}

Thursday, November 03, 2016

‘Long-suffering’ no more

A photo posted by arthur_amerinz (@arthur_amerinz) on

So, the Chicago Cubs have finally won the World Series, for the first time since 1908. Huh! I always thought they could, I fervently hoped they would, but nevertheless was surprised when they did. A life-long wish has been fulfilled: We’re no longer “long-suffering Cubs fans”.

I know a lot of Cubs fans, but I don’t know any who were alive when the Cubs last won the World Series. I bet none of them knows anyone, they don't know anyone who does, and so on. What we’re talking about is generations of Cubs fans who never knew what it was like for our team to win the World Series, but we very well knew the phrase, “wait until next year!”.

I remember my dad watching Cubs games on TV when I was a kid, and complaining about one thing or another. My mother didn’t really care about baseball at all, but pretended she liked the Phillies—mostly to tease my dad. But the sound of Cubs games on TV is part of the summer soundtrack of my childhood.

As an adult, I lived and worked a couple blocks down from Wrigley Field—worked on Addison, and, toward the end of my years in Chicago, lived on a street between Clark and Halsted streets. Both were a short walk from Cubs Park, and when night games began, we got residents’ permits so we could park on the street on game nights.

I also remember even earlier years, when I worked much farther north, and when I took the El past Wrigley Field on my way home, I’d see the now-famous white flag with the blue “W” (as in the photo above, actually), as well as the blue flag with the white L. I liked the white flag better.

Even so, I didn’t often watch the Cubs on TV once I got out on my own, mostly because, apart from weekend games, I was working when they played. However, when I lived in Chicago I did go to some games, and Nigel went to one with me the first time we visited Chicago together.

So, like a lot of Illinoisans, my whole life has been entwined with the Cubs. Maybe them being lovable losers helped us learn how to cope with losing and move on. Maybe not. But for the first time in any of our lives, THIS year we were able to watch our team win a World Series; like so many folks have been saying since the win, “all is forgiven”.

I may have cheered and whooped a little too enthusiastically at the win, and I may, quite possibly, have shed a tear or two at the enormity of finally seeing something I’ve waited for my entire life. That’s not really surprising: “We lubs da Cubs”.

And we’re “long-suffering” no more.

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