It still hasn’t sunk in: the Chicago Cubs are the 2016 World Series Champions. It’s hard to put this feeling into words. Surreal is one word. Wow is another.
There has never been a time I wasn’t a Cubs fan. Growing up, the Chicago Cubs were just a part of the family. They attended every summer barbecue over WGN radio, they were there every Christmas wrapped up in a box and bow and I knew Wrigleyville like the back of my hand by the time I was six.
We all know the Cubs haven’t been good for a long time. But Wrigley has always been filled on game days because Cubs fans show up anyways. Why? Because they’re family, and you love family unconditionally. Absolutely nothing compares to the contagious feeling on game day in Wrigleyville, a city within the city of Chicago where Cubs flags fly every day and you can’t see anything but royal blue and red.
So when the Cubs took the World Series title Wednesday night, as fans we take pride in this long journey, maybe just as much as the players on the field. Winning the World Series is a feat any baseball team would be proud of, but for a Cubs fan, winning the World Series is everything. It is life-changing, it is generation-defining. Every Cubs fan will remember where they were during that final moment in game seven when Kris Bryant caught the final base hit and threw it to Anthony Rizzo with the goofiest grin on his face. It’ll be a story everyone tells their grandkids about.
I am elated beyond belief for several reasons. More than anything, I am elated knowing what this win means to my dad and abuelita — die-hard fans for over 50 years. My dad has been a season ticket holder for over 25 years. I’ve been attending games for 20 of those years, and I’ve been waiting 20 years to see this happen. Two decades of waiting, but that’s nothing compared to the wait my dad and abuelita endured.
I love the way the Cubs brought my dad and abuelita together — through a steadfast bond and belief in knowing that, eventually, “this is our year” would ring true. I love their love for this team and the game of baseball, and I love that they were able to witness this win in their lifetime. I love every single memory I have at Wrigley and I love knowing I have so many more to make. But most of all, I love the Cubs because my dad loves the Cubs and, for a Cubs fan, that’s enough. You love them because you do. You can’t explain it, it’s just a part of who you are. Cubby blood runs deep and when the Cubs won the World Series, history was made. History in baseball, sure, but more importantly, history in my family.
I think I found the word to describe the Cubs winning the World Series: love.
Email Gabriella Bower at [email protected]