There’s a scene in the movie Ghostbusters where Bill Murray’s character claims the city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions, at which point it’s explained as: “Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes, the dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria!”
That’s exactly how I envision Chicago if it’s beloved Cubs ever win the World Series.
It’s no big secret that the Cubs haven’t been good in quite some time – and haven’t won the World Series since 1908, for that matter. The team’s 103-year drought is the longest in sports and with the Cubs current record sitting at 51-85 – the second worst in Major League Baseball – it’s safe to say you can tack on another year. But a lot happened to the franchise during those 103 years, which many believe hindered the team, such as a goat and Steve Bartman – but I’m not going to bring that up again.
Instead, I’m going to forget all about those incidents and take a trip to my fantasy world – a world where the Cubbies win the World Series, if only to ease the pain of one of sports’ most loyal fanbases.
You just have to wonder how insane the city would go. Boston went bananas after the 86-year Curse of the Bambino was lifted in 2004, so with at least 18 more years under its belt, the Windy City surely would take it to a whole other level – the likes of which no United States city has ever seen.
One would have to imagine that most of the third-largest populated city could finally die happy finally – except those who were crying into their Chicago White Sox gear. The buildings would all be lit up to spell any variety of words, while people would be running all throughout the streets, perhaps damaging anything in their path. If you’ve ever watched the Walking Dead, it would probably look something like Atlanta did, only instead of mindless drones feeding on flesh there would be thick accented witnesses, feeding on deep dish pizza. The river would be dyed a brighter shade of blue and the Sears Tower – or whatever it’s called these days – would be lit up blue and red.
Crying would ensue, parades would take place and people would surely run unclothed into Lake Michigan – after all it’s not that cold in early November, right?
The city could breathe a sigh of relief; while plenty of Major League Baseball fans all over the county would take pleasure in watching a team they had sympathy and pity for win baseball’s biggest prize, much like they did with Philadelphia some years earlier, and Boston before that. But who would then be next in line to earn the sympathy of the average baseball fan?
Oh, that’s an easy one, here are a few hints: it hasn’t won a major title since 1964, it’s known for its pierogies and its most well-known athlete took his talents to South Beach.
Yes, you guessed it – Cleveland, Ohio. How can you not already feel sorry for Cleveland – I know I do.
Cleveland has had it so rough the last 45 years that cities like Seattle and Buffalo can’t help but laugh at it. It’s not a city that people vacation at or even one with particularly good weather but I’m not here to tell you the touristy aspects of the city, just the sports aspect. And it doesn’t get much worse than Cleveland. It used to have a NHL team, but it was taken away. It used to have a successful NFL franchise, but it was taken away and has been a joke since it rejoined the league in 1999. Its NBA franchise has no championships – and just one conference title in its history. And then there’s the Indians.
Am I the only one that remembers the opening sequence to Major League?
The Indians are in the midst of the second largest drought in baseball, having not won a World Series since 1948. It’s probably best that I don’t mention the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s and instead skip ahead to the 1990s, when the team had a legitimate shot but came up short – especially in 1995, losing the World Series to the Atlanta Braves in six games. The tribe remained consistent until 2001 and really hasn’t been good since – except 2007 when the team had a 3-1 ALCS meltdown against Boston.
How can you not root for the Indians, since the team has the typical Cleveland track record?
As long as the Cubs continue to falter, the Indians will remain in the shadow of a team that every fan outside of Chicago feels sorry for. It could be a long wait for both cities – and another long winter!
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Warren Wimmer/Chicago Sports Review