Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Reflections on Game 6

My wife said I should do a quick blog post the day after each World Series game to kind of recap my feelings since there's no documentary crew following me around as the Cubs go for their first championship since 1908. So here we go on Game 6.

I actually enjoyed more than an inning of Game 6 without being crazy nervous. I mean, it wasn't much more of an inning, but when the Cubs jumped out to a 7-0 lead, I was able to relax for a brief time and watch the game with minimal stress, at least until Cleveland scored, then it was back to "oh please, oh please, come on." Eventually the Cubs would go on to win 9-3.

So here we are. It's a one game, winner-take-all, Game 7 for the World Series. Somehow I'm supposed to concentrate at work and be productive when all I want to do is read articles and listen to podcasts about the World Series. I started in February reading articles from Spring Training and in March watching spring training games. I watched as many games during the regular season as my schedule and and my wife would let me.  

I probably spent more time with to Cubs broadcasters Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies from April to October than anyone other than my wife and kid. They are as much a part of my family as anyone at this point, even if they never show up for Thanksgiving.

I've spent countless hours watching games, reading articles, listening to podcasts. From the outset of the season, all those outlets were saying the Cubs were the best team in baseball, and over the course of the 162-game regular season, they were, winning 103 games. But the playoffs are a different animal and for the Cubs to reach the brink of a World Series title isn't something I was prepared for.

So here I am, sitting at work anxiously watching the time go by until 8 p.m., when the first pitch of what could be one of the greatest sports days of my life to begin. I've been fortunate to be at two National Championship football wins by my alma mater, once when I was 10 and again when I was 20. Looking back, I didn't realize how fortunate I was to be there when my team won a title. I've also had the misfortune of being a a title game in which they were heavily favored and lost.

I'm not sure yet how this compares. At least with football, there's a week the prepare and get yourself set for the one game. I've been living in a constant state of sports anxiety for a week with wins and losses and nerves and joys. It's the best kind of exhausting.

If the Cubs win tonight, I'm sure it'll be a feeling unlike anything I've experienced as a sports fan before. (And I'll have to apologize to my son for waking him up.) If they lose, it'll be a disappointment that will eat at me until next February, when hope will once again well up as part of its eternal renewing. 

But that's for tonight. For now, I've got hours of nervous energy to deal with.

Go Cubs Go.

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