CHICAGO (WKOW) -- As a journalist, you're trained to be fair and unbiased. But it's just so hard not to show favoritism when the team you've rooted for since you were six just won the World Series. After a 108 year drought.
So this is my one and only chance to write about the Chicago Cubs in a totally biased, unfair way. And admit I cried last night when when they beat the Cleveland Indians to win the championship.
On my early morning schedule, my alarm goes off at 1:00 a.m. So I knew I would be hurting if I stayed up to watch the game. But duh, of course I was going to do that. I did take a (nearly) two hour nap in the afternoon to prepare while my daughter was at work. I almost fell asleep during the rain delay. It was just about the most exciting game you could dream up and both the Cubs and Indians should be extremely proud of the seasons they had.
But as elated as I feel for the Cubs and the fan base who have waited so long for this, I actually feel terrible the win was against Cleveland. Even though fans were given a championship this year from the Cavaliers, I would love to have seen this for them too after waiting 68 years. The Indians are an amazing team and the series was so fun to watch! Especially Game 7. I could have done without the rain delay and Rajai Davis' 2-run bomb. Stomach pains and antacid ensued.
What made it more enjoyable to watch was my good ol' friend Caroline Bach, who is a huge Cleveland Indians fan. Caroline is our weekend Wake Up Wisconsin anchor and reports for us three days a week, so I feel like she's a little sister. When we heard our teams were playing each other, the playful jabs started immediately.
I've had similar "conflicts" with friends and family other the years. You see, I grew up a "south side Cubs fan," meaning I should have been a Sox fan. My entire extended family are Sox fans; grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins... plus all of my friends growing up. But my mom and dad were HUGE Cubs fans. My dad explained it was because they were the only team they could watch on television back then. So they "rebelled" and they raised us as Cubs fans.
My husband, on the other hand, is a die-hard Sox fan. He knew about droughts when the Sox won the World Series in '05. (Yes, I rooted for the South Siders. I had always secretly loved them; probably because all my childhood friends did.)
The truth is, I just love baseball. The last few years with the Cubbies have tested my patience and my loyalty. I moved to Wisconsin. I bought Brewers gear. A lot of it. But then Theo Epstein put together this team. The passion re-fueled.
I probably would have cried anyway, but I think I was a little more emotional since my mother and father are no longer with us. I know that's true for so many Cubs fans. I mean, it has been 108 years. Across the world, people are thinking about their loved ones today. Moms, dads, grandparents... who waited so long and never got to see this happen. The team did this for you. I know they have you in their hearts.
Mom and Dad ~ Today, I have you in mine. Go Cubs.
Update: After I posted this blog, I found out a dear friend of our family did something very special for us that applies to the very thing I wrote about.
You may have heard that the Wrigley Field wall became a makeshift memorial to the many Cubs fans who didn't get to see them win the World Series. I honestly didn't know that at the time I wrote this column. People started writing their loved ones' names in chalk on the outside wall of the stadium.
My sister Jill's best friend, Kristin, and her husband Bernard Perales decided to write my father's name. What an honor that they would think of him! (The Peraleses were actually featured in a Chicago Tribune article you can read here as they added their own family members' names to the wall.)
I just wanted to give them some credit for something that touched our family..... Thank you Kristin and Bernard!
P.S. - I also found some great pictures of my mom and dad, so I added those too.