Welcome to “The Big Three-Oh!” I’m turning 30 at the end of July and to celebrate, I am counting down my best/favorite sports moments in my lifetime. If you missed the kickoff post, check it out for the background for the series. Today is an interesting entry for the list. It invloves a team that is not one of my own, but that of members of my family. The weight of this moment on the sports world flipped around generations of doubt and despair.
#13 — The Cubs Win the 2016 World Series
Similarly to Lebron and the 2016 Cavs needing to be on this, the Cubs winning their first World Series in 108 years needed to be as well. The Cubs made it up to #13 not only because of how long it had been but also because of my family. My mom is from Chicago, as I’ve mentioned with Michael Jordan, and they are all massive Cubs fans.
I don’t want to bore you with a recap of the 2016 season but the Cubs followed up their NLCS appearance in 2015 with a thunderous march back to the NLCS in 2016. The Dodgers put up a good fight with the Cubbies but Chicago won their first NL pennant in years. Cleveland caught fire in the playoffs tearing through the Red Sox and Blue Jays with ease to win the AL. After Cleveland took a 3-1 series, the Cubs stormed back to force a Game 7.
Game 7 is where this moment intersects with me. Don’t get me wrong, I was watching the playoffs and hoping the Cubs would win but the night of Game 7 is firmly engraved into my memory. My friends and I went to the City Tap House location on Logan Square because we thought they’d be serving up the same special as the year before. The bar had a World Series special on beers from Kansas City and New York City for Royals vs. Mets. The special wasn’t on but that didn’t stop us from having a good time watching the game. The Cubs took an early lead so I was in a good mood thinking my family was finally going to get a World Series title. If you remember Game 7, you know where this is going. Cleveland stormed back to force extra innings and a storm hit Cleveland forcing a rain delay.
I remember feeling deflated during that delay, and the Cubs weren’t even my team! I just wanted this for my aunts, uncles, cousins, and my grandfather. Sure, the Blackhawks had three Stanley Cup titles in that decade alone and the Bulls dynasty existed, so they weren’t hurting for wins. But 108 years is 108 years. After Steve Bartman, it almost seemed like the Cubs were doomed to never win again from an outsider’s perspective. The Cubs were close in 2008 but got upset by the Dodgers in the NLDS, missing a date with the Phillies in the NLCS, and not providing me a retort when my cousins and uncles throw the 2010 Stanley Cup Final in my face. The point being, that baseball meant (and still means) a lot to our family so I wanted this for them.
As the video above shows, the Cubs pull it out in the 10th inning, winning the World Series for the first time since 1908. I remember being excited for the Cubs and texting my family members in celebration. Some replied instantly while others needed until the morning. In this championship’s legacy, the Cubs got back to the NLCS in 2017, the NL Wild Card Game in 2018 (after a Game 163 to determine the NL’s top seed), and finally, no postseason in 2019. The Cubbies certainly are still set up for success and the 60 game season ahead will be an interesting road, as it will be for all parties involved.
You may be wondering why this made its way to #13 whereas Lebron’s Cavs title was towards the bottom. I hope the family aspect shows the difference of why these two very important sports history moments can fall so differently on a subjective list. Why it’s ahead of Ryan Howard’s MVP season is its impact on the sports world as a whole. Howard and the 2006 Phillies have their special place in my heart, a bigger place than the Cubs do, but ending a 108-year drought carries a lot with it.
Today’s Instagram Athlete
Nine years ago to count down the days until my 21st birthday, I posted a picture of athletes wearing the cooresponding number of day left to Facebook. While I did not have an Instagram account back in 2011, I have one now so I’ll be revisiting this idea in conjuncture with Top 30 Sports Moments. FOLLOW MY INSTAGRAM SO YOU DON’T MISS IT
I almost pulled the trigger on Kevin Hayes here. The guy has become a fan favorite in just a year with the Flyers and a delicious beer named after. However, it’s really hard to overthrow Wilt Chamberlain. Yes, I never saw him play a moment of basketball but the 100 point game speaks for itself. If we want to try it into me, I guess we can point out that I played a college hockey game in Hersheypark Arena where Wilt scored the 100 points. Bet you didn’t know THAT’S where he did it, did you?Follow @geordo9