“This one’s for the whole Magilla!For the whole kitten caboodle! For the whole bowl of wax! THIS is for ALLLL the marbles!!!” – John Candy from Rookie of the Year. This quote was never more appropriate. I’m going to start by saying, very simply, I don’t believe in curses.
I am writing this post prior to the outcome of Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. I have not been very shy on social media and my blog about the baseball season this year. My apologies for that, I cannot help being just a little excited for the Cubs. You will not be regaled with anymore childhood tales as to why I root for the “lovable losers”; by now I’m sure you all know the reasons. Actually I’m going to talk about the historical significance of this game.
Curses! Foiled Again!
I swear every team that has a long drought of World Series wins and/or appearances seems to have some “alleged curse”. It’s a billy goat, the Bambino, Rocky Colavito or Black Sox; someone associated a string of bad performances to some bizarre or unpopular decision. It’s human nature to try to explain what cannot be explained. Granted superstition in sports is not that uncommon. There are literally thousands of stories out there of players and fans that perform certain pre-game rituals. It doesn’t matter if it’s a superstition, voodoo or luck, the purpose is to prepare mentally for the task that lies ahead.
Just as its human nature to explain the unexplained, we also try to control what cannot be controlled. Even as I sit here talking about the futility of curses and superstition, I am still guilty of practicing it (it’s no hypocritical, its cognitive dissonance). It’s a very powerful force within our nature to try to will something to happen when we have no influence on the outcome. A botched play or fan interference is not inflicted by a curse because it’s also human nature to make mistakes, but our psyche is very fragile.
For the Indians, it’s Pride
The historical significance of this game is the fact that the two teams with the longest period of time since a World Series Championship, are playing each other. One of these teams will finally end the drought. One of these teams will “end the curse”. 1948 was the last time the Cleveland Indians won the World Series. They are second only to the Cubs (at 108 – which I’m sure you all know by now). So, for the Indians, losing this game means they become the team that has gone the longest without winning a World Series. If I were an Indians fan, that is what would be weighing on my mind.
The Indians are a very tough team. They have very skilled pitchers. If you have been watching any of the games, Corey Kluber is a phenomenal pitcher to watch. I had no idea the Indians had that kind of power in their pitching staff. Andrew Miller is no slouch either. These guys are in it to win it and I’m very proud to be playing against such a fantastic team.
For the Cubs, it’s Principal
So 1908, as you probably heard a thousand times, is the last year the Cubs won a World Series. 1945 is the last time the Cubs were even in the World Series. It is also the fateful year when Billy Sianis inflicted his famous curse. So the 71 year drought has ended. The Cubs made it to the World Series. Unfortunately they now have the HUGE responsibility of 100 years of “cursed” history to overcome (not to mention all the Cubs fans watching and judging their every move). We have to be ready to accept the fact that we can lose tonight. “New Girl” actor, and long time Cubs fan, Jake Johnson once wrote “We can not be little children scared of a curse. We can not gasp when a player makes an error.“(that’s a great article by the way).
This is going to be an epic end to an epic World Series. Whatever the outcome, it’s going to be hard on the losing team and the fans. We all have so much emotion riding on this game. We all need to be good sports to each other whether you’re the winner or the loser. The winning team should sympathize for the other team and fans and the losing team, and fans, should reciprocate with congratulatory remarks. A sore winner can be just as awful as a sore loser. So forget about the past and look toward the future because, as we Cubs fans always say, “there’s always next year”.