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Pretty much the only excuse for wearing plaid [image credit: Baron1965] http://baron1965.tumblr.com/post/119198657074

Pretty much the only excuse for plaid-wearing [image credit: Baron1965]

In my life, there have been a few universal truths.

  • “This will hurt me more than it hurts you.” (It won’t.)
  • “Plaid is a good look for you.” (It isn’t.)
  • “When you’re pregnant, you have a special glow.” (I didn’t.) [**Unless you count that greenish cast as I raced for the toilet before whatever I’d last eaten made its reappearance.]
  • The Mayor of Chicago is named Daley. Actually, that one was usually right. A friend who was in medical school in Chicago said disoriented ER patients knew the mayor was named Daley even when they couldn’t remember the date or their own name.
  • Next year the Cubs will win the pennant. (They wouldn’t.)

For 108 years, Chicago Cubs fans have been waiting for “next year’ when surely, hopefully, please Whatever-Deity-Watches-Over-Baseball, please let this NOT be the year our team again snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.

[image credit: The Billy Goat Tavern] http://www.billygoattavern.com/legend/curse/

When local tavern owner and Cubs fan William “Billy Goat” Sianis tried to bring his team luck by taking his pet goat “Murphy” into Wrigley Field, he was denied admittance (despite having a ticket for Murphy). He appealed to the park’s owner, P.K. Wrigley, who denied the request, “Because the goat stinks.” At this, Billy pronounced the curse:  “The Cubs ain’t gonna win no more. The Cubs will never win a World Series so long as the goat is not allowed in Wrigley Field.” [image credit: The Billy Goat Tavern]

Wait… what? Whether you believe in the billy goat curse or know them as the “lovable losers”, the one thing Cubs fans could count on was that their beloved Cubbies could—and inevitably would—NOT make it to the World Series.

But last night in a nail-biting game seven of the World Series, all bets (and curses) were off as the Cubs finally stepped outside a century of just-missed to win the pennant.

I know I can’t be the only one who immediately thought of someone who would have loved to see this happen. On August 28, 1954 my father was stuck on Lake Shore Drive, waiting for the Museum of Science and Industry to finish moving their new submarine from Lake Michigan into its new home. On the car radio, he listened to the Cubs game as they beat the Phillies 5-2, and wondered if this would be the year they went all the way. But he was more concerned with making it up to Columbus Hospital where I was about to make my debut appearance.

Later he told me that he was happy I made it, but wondered if the Cubs ever would. [They finished that season in seventh place.] In the years that followed, I would often find him out in the garage, tinkering happily with one of our old cars while some announcer gave the play-by-play and speculated that next year the Cubs would go all the way.

I think the Chicago Cubs won a victory last night, not only for their team and their fans, but for all the fans over the past 108 years who never stopped believing that “next year” would be their year. I’m guessing there was a lot of Budweiser spilled in heaven last night.

[NIKE, Published on Nov 2, 2016 The moment that Cubs fans have imagined for 108 years finally comes true.]

Of course, I can’t help wondering what other universal truths might have changed. There is that plaid skirt in the back of my closet…