I was watching basketball last night when I saw an ad that nearly broke my heart. I’ve posted the video:
I’m a lifelong Cubs fan. I’ve watched them my whole life. I remember sitting with my (now passed away) grandpa on the couch, cheering as the Cubs won, groaning as they lost. I can still see him getting the broom out of the closet and going around my grandparents’ house sweeping, yelling “Cubs Sweep! Cubs Sweep!”
One of the most wonderful moments of my life was when my grandpa, my dad, and I all went to a Cubs game together at Wrigley Field. I cannot describe to you how unbelievable it was. I was probably only 8 years old or so, and it was the absolute best thing to ever happen. We were holding a sign that said “Three Generations of Warticks” on it, and we were spotted on TV by my grandma, mother, and sister. The scents, tastes, and overall feel of being at Wrigley Field brings me back to those moments even now, just by seeing an image of it. [Image credit.]
There’s a reason that baseball fans love the game so much; it is for memories like these. Our family traditions often rotate around the sport, and we feel like we’re there, just watching it on television. The glories of our team and the bitter losses stick for a long time. I’m still not over seeing the Cubs make the playoffs several times and get eliminated, in an often brutal manner.
The ad that I linked above has me thinking about baseball more than ever. Theo Epstein has been brought in to run the Cubs, and I can’t help but believe that he’s going to work some kind of miracle. If he doesn’t, what then? It will just be the same ol’ Cubs. I love them, but I’ve never seen them win it all. My dad never has seen them win it all. My grandpa never got a chance to see them win it all. My great-grandpa, who lived almost 100 years, never saw them win it all. So Theo, we’re counting on you, but we won’t hold it against you if we don’t make it.
Back to the video: watching those images was surreal, just as the ad says. Seeing Cubs fans celebrating, rather than giving up hope; seeing them rejoice over a World Series win was just glorious. I could almost taste it. But then we realize it’s just an ad for a video game. Ouch.
I still hold out hope though, it’s almost like an eschatological promise: “There’s always next year.” Boy, we’ve been saying that for a long time. But I really do believe it: one day, the Cubs will win one, and it will be during my lifetime. When they do, I’ll be like the fan standing up, looking at the skyline, and just rejoicing. I’ll say “This one was for you, grandpa” and I’ll see him sweeping the streets in heaven. If it happens, I will get to Chicago, I don’t care when it is or how it happens. I won’t have to be at a game, or even there while one happens, but I’ll get back to Chi-town, the place I love, and I’ll kiss the walls of Wrigley, wearing my “World Series Champions” hat.
One day, Cubs.