History is made

Cubs World Series.jpg

If you watched Game 7 on Wednesday night, then there is not really much left to add.

Given the plot-twisting excitement of the game, with the stunning comeback by the Cleveland Indians in the 8th inning against the game’s hardest throwing closer, followed by a drama-halting rain delay, and then one more comeback attempt by the Indians that ultimately fell short — it would have been an extremely memorable game no matter what.

But since it was the decisive game of the World Series between two teams that hadn’t won in a combined 176 years, it may go down as one of the — if not the — greatest baseball games of all time.

For those who aren’t major fans of the sport but understood the significance enough to tune in — understand that you just watched something that will probably be talked about for ages to come.

Yes, I was rooting for the Indians, and yes, I fell into an uneasy sleep knowing that Cubs fans’ misery ended before mine (my beloved Mets have not won a World Series in my lifetime), it’s hard to stay mad when you appreciate what the Cubs just accomplished.

And on a side note, I went to Wrigley Field for a game this year for the first time. And who knows, it may be my only time. It would be pretty neat to say that the only game I’ve ever watched there came in the season in which the Cubs won it all.

The game drew 40 million viewers, equaling the most in 25 years. It demolished the CMA Awards on ABC, which drew just 12.8 million.

But there’s really nothing more left to say. Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs and their fans. Especially Bill Murray.

Actually, congratulations only to Bill Murray.

And now, our attention turns back to the final weekend before the presidential election. We can all take some solace in knowing that we are so close to being done, and maybe — just maybe — we can all return to our normal lives next week without living in a world where a verbal political assault can break out at any given moment.

In five days, we will know who our next president is.

Hey, Wednesday night might not be the first time the blue team beats the red team.

The worst part of this election is how nasty it’s made us

With six days to go until the election, we can at least distract ourselves this one night with Game 7 of the World Series.

As a sports fan, it’s what you live for. One game to take it all. This game will be recorded in history books until the end of time. It’s where sports heroes are made and legacies are forged. Just sit back and enjoy.

Now back to the election! Yay!

I found myself in an unexpected political debate earlier today while I was getting lunch with a coworker. I say ‘unexpected’ because it was a colleague who I hadn’t really even heard express any political opinion since I’ve known him.

But today he was voicing his deep vitriol for Hillary Clinton, and as someone who fully intends to vote for her, I found myself on the defense.

If nothing else, I pride myself in not being ignorant. Even if it’s not something I want to know, I try to make sure I  have a base knowledge of all the facts of the pertinent political story lines. And thus, the argument basically became us having a back-and-forth arguing which candidate is worse.

elephant-v-donkey

Shockingly enough, the world did not stop spinning on its axis. After a few minutes, we both stopped and agreed that it’s a sad state in America when, one week before the election, we are basing our political arguments on who is less bad.

And it’s an offshoot of the negativity that’s surrounded the 2016 election. Rather than discussing which candidate can inspire and help more people, and how they can change America for the better, it’s become a debate about which one comes with the least amount of baggage.

I’m proud to report that our lunch then went about its usual course, and we gladly continued our days after that without thinking any less of each other. Which is how political arguments should be.

No matter what happens in this election, we’ve already shown the worst of ourselves. The divisiveness and bitterness that has spread like a disease throughout our country is completely out in the open. There’s no hiding from it anymore.

In other words, we have very little to be proud of after Nov. 8.

It doesn’t mean we’re a lost cause. But it certainly means that there is some healing that needs to take place. And weirdly enough, my cordial argument with my colleague today gave me hope that it can happen. Because it proved to me that two people with differing beliefs can have a disagreement and still coexist quite peacefully.

A lot of people are going to be unhappy after the vote. But this talk of refusing to accept the result, or of starting of a revolution — it needs to stop. We need to move on and do it as a united force.

I’m not going to say I’m confident it will happen. But I know we are at least capable of it.

Maybe one day we will all learn to put country over party. Like Bill Weld, the Libertarian vice presidential candidate, who during an interview with Rachel Maddow on Tuesday essentially advised people to vote for Hillary Clinton because, in his opinion, Donald Trump is not an option.

Perhaps we can follow Bill Weld’s lead and weld together as one.

#BillWeldPun

This year’s World Series is a sadist’s nightmare

When you’ve been obsessed with sports your entire life, and have loyally supported the same teams through thick and thin, it’s always painful to watch another team celebrate at the end of the season.

Only one team wins in each sport. Odds dictate that the team will not be yours.

But over the course of years, decades even, it’s got to happen eventually, right?

Since I started this dubious blogging endeavor seven years ago, my sports fandom — Mets, Jets, Knicks, Rangers — has shown itself on occasion. Each of those teams has experienced mixed levels of success, including two championship appearances, though no wins.

In fact, those four teams have won a combined one championship since I’ve been alive — which happened 22 years ago. Needless to say, it has not been fun watching sports for 99 percent of my life.

So if I am going to be miserable, I might as well root for everyone else to be miserable along with me. And call me a sadist, but it gives me great satisfaction to know that other fans have suffered even worse than I have.

And those fans include those who support the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians.

World Series.jpg

Well, the suffering for one of those fan bases will come to a long-awaited end by no later than Wednesday night, as the two teams are currently embattled in a fierce contest to determine our next World Series champion.

You think my 22-year championship drought sounds rough? Well, fans of the Cleveland Indians haven’t seen a World Series since the end of World World II, in 1948.

And that’s nothing compared to what Cubs fans have been through. The last time they won a title, the Roaring ’20s were still more than a decade away.

The Cubs haven’t won since 1908. And as of this writing, their hopes of breaking that extraordinary streak hang by a thread, as they trailed the Cleveland Indians 3 games to 2 in a best-of-7 series.

I’m rooting for the Indians. Like I said, I am a sadist. I cannot stand to see another fan base in a state of euphoria, and that is exactly what will happen whenever the Cubs finally do win it all.

And it’s cruel for me to say that because there are people who have lived extremely long, full lives who have not seen a Cubs World Series. For Cubs fans that are anywhere from 90 to 100 years old, this might very well be their last chance to see their beloved team come out on top.

And yet, I’m still desperately pulling for the Cubs to fail.

I just can’t help it. In all walks of life, I like to see people succeed and have their dreams come true.

But when it comes to sports, if I’m not going to be happy, then I want to bring every one down with me.

Do what you do best, Cubs.

Squash the hopes and dreams of your all fans.

I believe in you.

I’m the guy who bets on the Mets to win the World Series and then loses the ticket

Back in April, a coworker of mine made his annual trip to Las Vegas. At the time, the New York Mets had just completed an 11-game winning streak to hit the ground running right out of the gate at the start of the regular season.

I was riding high with excitement. The Mets had not experienced a winning season in seven years, and with the improvements they made to their team — led by an influx of young, powerful starting pitching — it looked like the 2015 season might break that trend.

But even the most optimistic fans still had tempered expectations. We’d simply be satisfied with a playoff berth — something that hasn’t happened since 2006. Meaningful baseball in October is all we wanted to see, even if it resulted in an early postseason exit.

New York Mets World SeriesSo with that in mind, I gave my coworker all of the money in my wallet ($25 — I’m poor) and told him to bet it on the Mets winning the World Series. He did, placing the wager with 15 to 1 odds, and returned the bet receipt to me upon arriving home.

Flash forward six months: the Mets are in the World Series, and I have no god damn clue where that bet receipt is.

I’ve searched far and wide for it — in my home, my car and my office. That thing is gone.

I’d be more upset about it, but I’m just too freaking happy that the team I have loved and cherished since I was 6 years old is in the World Series. As a sports fan, this is what it is all about.

With as many as 30 teams competing for the same goal — whether it be baseball, football, basketball or hockey (or cricket for my south Asian readers) — winning a championship is damn near impossible. So many things have to go right for your team throughout the course of a season.

It’s so difficult that I have yet to see one in my lifetime. The Mets last won in October 1986. I was born six months later. Yes, they got there in 2000, but I was only 13. I hadn’t experienced enough suffering to appreciate it.

Fifteen years and nine losing seasons later, I finally have come to appreciate the meaning of success. Here in New York, it’s Mets mania. And it’s all because nobody saw it coming.

The team shocked the world, and even more so, shocked Mets fans.

Unless that ticket somehow reappears, then that’s $375 that I will not be able to claim if the Mets win the World Series. Do I wish I could add that money to my checking account? Of course. That’s a lot of Jello pudding snack packs I otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford.

But after 20-plus years of barely missing any Mets games, through all the pain and suffering, and all of the memories I’ve forged watching this team over that time with my friends and family, there’s no greater reward then to finally watch them achieve something you’ve waited for your entire life.

And you can’t put a price on that.