1,731 miles separate Occidental College from Wrigley Field. That distance didn’t stop Steve Goodman’s “Go Cubs Go” from ringing out in common rooms across campus Wednesday night.
“Hey Chicago what do ya say? The Cubs are gonna win today!”
The song usually blasts throughout Wrigleyville, the neighborhood surrounding the iconic stadium, after every Cubs home win. But Nov. 2, the song played throughout the entire city and across the country because the Cubs sealed the most important victory of the century.
The Cubs won game 7 of the World Series Wednesday, finishing off what ESPN’s Jayson Stark called the greatest World Series Game 7 ever played. The Cubs, who were once down 3 games to 1 in the series, defeated the Cleveland Indians in 10 innings, 8-7. With the final out, the North Siders broke the longest championship drought in American sports — 108 years — and ended the curse that so many Cubs fans believed had plagued the team. The curse originated in 1945 when a man prophesied the team would never win another World Series after his pet goat was denied entrance to the 1945 Fall Classic.
While the Occidental College Registrar’s Office reports that only 1.8 percent of the student body is from the Chicago area, a walk around campus on Wednesday night would suggest otherwise. Occidental Cub fans, Chicago natives or not, were flying the W every way they could, from sporting Cubs apparel to creating festive graffiti.
Immediately after the win, Cubs’ faithful called home to share history with their families.
“We were just so shocked,” said Abel Quintero (senior), who called his dad after the game. “At that moment I was just so overwhelmed that I almost felt numb.”
Writing and Rhetoric Professor Robert Sipchen, a Chicago native who reportedly halted his class to watch the final outs of the series, reflected on the win as well.
“I’m not a huge sports fan and yet a vestigial pride took hold in my heart and swelled as the team fought so hard and won the series,” Sipchen said via email.
The celebrations continued later that night, when fans drew names in chalk on the sidewalk of the academic quad, honoring past Cubs legends and modern day heroes.
The next morning, Cubs fans continued to relish the feeling of a championship, rocking Cubs gear all day and reflecting on the previous night’s game.
“I have developed my father’s innate anxiety while watching the Cubs,” Josh Harris (first year) said.
Wednesday’s wire-to-wire Game 7 undoubtedly presented fans like Harris with plenty to stress about. The Cubs started off the game with a bang as leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler belted a home run to center field on the fourth pitch of the game. By the sixth inning, the Cubs led 6 to 3. But the dark past of the Cubs teaches its followers to remain weary in times of comfort.
“I was cautiously optimistic because I knew they could easily blow this lead,” Quintero said.
A two-run home run from Indians center fielder Rajai Davis capped a rally in the bottom of the eighth inning that tied up the game and swung momentum Cleveland’s way. The curse reared its ugly head as the comeback began after a questionable managerial decision, one that Economics Professor Woody Studenmund criticized heavily. Studenmund grew up in Cooperstown, New York, the hometown to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and commonly understood baseball capital of the world.
“My main takeaway is that they succeeded despite serious mistakes by [Cubs] manager Joe Maddon,” Studenmund said via email.
Overcoming the troubling eighth inning, the Cubs rallied for two runs in the 10th and held the Indians to one in the bottom of the frame. Once the dust had settled, they had finally done it.
When asked for his thoughts on the craziness of game 7, biology professor and Cubs fan Jonathan Williams replied with an email linked to a news story about his father, which encompassed the passion shared across generations for Cubs families in this particular world series. The heartwarming story related to so many across the nation that it gained national attention and even made its way on to ESPN.
Professor Williams’ father, Wayne, drove 600 miles to his dad’s grave so they could listen to the radio broadcast together, a pact they made with one another before his father died. His actions brought to light a loyalty that Cubs fans know all too well; A loyalty learned from years of the team breaking your heart, only for you to return to the field next spring, passionate as ever. This is an undying love that only baseball teaches, but every person can understand: Cubby love.