimal level due to lack of focus or being too enthralled into the moment. The standard pressure of playing for a championship has evolved into something else entirely when coupled with the potential to break one of the longest running droughts in American history.
One thing the Cubs do have on their side that most teams don’t have is resiliency. Lester and Rizzo are both cancer survivors. They’ve earned the right to a ring as they have endured the greatest battle any human can go through, cheating death. Kyle Schwarber is making his SEASON DEBUT this series after missing the whole rest of the season with an ACL tear he suffered in last year’s playoffs. Joe Maddon took an unknown and mediocre Tampa Bay Rays team to the top of the American League in 2008, when he led them to their first World Series. Don’t tell the Cubs the odds; they simply don’t care.
The general public often sees sports as trivial manners of entertainment. Rooting for the Cubs despite their failures is a matter of fan livelihood. Third, fourth and even fifth generation fans have been rooting for Cubs to win it all since they were born. It’s become tradition to celebrate nothing, to cheer on inevitable failure. Even when the times have been dark and windy in Chicago, the Cubs and their loyalists remained. If it doesn’t happen this year, the team is set to succesd in the future. If you were a true believer in the Cubs, believing in better is all you have. The permafrost is melting, the clouds are parting and the sun is shining brighter than the gold twinkle of the World Series trophy.