I didn’t bother telling my son that the Chicago Cubs had won the World Series as I carried him to bed tonight. Sometime during the rain delay, he fell asleep watching Batman v Superman, an appropriately angry movie for these dark times.
He had been rooting for the Cubs, in part to mess with me and in part because his grandmothers (both now estranged) had poisoned him against reason. My mom told him the Cubs had never won before, which was a lie. The Cubs hadn’t won a World Series in 108 years. The Cleveland Indians haven’t won in 68 years, an equally unfathomable length of time to a 5-year-old.
I’m not saying I have much love for Cleveland. I mean, it’s in Ohio. I went there once, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was closed. My wife and I ate at a Buffalo Wild Wings (still a novelty at the time) and then drove home. Mostly I was hoping that they would take a championship as an opportunity to change their name and retire their racist logo. Probably wishful thinking.
But the Indians have veteran outfielder Coco Crisp. I could never root against Coco Crisp.
— Tim Agne (@timagne) November 3, 2016
My son and I are St. Louis fans. We share a special connection because the Cardinals won a World Series the year I was born and again the year he was born (that year in spectacular fashion, fueled by David Freese’s amazing Game 6 performance). He was just over a month old, and I was brimming with new-dad feels. It meant a lot.
The Cubs ending their 108-year curse adds insult to injury during a rough year for a lot of us St. Louis fans.
Why? For one, the Cardinals missed the playoffs by one lousy game. It was close, but we fans are left with troubling questions about our management and a feeling that the Cardinals are trending in a different direction than their rivals in Chicago. And remember the last time baseball broke a longstanding Curse? That was the Boston Red Sox thumping St. Louis in the 2004 World Series.
Then there’s our hockey team. Yeah, the Blues knocked off the defending champion Blackhawks in a playoff series that reignited the other great St. Louis-Chicago rivalry. Sadly, the Blues sputtered out shortly thereafter. The Blues haven’t won a Stanley Cup in their 50-year history. Unlike the Cubs, the Blues are actually good most years.
Worst of all is Enos Stanley Kroenke. Dude was born in Missouri and named after St. Louis Cardinals greats Enos Slaughter and Stan Musial. You’d think the St. Louis fandom would run deep. Nope. The greedy bastard didn’t even listen to St. Louis’ stadium plans before he relocated the NFL Rams to Los Angeles. Ol’ Stan dragged St. Louis through the mud on his way out of town, trashing the economy, the fans, the city and the stadium it still hasn’t paid for.
Some friends helped me donate all my Rams stuff to Los Angeles homeless. That team is dead to me.
All this makes it hard to watch your most hated baseball rival win its first World Series in a lifetime. A little piece of mystique that I liked is gone from the world, and we’ll never get it back.
Maybe I should feel free. I don’t have to worry like I did last year and in 2003 that the Cubs might finally break the Curse. It happened, I’m enduring it and we all can move on.
I also know a few people who are decent folks in spite of being longtime Cubs fans. Their happiness helps take the sting off a bit. I hope they appreciated my trash talk. I had a couple tweets I’m proud of.
The not-so-decent Cubs fans will only get more obnoxious from here. They’ll descend on Phoenix like vultures when spring training rolls around, and they had better keep their red-and-blue garbage away from my kid.
The first World Series I remember is from when I was five. I was emotionally invested. I had been to several Cardinals games that year. I got catcher Vince Coleman’s autograph. The Cardinals lost to the Minnesota Twins that year.
What will my son remember about this World Series? I’m hoping it all fades, like some kind of wild desert Knightmare where an inevitable apocalyptic future collides with the present. We’ll wake up with some bad feelings that may lead to poor choices, but maybe we can redeem ourselves and find a few friends in the end.
The Cubs showed me that the world only makes sense when you force it to. Congratulations on your championship.