Well, it turns out that I am not the center of the Cubs universe. Despite my positive attitude, gut feelings, and attempts to sway fate by sitting in the spot on the same couch as last postseason, the Cubs season has ended without a World Series championship.
It sucks. I think it does suck a little less than in 2015 though, knowing that they just won last year.
The absolute worst thing about this year’s loss is my son’s disappointment. He became a serious Cubs fan last year, and with a World Series championship, he’d never had to deal with this sort of disappointment before. I know it’ll build character, but it still sucks. What parent wouldn’t prefer to see his child happy rather than sad?
But after the sting of a season-ending loss goes away, it’s apparent that there are some good things that go along with losing.
Free time. I enjoy watching baseball, and postseason baseball is exciting. But by losing tonight, the Cubs have opened up nine evenings for me that might have otherwise been spent watching games. Sure, I could have skipped a game—I didn’t watch much of games three, four, or five of the World Series last year—but that’s not the same as knowing there’s no game to watch.
And with most postseason games taking well over three hours to complete, the Cubs have essentially given me an entire free day. For a dude who’s been obsessed with time his entire life, that’s no small thing.
No annoying, repetitious broadcasters. Seriously, if I had to listen to Brian Anderson talk about Justin Turner’s “historic” postseason numbers one more time I would have reached through the TV and ripped his larynx out.
No World Series hangover next year. The Cubs started the year 43-45 this year. Even Joe Maddon admitted that they probably suffered a bit of a hangover from playing an additional month, and all of the offseason festivities that followed winning the World Series. Now they’re done a full two weeks earlier, and there’s no parade, appearances on The Tonight Show, or anything else to distract them from getting ready for next year.
Last year’s World Series gear is still relevant. If they won the World Series again this year, then all of a sudden the 2016 World Series t-shirts and hats have to be updated with the 2017 version.
Hunger. Not that winning the World Series would ever get old, but after winning one and then failing to make it back the next year, I’m sure players will arrive at spring training four months from now itching to get back to the World Series. Ever since I was a kid I’ve felt bad for the losing teams (except for the Mets and Cardinals; I never feel bad for them) in the postseason. No doubt Rizzo, Bryant and the rest will conclude that winning feels a whole lot better than losing and will be ready to go from day one next year.
Better political tradeoffs. Last year the Cubs won the World Series and then six days later Donald Trump won the election. I had no idea that either the Cubs or Hillary Clinton had to lose. Had I known that we needed to make such a choice, of course I would have chosen to wait one more year for a World Series winner. But since the Cubs lost this year, perhaps there’s an impeachment forthcoming!
Our lives are longer. I’m certain that being a Cubs fan takes years off of our lives. Especially when they’re in the postseason. I’m amazed there are any Cubs fans who are in their eighties. Just the stress of liking such a team should prevent a person from living that long.
Remember game seven of the World Series last year? Remember game five against the Nationals this year? How many more two-inning Wade Davis saves can we take? Do I really want to tie my heart health to Carl Edwards Jr’s ability to locate his fastball? Last year’s stress continued through November 2. This year we’re off the hook on October 19. My heart likes Cubs losses.
Only 107 years left. If the Cubs World Series wins are cyclical, then we’ve got a while before enjoying another. But we’re one year closer now!
So that’s it. It’s over. It’s disappointing. Almost seven months of anticipation has led to nothing.
But wait ‘til next year.
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