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Partying like it’s 1908

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chi-cubs02crowd-20161102The City of Chicago, well at least one half of it, will be in meltdown this morning after the Chicago Cubs won a world series for the first time in 108 years in unbelievable drama. Cubs were 3-1 down in this first to 7 series but came back to take it 4-3, the last two victories in Cleveland.

It had been a drama packed final series and last night was no different with a rain delay and then an extra inning meaning the game finished well into the early hours. It was an incredible and exciting post season and for the first time in everyone’s lifetime the Cubs finally delivered after being the best team throughout the summer season.

Naturally nothing came easy for the Cubs. They were 6-3 up but Chicago’s collective jaw hit the floor when the Cleveland Indians pulled it back to 6-6 in the 8th. Then there was a 17-minute rain delay which stalled the Indians but reinvigorated the Cubbies. When MVP Zobrist doubled and Montero singled to drive in runs in the 10th thousands of Cubs fans in the stadium went absolutely potty.

I moved to Chicago in 2003 and instantly got caught up in the buzz of watching the Cubs. I used to occasionally watch the White Sox too, well because I could because I was English, and for most of the time the south-siders were better, actually winning the world series in 2005, but going to a Cubs game was something completely different, and I went a lot.

Games on any day at any time would be sold out. It was fun, it was a good time and Wrigley is one of the world’s most atmospheric sports’ stadiums you will ever find. Since 1937 after each win, however insignificant, a ‘W’ flag would flutter high over the stadium. It was traditional, yet now it is not just that, it is because the Cubs are finally winners. If Leicester city was a momentous sports fairytale, then this is the last of the great American sports stories. Baseball romantics will be fulfilled and Cubs long suffering ones will say they can now die happy.

The iconic Wrigley Field and the surrounding area is eponymous with America’s favourite pastime and is buzzing at every home game. But I soon came to realize you didn’t become a Cubs fan and expect to win. The Cubs are like the Arsenal of major league baseball, yet unlike the fawning gooners, Cubs fans had no expectations, and if heaven help them, they ever did, they would have every ounce of hope squeezed out of them. Google goats, black cats and a man called Steve Bartman.

I often spend days wishing I was back in the fabulous windy city. Today under high blue fall skies and probably a little breeze, the city will party like it has never had a party before and it will be some time before that ‘W’ flag comes down. Chicago always has a place in my heart as do ‘those damn Cubbies’ but today I wish I was there.

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