Wednesday, November 2, 2016

I Can't Imagine

I wasn't old enough to really understand what was going on in 1986. My memories of the World Series are that I got to stay up late because it might be the last game of the season. I have even fewer memories of 1975. If I have any at all. So I don't really have a frame of reference for the fans of the Indians or Cubs tonight. I don't have experience with the feeling that winning this one game tonight could end decades of torment, while losing will just add even more on top. 

Sure the Patriots had something similar. One game in 2002 to either end their title drought, or keep it going. But, I always considered the Patriots...outsiders...I guess. Their success was so unexpected that it never really came to me. When they won, it was more of a "Well, what do you know." than the real celebration they probably deserved. And, the Celtics had a game seven in the finals in 2010. But, that was only a drought of two years. Not exactly the same. The Bruins had a game seven in their championship winning series. It even ended a really long championship drought. But, the Bruins are my fourth sport for a reason. It didn't bother me all that much one way or the other.

And, yes, the Red Sox lost some game sevens along the way. The one in 2003 to the Yankees was brutal. Win, and you go to the series. Lose, and go home. But, even if they won, they'd still have to try and beat the Marlins. It wasn't such an obvious "this" vs "that."

So, I don't know how I'd feel if I were a real fan of either team tonight. Sure, I'm pulling for the Indians, but if the Cubs win it's not like my day tomorrow will be ruined. But, for real fans of either team this must be torture.

Either there will be a life-changing win tonight. A win fans have dreamed about for years, or there will be a gut wrenching defeat that will put you in a foul mood until at least next April. 

Making matters worth, both fan bases know what it feels like for other fans to end droughts. Right in their own cities. 

The White Sox ended an 80-something year drought when they won in 2005. So most Cubs fans (assuming they've been Cubs fans since then) know what its like to see a fan base in their city be relieved of that burden. They saw the jubilation in the city for that other team. They know what they're missing. Likewise, Indians fans just went through the celebrations for the Cavaliers. The saw the joy on the faces of people watching the parade. Heck, maybe they felt some of it themselves. They know how good it will feel. They know what they want. They just have to sit, and wait, and see if they'll get it.

It's down to one game.

I can't imagine.


What people are reading this week