THEY DID IT! The Cubbies are World Series Champions!

Chicago Cubs' David Ross is carried by teammates after Game 7 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Cleveland Indians Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, in Cleveland. The Cubs won 8-7 in 10 innings to win the series 4-3. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Chicago Cubs' David Ross is carried by teammates after Game 7 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Cleveland Indians Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, in Cleveland. The Cubs won 8-7 in 10 innings to win the series 4-3. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Sports are cool, man.

Either that or the first seal of the apocalypse has been broken.

That’s right! Because the Chicago Cubs are actually WORLD FREAKIN’ CHAMPIONS!!!

Before I started writing this column, I asked myself: Where do I even start? There’s so many different headlines and stories to cover from this year’s fall classic, from the Chicago Cubs winning for the first time in 108 years all the way to a naked (and probably drunk) Cubs fan celebrating on the mound.

But let’s start with the game that ended that 108 year old drought for Chicago: Game 7 – Which is probably the best World Series game, no, the best baseball game ever that we’ve seen in 108 years!

I’m more of a journalist rather than a fan nowadays, and my interest in baseball has declined a lot with the lack of action compared to the sports of basketball and football. But Wednesday night? Wednesday night I was a fan. I was a kid again. It was so cool! Two teams with two fan bases with two cities who have both experienced massive pain, both on and off the field, giving us a seven game series and giving us a Game 7 that will go down as possibly the greatest baseball game that we’ve ever seen! And it was! (Nevermind the lousy 108 year joke that I made earlier.) That game, this World Series, rejuvenated baseball fandom for a lot of us.

The Cubs and Indians both scored 27 runs each in the World Series. Yes, both scored the exact same amount of 27 runs in seven games of the World Series. That is an amazing statistic. And it truly shows you how great this matchup between the Cubs and Indians was. It was epic. Absolutely epic.

But before we get to Chicago, let’s get to Cleveland. Oh, poor Cleveland. But do we necessarily need to feel bad for the fans and the city?

Yes, they blew a 3-1 lead. It’s devestating. But there’s no more “we have to feel bad for Cleveland because they haven’t won a championship in 60+ years” logic. The Cubs did to the Indians exactly what the Cleveland Cavaliers did to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals this past season! And by the way, LeBron James is annoying. I just want to say that. I am so tired of hearing about this LeBron James/Cleveland lovefest, but one thing we can say: The man certainly has had the midas touch with that city. So I don’t want to hear any of that Cleveland pity nonsense, and not just because of my own selfish reasons: It’s time for Chicago to ROCK! It’s time for Chicago to CELEBRATE!! But I can’t really advocate the rioting…

A Chicago scanner was heard mentioning that there was a naked Cubs fan on the mound celebrating the World Series victory, and not only that, but there were other Chicago fans who took an electric pole down and were carrying it down the street with live wires.

Rioting or extreme celebration? For the sake of fun, we’ll call it extreme celebration. After all, you wouldn’t know how to celebrate either if the last time you were a champion was 108 years ago.

With all of the negative press about the city of Chicago lately involving mass murder and shootings, it’s nice to see the city celebrate for a little bit.

Oh man, I can’t write and say it enough: 108 YEARS AGO. And let’s discuss that real quick: This whole “billy goat” curse.

If you have no idea what the “Curse of the Billy Goat” is, here’s an explanation from Wikipedia:

“The Curse of the Billy Goat was the name of a sports-related curse that was supposedly placed on the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball franchise in 1945 by Billy Goat Tavern owner William Sianis that lasted in a 71-year period from 1945 to 2016. Because the odor of his pet goat, Murphy, was bothering other fans, Sianis was asked to leave Wrigley Field, the Cubs’ home ballpark, during game 4 of the 1945 World Series. Outraged, Sianis allegedly declared, “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more,” which has been interpreted to mean that either the Cubs would never win another National League (NL) pennant, or that they would never again win a World Series.

The Cubs lost the 1945 World Series to the Detroit Tigers, and did not win a World Series championship again until 2016. After the incident with Sianis and Murphy, the Cubs did not play in the World Series for the next 71 years until, on the 46th anniversary of Billy Sianis’ death, they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 in game 6 of the 2016 National League Championship Series to win the NL pennant. The Cubs defeated the American League (AL) champion Cleveland Indians 8-7 in game 7 (which lasted 10 innings) to win the 2016 World Series, thus ending the curse.”

Do I believe in curses? I don’t know. But 108 years is a long time. And if curses are real, Theo Epstein is the ultimate curse killer.

I grew up a Dolphins fan, was all about Miami fandom as a child, and you know… I could have really used Theo back then. Back when that (explicit) team broke my heart every fall as an innocent child. And I know you Eagles fans out there who have suffered nothing but anger and pain know what I’m talking about. Shut up, Steelers fans.

But in all seriousness, what Theo Epstein has been able to accomplish is incredible. He first takes the Boston Red Sox who didn’t win a World Series in 86 years due to the “Curse of the Bambino”, makes a few key moves such as picking up Kevin Millar and Curt Schilling. and breaks the curse with a World Series in 2004 and then winning another in 2007. Then goes to the Chicago Cubs, a national punchline, loses 101 games in the first year of being President of Baseball Operations, and then four years later he’s a three time world champion and responsible for breaking a 108 year old curse. It’s just absolutely glorious what Epstein has been able to do throughout his career. I mean, who’s next? I was joking around earlier about NFL teams, but seriously..Ep..go to the Phillies or Pirates. Bring another World Series to Pennslyvania. I’m sure we would all appreciate Eppy coming here, right?

But not only has Theo Epstein won three world championships and ended two curses, but he’s set up the Chicago Cubs, a team loaded with talent, to be a potential dynasty.

And speaking of a potential dynasty, what happens if the Cubs do achieve multiple World Series? Do the lovable losers grow to be extremely hated?

It’s interesting to think about.

The Cubs weren’t only a national punchline, but we love the ‘Cubbies’. The ‘lovable losers’ tag is one of the truest things in the world. I don’t believe I’ve ever met one person who hasn’t felt bad or cheered on the Cubs when they were in the postseason. I’ve even caught myself rooting for Chicago a little bit, and I’m not that emotional when it comes to sports. Especially a team that I have no emotional attachment to in the first place.

But to have a team go from that for so long, 108 years to be exact, to a multiple world champion dynasty… How do you react to that? How are we supposed to react to that?

That’s why the Chicago Cubs are going to be a very interesting team to follow for the next few years. Not only from a dominating and dynastic point of view, but also psychologically with baseball fans across the map.

Most sports fans like to hate the consistent winner. We see it all the time in every sport. So do the lovable losers turn into the new version of the New York Yankees being the most hated? Only time will tell.

But while the Cubs winning their first World Series in 108 years is still fresh and we still feel happy for this team, let’s just enjoy the moment. Especially when you have a Chicago Cub in David Ross who gets to go out as a world champion. We’ll worry about hating the young guys of Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo later.

And Anthony Rizzo, that guy. Rizzo put the game winning ball in his pocket and celebrated with it in said pocket, and then wouldn’t let it go when he took it out and kissed it repeatedly. And you know what? He deservs that ball. From being diagnosed with cancer at 18 years old, and now a world champion at 27. What a way to flip the script on life.

ESPN truly needs to make a 30 for 30 about this Chicago Cubs world champion team, about that World Series, about the Game 7, all of the interesting and sexy headlines to get to this point, the pain on and off the field that the cities and fan bases of Chicago and Cleveland have to endeavor.  It would truly be an amazing movie. I’m sure the folks over at ESPN are already talking about it. And round of applause to them for that commercial they released immediately after Game 7! If you haven’t seen it, check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

And since it seems that I’m giving shout outs right now; let me give a shout out to Michael Lee, a high school kid back in 1993, who predicted in his high school’s yearbook at that time that the Cubs would win the World Series in 2016. Somebody give that guy a cookie!

I don’t know if he’s a Cubs fan or just some kind of evil sports genius, but if we’re on the discussion of Cubs fans, you have people who have been fans of this team since they were children, and they’re now in their 90’s. They have literally waited their entire life for this. No telling the kind of happiness they experienced on Wednesday night, or technically early Thursday morning. It had to be incredible. And the Cubs organization took care of their fans during the World Series. They actually wrote skip work notes for fans wanting to watch games of the World Series instead of going to work. But in all honestly, unless you’re on the south side of Chicago, why are you making your employees work in the first place? The Chicago Cubs being in the World Series is bigger than baseball!

But Cubs fans, I have a serious question for you guys, are you and Steve Bartman cool now? Can we end the beef? You guys need to forgive him now since you’re world champions. As a matter of fact, the Chicago Cubs should let him throw the first pitch in 2017, the game where they get their rings and reveal their banner, just to make it interesting.

It’s just crazy though. The Chicago Cubs are actually world champions. First time in 108 years.

2016 was a special year for the Chicago Cubs, the year that broke the curse of the Billy Goat. Cubs fans, young and old, will never forget where they were when they saw their team win the World Series. It isn’t just a baseball memory, it’s a memory of life. A city that’s been under a mass murder epidemic and multiple shootings every night, can relax and celebrate for a little bit. But let’s not forget the greatness of the front office and this team for years to come. That city and fan base isn’t going to know how to react winning World Series after World Series.

After all, if you don’t count the past 107 years, the Cubs just achieved a threepeat.

Andrew Powell is sports editor and sports journalist/writer for The Lock Haven Express, and radio host of ‘The Andrew Powell Show’ which is coming soon to www.lockhaven.com.

 

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