It was exciting.
It was gut-wrenching.
It was just short of amazing.
At approximately 2am last night Nova Scotia time, the Cubs did it. They won a World Championship. It has been a long, long time coming …
Most of you know I come from Chicago. I lived the first 42 years of my life in the city and surrounding suburbs. The first 13 years of my life I lived on the south side of the city – IN the city. It was so different back then.
I remember the first ball game I ever went to. My friends and I (probably about 10 years old) all took the bus (well – several buses) to the north side to go to a game at Wrigley Field. It was a Friday. I remember that because it was “Ladies Day” and we got into the park for free. We sat in the left field bleachers and had a ball. It was a great memory.
My grandfather used to drive a truck for a living. He would leave early in the morning before the sun came up and come home around 3pm, right before we got home from school. During baseball season, he would spend the afternoon watching the Cubs play. There were no lights at Wrigley then. The games started in the afternoon. Jack Brickhouse was a common name in our home (those were the days when Harry Carey was an announcer for the Sox) and if the game were close, my grandfather would turn it off in disgust – “I can’t even watch!”, he would say. Those memories all came flooding back last night. I am sure that somewhere, somehow, he is happy.
Since coming to Nova Scotia 12 years ago I haven’t watched too much sports. I used to be an avid football fan,, with games going all weekend long in the season. I would watch baseball on and off when the opportunity arose, but we all know how it goes – sometimes life gets in the way. I don’t have ‘regular TV’ here anymore and being in Canada, things just aren’t the same.
But these past few weeks have been different. Many of you know that I spend a good amount of time on Facebook. There I have reconnected with so many friends from my childhood and you adulthood, as well as made new friends from all over the world who share my interest in art and creating in many forms. It has truly been my 'window to the world’ these past years and allows me to live in a beautiful, rural area and still have friends and family near by. Sometimes technology is really amazing.
Throughout the past couple of weeks, as the Cubs came closer to wrapping it up, I noticed something nice. Instead of the usual bickering and nasty political comments and posts, there were more posts that were supportive and encouraging regarding the Cubs. It appeared that so many people were pulling for them. Not only those from Chicago, such as myself, but from all over. Everyone loves an under dog.
I was unaable to see the game live last night, but I did find a 'virtual scoreboard’ that kept score close to 'real time’. I tuned that in and was doing some things here while keeping watch. I also saw the growing posts of my family and friends as the game progressed. It made it fun.
I was reminded of days gone by when games were 'blacked out’ in Chicago and my grandfather would put the radio on in the bathroom and go in there to listen. (This happened with Bears games as well as White Sox games too). I remember listening back then with no visual and still feeling the great excitement and sometimes disappointment as our team(s) fought for victory. That in itself filled me with emotion.
The evening progressed and the excitement grew. I found myself being more and more drawn to my Facebook friends. I began seeing better play-by-play from them than the channel I was watching. No matter where they lived now, we had the common bond of growing up in Chicago and waiting until “Next year” for it to be THE year of the Cubs.
Well, last night made THIS year Next Year! You all probably know it by now. Some of you care more than others. Some may be quite indifferent. As for me, I am thrilled!
I am not only happy for the team, but I was so happy to see the excitement that brought everyone together for those few hours during the game. People that I have seen post completely opposite viewpoints on politics, the election and so many other subjects, were all joined together in happiness and anticipation. Even the Cleveland fans were cool. Everyone was respectful and excited and having FUN! Besides the occasional “goat” post, there was nothing at all bitter, mean or negative. It just goes to show how people can be on opposite sides and still get along. It is a lesson we all need to observe, I think.
I give the Cleveland team and fans a huge amount of credit. I am sure their disappointment in losing was profound – especially given the nail-biting-heart-stopping game. But as of this morning, I have not seen ONE negative, mean or ugly post from them. I think they were all the epitome of class and sportsmanship. This is how things should be. This is how a LOT of things should be. (Oh – if the world were just that perfect!)
I went to bed and it took me a long time to settle down and fall asleep. My heart was pounding long after the final out was made. Not only because of the long (LONG!) awaited victory, but because after months and months of seeing our countries (BOTH countries that I call home) tearing themselves to shreds, for a few hours they seemed to come together. That, my friends, is MAGIC!
We all can accomplish so much when working together in a positive direction. I preach that every day here. Sometimes a bit more subtly than others, but it is my underlying message all the same.
By tearing each other down and focusing on things that are negative, we waste so much energy hurting each other and ourselves. We need to take the time and turn our anger and frustration into something good and positive. It is hard to be angry or sad when you are bringing joy to another. Be it a friend, a stranger or even an animal. It is a good lesson to learn.
I will remember those hours of last evening probably for the rest of my life. I am not sure why it impacted me so much. Was it because things have been so bitter lately? Was it because I have been 'homesick’? Or was it just because the world has seemed a bit harsh lately?
Whatever the reason, it wasn’t there during this game. You can say “It is only a ball game.” , but for whatever reason, I felt really GOOD last night. And HOPEFUL. And PROUD. There IS hope for people. Sometimes we just need to take a breath and think before we act or say something. Maybe if we change how we react to people and how we act towards others – just a little – we will help ourselves overcome this apathy and sadness that has seemed to grip so many. Just one day and one act at a time.
Congratulations to ALL the fans – from BOTH sides. You all showed a huge amount of class.
Happy Thursday to you all!
“Next Year” has arrived! We can make it better than ever!
My son Phil in 1994 and his dad. True “diehard” fans. I am so, so happy for them! :)
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