For as long as I have been alive, the Chicago Cubs have managed to fall short of the ring. In fact, as long as my father and grandfather before that were alive, the Cubs found one way or another to leave their fans with the feeling of emptiness at the end of the season as other cities would celebrate as their local team hoisted the trophy.
Today, a feeling of disbelief and overwhelming joy has clouded our minds like The Shadow, in radio days of old after one of the greatest Games 7 that the fall classic has seen in many years. The amazing part of it all is that in that 10-inning, 8-7 gem in Cleveland, our boys… yes… the Cubs won the World Series! It still hasn’t sunk in.
Although the troops of Joe Maddon outpaced all of MLB in wins with an impressive 103 of them in the regular season and another 11 in the postseason, put the loyal fans through the ringer in a winner-take-all, one game wins it contest, by taking an early lead, giving it up… then waiting through a 17-minute rain delay before scoring 2 in the top of the 10th and giving one back in the bottom of the inning to hang on to become the Champions of the Baseball World for 2016.
The City of Chicago is nearly drained of emotion and very sleep deprived, as we try to come with the grips of reality… hoping that we all have not been led into a false alternated world only to be awakened by a cruel and sadistic plot.
Today, the chance to cheer, scream, whistle and shout will be afforded an estimated crowd of nearly 3-million people who will gather along the shores of Lake Michigan where the “W flags” will be flying en masse. The strains of Steve Goodman’s “Go Cubs Go!” and “Sweet Home Chicago” can bellow out at decibel levels that may very well be heard in Milwaukee.
As if my experiences of singing at the NLDS, the NLCS and Games 3 and 5 of the World Series weren’t already enough… today, my wife and I will hop on one of the team buses at historic Wrigley Field and take the journey downtown to the Grant Park rally, taking the parade route along the way. I am trying to get my mind to believe that this is truly happening.
At the rally, I have the honor of representing the Cubs, as I have for the past 32 years by singing our National Anthem in front of the millions who will gather there live and on TV. Another great moment afforded to me by recognizing, respecting and sharing the God given gift of my voice.
What a marvelous day it is to be a Cubs fan.