Baseball is interesting. To an outsider looking in, the game is slow and boring. Appreciating the game of baseball takes patience. To people that can see past the slow pace, baseball gives you countless reasons to love it, and this World Series exemplifies almost every single reason. The 2016 World Series featured two franchises with the longest current championship droughts in the league. The Cleveland Indians haven’t won a World Series in 68 years and the Chicago Cubs haven’t won in a staggering 108 years, for a combined total of 176 without a championship. Needless to say, a win for either franchise would change their respective city.
That win happened late Wednesday night for the Chicago Cubs.
Cleveland, for the longest time, has been the butt of jokes in the sports world. The Browns seem to always find a way to be bad. Small forward LeBron James left Cleveland, the city that raised him, to go win championships in Miami, and most people that remember the Indians’ last World Series title are long gone.
This year the tides have turned. The Cleveland Cavaliers won a title, and the Indians were one of the best teams in baseball all year long. It seems like you couldn’t write a more perfect story. That is, until you look at the city of Chicago.
The Cubs’ championship drought seems almost comical at this point. To say that they were due for a win was a drastic understatement. Chicago will always love their Cubs despite their record, and to see the city rally around this team when they’ve had a year like this is almost magical.
That is precisely why this series was so entertaining. It reminded fans why the game of baseball is so great. The passion and intensity spreads throughout the lineups, to the coaching staff and to the fans. Watching these two teams all season felt like a perfectly scripted movie not only for the residents of Cleveland and Chicago, but for casual baseball fans alike. The only problem with this movie, however, is that for one side, it did not have a happy ending. In the end, there has to be a loser. Unfortunately, that loser was Cleveland.
The matchup between the two deserving franchises in baseball made the series so entertaining; it was also the reason for devastating heartbreak in Cleveland. In their case, a loss is no doubt going to be hard to recover from. It shows the country that Cleveland is, in fact, still Cleveland after all.
Meanwhile, in Chicago’s case, a loss would have meant that the punch line just gets a little more ridiculous. “108 years” turns to “109” years. Subsequently, while the end of the series was no doubt a perfect ending for Chicago, it meant a devastating loss for Cleveland.
That’s why sports are so great. We give ourselves to our respective teams. We allow ourselves to be vulnerable. Sometimes, it results in fantastic joy when the results allow for this. This vulnerability, however, also leads to heartbreak. That’s something that you don’t get very often on the movie screen, where most traditional plotlines stick to the traditional good versus evil.
This series, however, was good versus good. So, Cleveland, better luck next year. And Chicago, congratulations, you deserved it.