This past week, a Houston Astros Fan found herself skin to skin with five million Chicago Cubs Fans and she loved it.
Did it smell like Busch beer and marijuana everywhere? Yes. Were the streets covered with a disgusting amount of litter? Obviously. Were the immense swarms of blue and red at the same claustrophobic level as a rotting corpse in a casket? Unfortunately. But all of this aside, the city was booming with an overwhelming sense of unity, pride, and happiness as devoted fans from all over Chicago reveled in the historic triumph of their old faithful baseball team. I am honored to say I took part in this history and learned a great lesson of community in the midst of all of the excitement.
Flashback to the winning game that lit the fuse, and there lies me, sound asleep, completely oblivious to the booming roar of excitement that was happening right outside my window. I had an early morning of work and a late night of studying which meant baseball was the last thing on mind. I had no idea it was even the Cubs deciding game and to be completely honest, I didn’t care. Yet, the next morning when I woke up to the news, you would have thought that I accidentally slept through Christmas. I was completely devastated. I felt like there was a permanent pit of sorrow in my stomach. I even shed literal tears as I called my mom and told her what I missed in the course of my slumbers. But why did I care? Why did a baseball game that I cared nothing about affect me so deeply? Well, I felt left out. Despite my lack of care, I understood how significant this moment in time was. I had seen Back to the Future Part II, I remembered Marty’s face when HE heard the news. I had missed out on an opportunity of a lifetime and the snapchats and tweets I watched and read the next morning were flaunting it in my face. So did I really care? Or did I care that the whole world of social media seemed to be there and I wasn’t? My gut tells me it was a mix of both, but either way, I was determined to be a part of the parade on Friday.
Flash-forward to Friday and I’m awake by 9a.m. I’m dressed headed to toe in blue and red colors and have my borrowed Cubs cap on ready to go. I invite my roommate Judy to join me and we set out to the streets. Obviously, I realized the level of turnout that was about to happen for this event, but to actually be out there and SEE the thousands upon thousands of people was totally different. My mind couldn’t even wrap around what it was seeing. Literally the entire street of Michigan Ave was covered shoulder to shoulder. People were already plastered drunk and waved W flags with pride. The entire city was buzzing and as I made my way around, I couldn’t help but feel like an imposter. Did I deserve to relish in this victory; I hadn’t even seen the game? Was me wearing this Cubs hat a disgrace to those who wore it through the countless losses before this? But, the parade started and my mind could no longer dwell on these doubts.
Watching the players stroll by in the high-top tour buses and then the responding screams of passion from fans praising them was like watching royalty. I screamed along with them. I joined in on the chants and fist bumps. I held my pointer finger up with grandiose confidence and before I knew it, I was on the shoulders of a stranger leading the cries of joy and celebration. The blue red and white confetti shot out and spewed out like fireworks, floating gracefully down like the leaves of Fall. Then, it hit me. THIS was the experience. Living and breathing in the life of thousands of others around you could not simply be captured by an instagram post. This was a celebration of community- not an exclusive event for a select few; in fact it was the complete opposite. People of all different colors, nationalities, backgrounds, genders, were all uniting together to glorify a team that represents so much more than baseball itself. And in a time like now, when things such as the presidential elections and social issues seem to sharply divide people against each other, the rejoice was exactly what was needed. It was a victory of the city for the city, and it even had room for a little ol’ Houston Astros fan from Texas. (Jade Moreno/CoS Student)