I am about to rain on the victory parade, but with a smile. I offer a few thoughts on the psychology of experiencing the first Chicago Cubs World Championship since 1908. Plus a word of condolence to the Cleveland Indians and their fans.
- Enjoy this now, Cubs Nation. Unless you are all immortal witch doctors, you will not be present at the first rainfall after another 108-year drought. The rain delay in Cleveland was a reminder.
- The faithful who gathered near Wrigley Field while the game was played elsewhere are a dedicated bunch. They paid attention to the score, drank, worried, talked, stood, cheered, and chafed their hands from overuse in prayer. They thought about the dead relatives who wore out their bottoms waiting in the station for the victory train that never came. They wept when the contest ended. To paraphrase what someone on Facebook wrote, “I guess now we have to start dating again.”
- My last post suggested rabid fans get to attach to something bigger by saying “we’re number #1” and holding up giant foam-rubber hands with the index finger extended. Well, who am I to take their joy away? I do realize, however, much as I’m pleased the Cubs won, “we” watchers didn’t achieve the victory: “they” (the players) did. Don’t believe me? Ask the boss for a 15-million-dollar annual salary, guaranteed for the next seven years, because of your contribution to the championship season.
- What is possible after the impossible? Red Smith, famous baseball writer, wrote about a different game in 1951: “Now it is done. Now the story ends. And there is no way to tell it. The art of fiction is dead. Reality has strangled invention. Only the utterly impossible, the inexpressibly fantastic, can ever be plausible again.”
- If the Cubs are more than a pastime for you, if you were resurrected from a miserable existence by the 2016 team, your life might just have peaked. Yes, the glow will only fade slowly, perhaps not disappearing until Thanksgiving or Christmas. Or maybe it will vanish on November 8, Election Day, and the inescapable reality of US political problems.
- Even if the Cubs win more championships, the experience of last evening was like lots of other “firsts:” first kiss, first child, first wedding. Magic isn’t easily duplicated.
- Rooting for the Chicago National League Ball Club, LLC guaranteed you a like-minded group of people who all shared the belief that no matter how fresh the carton appeared in the refrigerator, the milk would curdle as soon as you tried to pour a glass. To the good, however, you had millions of other humans for commiseration. You will now need either different things to lament or a personal surrender to optimism and a change in your philosophy of life. Yes, being positive is a tough job, but someone has to do it.
- You thought tickets to Cubs Park were expensive before?
- Listen to the old Peggy Lee song, Is That All There Is? Cubs fans are now like the dog which chased the fire truck its whole life and finally caught the big red machine, looked around, and thought “now what?”
- Hell just froze over, but was bumped from the front page by the Cubs victory.
- Everything happens for a reason. I thought I’d throw in this quotidian thought, since no matter the life event you are describing you can always utter the phrase. You could also say everything happens for a raisin, the wrinkly kind. If God didn’t have something better to do than decide it was finally time for the Cubs to become winners, he wasn’t paying attention. Can you receive an ADHD diagnosis and still be the deity? A rhetorical question.
- Here is another consideration on the subject of gods and reasons: atheist Cubs fans now own one less of the latter to justify their belief an all-powerful and all-good being can’t possibly be in charge. Cleveland Indian rooters who were religiously faithful until today will be seen fleeing the house of worship of their choice. Or going back in to pray harder. They now claim 68-years without a baseball crown.
- Don’t take any of the above too seriously. Except the part about enjoying the moment. Cheers, in every sense.
The photo of the 2016 Cubs World Series celebration is the work of Arturo Pardavila III as sourced from Wikimedia Commons.
Ha – what a wickedly lovely and amusing post 🙂 Many congratulations, I suspect you are high on victory right now 🙂 And you’re enabling us to share that with you, just a little bit, which I’m enjoying! Oh to be in your household today – I wonder how you are marking the moment (apart from with writing?)!
Thank you. I am “medium high.” It simply wasn’t in me to write another of the thousands of pages of blogs and newsprint being devoted to a view of the event high on sentiment. I have received some push-back from a couple of friends, but nothing I can’t survive. Glad you were amused. That was the main intent.
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Glad my TV was broken that fateful night!! Nothing like enforced separation to keep things in perspective! Well put,, Gerry! There is a lot to be said for enjoying the moment without losing perspective …Though maybe that crack about another 108 years was a bit harsh. After all, this was pretty special — coming back from a three games behind!.
Yes, it was special, Judy. I was as rabid as almost any Cubs fan until I, too, suffered a broken TV that lasted for a full summer until we replaced it, back when Preston Gomez was manager over 30-years ago. I went cold turkey, but discovered I could live without the Cubs and TV almost all the time. Still, I stayed up late and enjoyed the multiple-playoff ride to a fitting conclusion. The fans do deserve their joy and congratulations for sticking with the team. Hillary may have to change one of her slogans: “The Cubs Trump Hate.”
Dr G – I am great in my assumptions that based on the above delightful psychoanalytical cheekiness that you have dined well on the twelve course tasting menu of the human frailty condition that is mass hysterical hero worship, that you are reclining back in satiated self-righteous congratulatory Cheshire Cat bliss looking at the crowned conquerors and their entourage of vacant eyed empty vessels waiting to be filled with second hand glory and that you wait in anticipatory glee for those pedestals to be yanked out from underneath the pseudo heroes and dumped on the bonfires of fickleness, when the next one second wonderment comes calling and the gazes of the adoring are manipulated else wheres – it is hope inspiring to see Dr G that beneath your carapace of professional obligations there beats a soul that knows the unending joys of chasing seagulls on the beach proclaiming “Free at last, free at last, I thank God I’m free at last, free at last, free at last, I thank God I’m free at last” – btw WTH are the Cubs???
Great last line, Rosie. Although I never claimed to be the Wizard of Oz, one of the purposes of my blog is to pull back the curtain on one therapist and let those who care see “beneath (my) carapace of professional obligations.” I’m glad you took this in the spirit intended. What are the Cubs? They are a little bit like a projective psychological test, something that informs us of not just what is external to us, but what we are internally. And, in addition to the Cleveland Indians, I should have offered condolences to the Chicago White Sox fans, who will suffer the off-season gloating of their Cubs fan friends, some of whom won’t lord it over their buddies with the tongue-in-cheek, where it belongs. Advice to the Cubs Nation: after another couple of weeks, do take pride quietly. You know how it felt in 2005, when the Sox became World Champions and you suffered.
I will add this to the conversation, especially for those who don’t understand why anyone might be happy about the Cubs victory. Thanks to my friend Jeff for sending it along:
YEARS SINCE THE CUBS LAST WON A WORLD SERIES: 0
Fun fact: the last time the Chicago Cubs won a World Series was 2016. WWIII hadn’t happened yet, cars ran on fossil fuels, and robots couldn’t vote.
The last time the Cubs won the World Series, the other sports’ champions were:
NFL – did not exist
NBA – did not exist
NHL – did not exist
Last time the cubs won, women couldn’t vote
Last time the Cubs won, people rode horses to the ballpark.
Things that have happened since the last time the Cubs have won the World Series:
. Radio was invented
· TV was invented
· Baseball added 14 teams
· George Burns celebrated his 10th, 20th, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th, 70th, 80th, 90th and 100th birthdays.
· Haley’s Comet passed Earth… twice.
· Harry Caray (a Cubs announcer) was born… and died. Incredible, but true.
· The NBA, NHL and NFL were formed, and Chicago teams won championships in each league.
· Man landed on the moon
· Sixteen US presidents were elected.
· There were 11 amendments added to the Constitution.
· Prohibition was created, and repealed.
· The Titanic was built, set sail, sank, was discovered, and became the subject of major motion pictures
· Wrigley Field was built and becomes the oldest park in the National League.
· Flag poles were erected on Wrigley Field
· A combination of 40 summer & winter Olympics have been held.
· Thirteen baseball players have won the Triple Crown (simultaneously winning the batting championship and leading the league in home runs and runs-batted-in).
· Bell bottoms came in style, went out of style, and came back in style.
· The Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Florida Marlins have ALL won the World Series.
· The Cubs played 14,153 regular-season games
· Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Oklahoma, and New Mexico were added to the Union.