I hadn’t planned on watching the World Series because I’m not much of a sports fan, especially for non-local teams. When it was the New York Mets versus the Kansas City Royals (my husband’s home team) we participated in the spectatorship of the pop cultural phenomenon. Growing up, we didn’t watch sports on TV and didn’t really root for any teams. My father only liked soccer (which he called “football” appropriately) and in the late 1980s, without cable, there wasn’t any on TV to watch other than a random game he’d catch on a Spanish channel.
It was hard to avoid the abundance of media coverage surrounding the historic baseball game; game 7 of the Series earned more viewership in Chicago than any baseball game in history. I have a handful of Chicago friends which filled my social media feeds with logos and articles of lifelong obsessions. The game was captivating from the get-go, although it was mostly just noise to me, which I occasionally muted while submitting receipts to State Farm. My husband was rooting for the Cubs because he wanted to see the curse broken. The game was 6-5, Cubs winning. My husband said, “Anything can happen,” and soon enough the score was tied, there was a 17-minute rain delay through which I slept and I woke up when it was in the final inning. I watched the Cubs end their 108-year-old drought as the players jumped into the air, high-fiving the universe and each other. Fans sobbed, Bill Murray was psyched and I cried like a baby.
I cried for the same reason I cried at my son’s track meets. I cried because I witnessed dreams coming true. I cried because they worked so damn hard every single day and gave it all they had and achieved the very pinnacle for which they strived. I cried because I knew this is one of the moments I’ll remember forever; me in bed, tears streaming down my face, feeling the intensity of this diamond moment of life. I cried because I was so moved by the raw human emotion on display, in the striking contradiction of strong men blubbering like babies, hearts torn open, exposing their vulnerability.
The 2016 World Series permeated the mainstream culture and made its way into my life. For a moment, a week before our historic election, I was part of America, united to cheer together and rally behind a team who will forever quintessentially embody the phrase, “good things come to those who wait.”
I have written every day this year, 307 essays so far and hope when I type that last word of the 365-project, I will feel one fraction of the euphoria they experienced.