On Thursday, Nov. 3, I woke up in a hotel room in the south suburbs of Chicago, just off Interstate 55.
Into the wee hours of the morning, in the distance, I heard fireworks, sirens and car horns along the interstate. A small but loud party in the hotel lounge downstairs could be heard from my fourth-floor room.
The Cubs had won the World Series the previous night.
Later that day, when it was time to return home on a business trip, Chicago Midway International Airport was an outfield of men and women dressed in Cubs blue. A few guys wore Cub jerseys as suit coats. Some of the names on the back of Cubs jerseys were Santo, Banks, Williams, Kessinger, Beckert, Sandberg, Grace, Rizzo, Bryant to Zimmer.
Purgatory for this Cardinals fan?
I was fine. I’m a Cardinals fan. I can’t be a Cubs fan. But I surprised myself that I was relieved for the loyal Cubs fans. The real baseball fans. Fans my age and older who have gone to Cubs games for decades with their parents, and grandparents. This was their moment.
I’ve wondered how former Cub announcers Harry Caray and Steve Stone would describe the championship moment.
I enjoyed watching Bill Murray and Cubs players sing “Go Cubs Go” on “Saturday Night Live.”
Hell has not frozen over, and the world as we know it has not ended. Yet.
We can forget the superstitious hype about a Cubs curse, jinx, billy goat and Steve Bartman.
Yes. Hope is a good thing. We need more hope. If the rival Cubs can win the World Series after an 108-year slump, then anything is possible, right?
The St. Louis Blues can win a Stanley Cup in my lifetime.
Someday, the NFL can return to St. Louis.
Dexter Fowler can sign with the Cardinals this winter and become our new center fielder and lead-off hitter. Aroldis Chapman, too, can sign on as our new closer. If we can’t hit him, then why not sign him?
I can still get tickets for hockey’s Winter Classic at Busch Stadium.
Kolten Wong can play second base every day for the Cardinals. Matt Adams can hit his weight again. Trevor Rosenthal can develop a third pitch and become a starting pitcher.
I can shoot par or below on a golf course. With some work and increased focus, I can eliminate the dreaded three puts and penalty strokes.
I can learn to dance confidently, like no one is watching because I know everyone is watching because I can’t dance a lick.
I can eat more vegetables because I know they’re good for me.
Jeff Fisher can be fired as head coach of the Los Angeles Rams for lack of winning games. Les Snead can be fired as general manager for bad personnel decisions. Stan Kroenke and his NFL peers can continue to be arrogant and rich because as we have learned, there’s nothing we can do about that.
Lovie Smith can lead the Illinois football team to a bowl game in the near future.
It can snow miraculously on Christmas Eve, then be melted by bedtime Christmas.
Belleville drivers can drive on roundabouts without honking their horns or coming to a complete stop.
A pro soccer team can come to St. Louis. A new soccer stadium can be built downtown. If I can be OK with the Cubs winning the World Series, then I can enjoy pro soccer games in St. Louis.
I can develop a memorization system to help me remember where I parked my car when I go to Target, Dierberg’s or the mall.
A QuikTrip store can return to Belleville or a nearby community. Have I told you I miss QT?
Mike Shannon can be elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame. Ted Simmons, too.
The Cleveland Indians can have their championship season, too.
Don’t tell me it can’t happen. The Cubs won the World Series.
Anything can happen, right?