I remember a smoke filled apartment, with the Cubs play-by- play in the background visiting my great grandma. Let me tell you about my great grandma. She ran away and joined the circus as a teenager, she smoked up until a year before she passed away in 2002, and she was the biggest Cubs fan I knew. I would go visit her and she would have Harry Carry on the TV or Pat Hughes on the radio, and would be dropping four letter combos that would make a sailor blush. Every year she would tell me it was the Cubs year, and every year I would believe her. I carry on that tradition. Even in the worst years I believe the Cubs will win it all. It hasn’t always been easy.
I remember sitting in a parked car in a small-town, supermarket parking lot in 2003 listening to the Cubs try to clinch their first division title since 1989. I was in town for a wedding, but I had gotten to my meet-up area early and was listening to Ron Santo count down the outs. When they finally sealed the title I started screaming and pounding the ceiling of my car. I opened my eyes to see a family of four staring at me. I didn’t care because this year was the year the Cubs would break the curse. Deep in my heart, I knew it – you had to believe.
In 2007 I remember sitting in a RV watching a fuzzy Cubs broadcast surrounded by my family during a reunion. The Cubs had just clinched the division over the Reds. They played the video/audio clip of Ron Santo hanging out the window of the broadcast booth screaming “This is our year!” My uncles and my cousins were all hugging each other, talking about how Ron would finally be able to see a Cubs World Series. It had to be our year. 2007 was the year the Cubs would put it all together. Even in that tied game against the Diamondbacks, when Lou pulled Zombrano early because he needed to save him for game five, I believed that was the correct call because Lou had been doing this job for decades. I had to believe it would work out.
In 2008 the Cubs had 97 wins. Best record in baseball. Nothing could stop them. LA Dodgers? Not a chance they could come and win three vs. the Cubs. They had Manny, but he is just one player. One player can’t beat this team. 100 years since the last World Series. You had to believe the universe was making that mean something. You had to believe.
That leads us to 2016. The Cubs have the most wins since the early 1900’s. They have one of the best offenses in baseball, one of the best defenses in baseball, one of the best pitching staffs in baseball, and one of the best managers in baseball.
I believe this is the year. Do you?