Cubs Win: How Breaking a 108 Year Curse Affected More Than Just Chicago
By: Lucas Henley
America’s favorite pastime was the center of attention in the sports world for the majority of the 20th century. Unfortunately, the 21st century hasn’t been as kind, as the ratings and media coverage have shown. That is, until 2016.
For once, the W flew after September. The Chicago Cubs hadn’t hoisted the Commissioners Trophy since 1908, and haven’t even been to the World Series since 1945 due to the supposed “Billy goat curse.” The curse ended last fall, with what some people are calling the greatest game seven of all time. After much drama and action, the game ended in the bottom of the 10th, with final score being 8-7: the Cubs beating the Cleveland Indians, a team with a 68 year curse of their own.
When asked about his immediate reaction following the game, Mr. Brooks, a resident counselor and longtime Cubs fan said, “I laughed, cried, yelled, and screamed all at the same time. It was wonderful.”
Devin Roche, a student at LCHS, had this to say about the game: “The amount of emotion was insane, and there were only six people in the building. If it was that crazy then, then I don’t even know what it must have felt like at Wrigley. Like, all of these people want the same thing, and there are thousands of them at one place. That feeling even intensifies when you consider the history. I’m only 17, and this has felt like an eternity of waiting.”
The story of the year (other than the presidential election) was how the Cubs were going to win the World Series. In fact, that’s still the story right now. Many think the Cubs are in position to win again. The team has the reigning rookie of the year, the Cy-Young award winner, and they were full of young all-stars with a select few having MVP talent. That’s not even including the best pitching rotation in baseball.
“This team is stacked, if the GM’s play their cards right, they’re in contention for the championship for the next ten years. The amount of young talent they have, I haven’t seen anything like it,” argued Mr. Hughes, the chemistry teacher at LCHS who has been a Cubs fan for 40 plus years, and was pretty confident in the Cubs all year. “It’s weird, because part of me is in shock that it finally happened, but at the same time, this was expected. This team showed us this all year. If not this year it would have been the next one and so on and so forth.”
This also adds to the legend of this championship. The team didn’t win off of a fluke play or the other team not having their best player. They didn’t face easy competition or any other stigma that sometimes ails these types of teams. They won this from beginning to end, something the Cubs aren’t usually known for. There have been a few select teams that were poised for contention but nothing like this. Now, not only can the Cubs shock the country once, but twice.
The most amazing part of it all however is the fact that it affects so many people, even somewhere as small as Logan County. The entire Cubs roster probably doesn’t even know where Russellville, Kentucky is, yet the song they were listening to the night of the win was the same song playing through the entire school the next morning over the intercom (And one of our principals is a Cardinals fan). It shows, too, that the series has changed the community more than one may think. Longtime resident fans such as Officer Boobaz, Coach Wood, and even my dad, can finally cross this off their bucket list and forget the horrid past. Young fans such as Devin Roche, Sam Cundiff, and myself finally have something to look forward to and can proudly bring baseball back to the center stage. Our own baseball team can even use it as inspiration to increase their already stellar success. The team motto can be, “If the Cubs can win it all, then so can we!” the fact that the Cubs are raising the banner this year cannot only better Chicago, but cities and small towns all over America. It’s the ultimate feel good story: young people following their dreams, defying the odds, and inspiring others.
We’ll never know when the Cubs’ next World Series will be, and for once, fans can live with that. The tumultuous wait and heartbreak is over, we can now relax. As Mr. Brooks said, “The sky is bluer, the grass is greener, and the flowers smell better.”
Even though the future isn’t certain, one thing’s for sure. The fans will never forget Kris Bryant’s radiant smile as he throws the most important out in recent baseball history.