Much has been made of the Cubs parade being the seventh-largest gathering in human history. But I'd like to take this fact a step further. It was the largest gathering ever of sports fans celebrating a team victory, and the only one in the top 10 that wasn't a religious gathering, a funeral, or a Rod Stewart concert.
As Cubs fans, we know that our place within baseball history has been riddled with heartache and futile attempts at the glory recently accomplished. This World Series Championship that ended the long drought of losing and inspired millions to gather and celebrate was not only a victory party, but also a cathartic release of frustration shared by so many of us. Five million of us! It was a huge sigh of relief, and to stand on the cramped corner of Addison and Broadway as one of five million made this fan feel like I'm part of something much bigger than I can even comprehend.
Five million people is over 1.5 percent of the entire population of the United States. Five million people is well over three times the number of active military personnel in the U.S. And there were more people at the Cubs parade than live in Ireland and over a hundred other countries.
An even more impressive fact is that there were only six arrests and 33 hospitalizations. No one died. I couldn't be prouder of this city that has been lambasted as a bastion of violence. That's not us.
I'm not going to pretend there weren't more arrestable offenses happening during the celebrations. I smelled wafts of arrestable offenses, and drinking in public, peeing in alleys and climbing light poles is at least "disturbing the peace." Plus, I don't know this for a fact, but I would imagine there is some obscure law on the books making it illegal to walk down Addison Street with a goat.Overall the Cubs' five million man march was as peaceful as it gets, and to many that was a surprise.
We all joked for years that when the Cubs won the World Series the city would burn down again like it did in 1871. We were only half kidding. I'm sure some expected more violence and mayhem than actually occurred. But man... it was peaceful. We were peaceful. We are peaceful.
Five million people! Imagine what five million people can do! My mind is boggled and blown! Can Cubs fans change the world with these numbers? I don't know, but man... we certainly have the people to do it.
Due to exhaustion from travel, stress and sleep deprivation, I didn't go to the rally in Grant Park, but I did line the street near Wrigley as the Cubs caravan drove quickly by. I was one in five million. And that, my Cubs fan brothers and sisters, was a feeling more powerful than I could have ever imagined.
I'm proud of the Cubs for winning the World Series, but I'm even prouder of us, the fans, for showing the world who we are. The best fans on the planet.
Enjoy some of the pics I took during the parade!