My head is a complete jumble of thoughts this morning. Yours too, I imagine.
Beyond the amazing ride through October, and now November, that this Cubs team has taken us on -- and that’s completely exhausted me, to the point where I wouldn’t have felt safe driving to Cleveland, so I’ll be watching at home in Chicago — I’ve been thinking about all the years gone by, my 50-plus years as a Cubs fan.
Every minute of that time devoted to this team has led to this day, a day that many of us thought might never come, even with this team built the way it has been by Theo & Co., and they deserve all the credit they’ve gotten. Kudos to Tom Ricketts for flying the entire full-time front-office staff (plus one guest each) to Cleveland for the games there. Every person working for the Cubs, full-time or gameday staff, deserves credit for putting the team in position where winning tonight will make them World Series champions.
Many of you have mentioned, and I’ve heard the same from other friends, that you’ve been nervous or tense or on the edge of your proverbial seat since the beginning of October.
Me? I’ve described my mental state this playoff month to my friends as “serene.” The only time this entire run where it actually hit me that “Hey, we’re in the postseason, this is hard!” was after the 13-inning loss to the Giants in Game 3 of the division series. That one, especially after coming back to tie the game in the ninth inning, was tough to take.
The losses to the Dodgers in the NLCS? Difficult, but somehow, I just had a feeling this team would come back and win that series the way they did. How many times this year have we seen the Cubs do things like that? They played those last three games against the Dodgers in precisely the same manner.
And they have done precisely the same thing against the Indians in Games 5 and 6. I won’t say “all the pressure’s on Cleveland now,” because that’s a platitude and not really true. Pressure’s on both teams. One will win and thrill its fans forever. The other will go home having lost -- but not being a “loser,” as this World Series has had thrilling moments for both teams. It’s one of the best World Series in many years, and I’m not saying that just because my team is in it -- many neutral observers have made the same comment. But all the history, all the comparisons to past World Series or playoff series mean nothing now. All that matters is two teams, playing their best to win one game.
Bring it home, Cubs. Don’t let the pressure exceed the pleasure, as Joe Maddon always says. They’ve done that all year. They can do it tonight. I still feel serene, just as I have most of the time since October began.
And tomorrow, the joy we’ve waited for all our lives will be here. #LetsGo