Friday, 14 October 2016 11:46

We Love Our Underdogs!

Now that David Ortiz and the Red Sox have cashed in their chips and the Yankees have put their uniforms in the cedar chest, it’s time to think about what team will be the next World Series champion. How about the National League Chicago Cubs? They have not been World Series Champions since 1908. The Cubs won back-to-back World Series titles in 1907 and 1908. They are the first franchise to win 2 consecutive titles, and play in three World Series in a row. The Cubs have been in 10 of baseball’s WS championships, most recently in 1945. The city of Chicago has been in frenzy over the current status of their team. Of course there is that “other” Chicago baseball team, the Chicago White Sox. In recent memory the White Sox have made more World Series appearances than their state rival. I won’t turn my back on the Cleveland Indians, the potential American League World Series representative. The Indians have also had a World Series championship drought, having been 68 years since their last victory. Recently the Indians eliminated the Red Sox earning an appearance in the American League Pennant Series. The irony is gleeful, because a few short years ago the Red Sox manager was Terry Francona, notably winning the World in 2004 and 2007 with the team. He was let go from the organization in 2011, and now manages the Cleveland Indians. Eliminating Boston from World Series contention must have been an accomplishing feeling for Francona. My daughter lives in Chicago. Her son loves to sing “Take me out to the ball game.” His lyrics are a little different. Thanks to his father, the part that says “Let me root, root, root for the home team,” is now “Let me root, root, root for the Cubbies.” It’s quite heartwarming to see such a young boy develop a love for his favorite baseball team at such an early age. The Cleveland Indians versus the Chicago Cubs could make for an interesting World Series. It would be a nice change from the cycle of predictable teams that have graced the world with their baseball abilities. Ever think about why Americans love the underdog? If nothing else, it helps restore hope in an otherwise grim world. We as fans are responsible for our own sports experience. There’s an intuitive understanding of something big is about to happen; Or that realization that our favorite sports team might not have a successful season. This can be said when fans stay through the end of an entire sporting event, regardless of how good or bad their team might be playing. If there is an Indians-Cubs World Series, there will be great anticipation for how it plays out. We would all be a part of the changing times of MLB history, witnessing the end of the Cubs’ World Series drought. Since the Chicago Cubs had won the world championship in 1908, times have drastically changed. Here’s one statistic to ponder. Since their last World Series Championship, the Cubs have played approximately 15,000 regular-season games. Imagine the disappointment those fans must have felt after each loss and each missed chance at playoff contention. Yet if you turn on a Cubs game you will still see those loyal fans in the stands until that final out. Those fans are choosing to make their sports experience memorable, and stick with their team through all of the season’s ups and downs. If it’s not already apparent, I am an avid Chicago Cubs fan. I am one of those fans that will watch the game until the end regardless of the score. If the Cubs advance to the World Series, it would be more meaningful than in past years. Aside from their championship drought, it will give those diehard Cub hopefuls redemption, rewards for rooting for their team each game of every season. If a well-known team had won the World Series, it wouldn’t be as meaningful. It almost becomes expected. If an underdog such as the Chicago Cubs wins the World Series then it gives those loyal fans a glimmer of hope. A glimmer of hope that comes after 108 years of wishing, watching, and waiting.
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