Fly the W

After what has felt like a 71-year-long losing streak, the Chicago Cub’s are headed to the World Series for the first time since 1945 and with the chance to win a title after their 108-year dry spell. As I sit on my couch, my cub’s hat still perched on my head and my heart still reeling from Anthony Rizzo’s final out of the game, I can’t help but reflect on the last 20 years in Cub history. The years I’ve gotten the opportunity to be a part of.

You see I was raised in a family that worshipped the Windy City’s favorite underdogs; no question I was born and bred a Cub’s fan. I grew up attending games in those iconic Wrigley Field bleachers, trading baseball cards with my brother and professing my love for Sammy Sosa. (Of course this was before all of the bat corking and steroid use.) I’m not a bandwagon jumper or a circumstantial fan. I’ve spent my entire life rooting for the team that loses, but despite the years of disappointment, it’s only made rooting for this winning team that much more special.

Back in second grade, I attended the 2003 playoffs in Atlanta, and while at the time I couldn’t understand the real significance of their post-season run, I still cheered from the stands with every other Chicago fan. And I felt a similar devastation when the dream ended as quickly as it had begun. Yet I’m thankful, not that my parents and brother and aunts and uncles and cousins had to wait another 13 years to watch their team win the pennant – but that I could experience this moment today, at an age I can truly appreciate it. I’ve gone 20 years without watching a Chicago Cub’s World Series and yet I’m so lucky it’s unfolded this way. I get to be a part of something that Chicago has been dreaming about for the past 71 years and hopefully be a part of something they’ve dreamt about for 108. The most patient, dedicated city in the world finally gets to witness sports history.

The Chicago Cub’s have been called the “Last Great American Sports Story” and this very well may be true. They have a record as the most losing team in sports history -  not MLB history, not professional history, but in all of sports. Period. Even though they are finally heading back to the World Series and they have their first opportunity to break that long-standing Billy Goat curse, it doesn’t mean that their story is over. It doesn’t mean that the “Last Great American Sports Story” has to end, because the Chicago Cub’s are so much more than their iconic losing record. This city, this team and the fans are so unlike any other MLB experience. Plain and simple, the Chicago Cub’s are a phenomenon. I’ve sat in other stadiums and I’ve met other fans, but there isn’t an experience quite like the Cub culture. There is a rare passion and loyalty that I swear only exists within this organization.  I mean, we’ve stuck around despite a tough 108 years, but hey "anyone can have a bad century."   

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