World Series thoughts
If you want to get hit right directly in the feels, check this out.
The World Series concluded last night in dramatic fashion. Talk about a kick while the NFL is down, huh? Ratings plummeting in the NFL and MLB puts on that kind of World Series. Ye’ Gods. I’m not even a baseball fan and I’m laughing at the NFL.
I could watch videos of older Cubs fan celebrating for a week straight. It’s just pure unadulterated happiness.
So much of sports fandom is an investment with little return. We invest our time: We cordon off a block of time on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, or make sure to catch a bit of each game on a weeknight, sure to read the box score or catch the highlights if we miss the game; We invest our emotions: We squirm with our hearts racing at big moments, we let out a very earnest cheer when something amazing happens, we develop relationships with players past and present, and we, hopefully, pass some semblance of a similar passion to our children; We invest our money: We head out to games, we buy all sorts of apparel, and, if we live far away, we spend a few extra bucks to ensure that we can follow our favorite teams.
I guess it’s not always little return. We feel a sense of community with the fans of our team, and, to an extent, share that community with fans of our rivals. We experience moments of extreme joy, whether it’s a big win or a singularly spectacular individual performance. We get to sit with our little ones on our laps, teaching them about something we love. We create some of our greatest memories in the presence of those we love while watching sports.
But, in the grand scheme, titles are hard to win. Every season in every sport, just one team comes out on top. It takes a combination of talent and health and luck. This particular combination eluded the Chicago Cubs for 108 years. Amazing. I’m positive there are lists of people who were alive, structures that still stood, political ideals that have fallen since. Google them.
A championship is a culmination and, shit, it never gets old. I’ve been fortunate living in Boston for 34 years. I was a kid when the Celtics of the 80’s were great, but I don’t remember them, and watched some crappy teams in the 90’s. The 2000’s have been kind to Boston teams, but that’s not my point. A championship is a shared, unparalleled joy. I lifted my daughter, just shy of six months at the time, up in joy after Super Bowl 49.
When the Patriots won in 2001 — a start to a sentence which will evoke groans — remember that Boston hadn’t won anything in almost a couple decades. The first call I made was to my dad, who introduced me to Patriots football in 1992, a year that shouldn’t have warranted lifelong fandom. They went 2-14. When the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011, the first phone call went to the same person.
We never know when our favorite teams will win another title. Could be this year. Could be ten years. Could be 108. I just hope that one day, down the line, my daughter (or son) wants to immortalize me like this Cubs fan’s granddaughter did to him last night. What a cool moment. What a series.