David Hein is an international basketball and sports writer/reporter based in Regensburg, Germany, and a featured columnist with FIBA basketball (among other outlets) and owns/operates heinnews. An Illinois native and die-hard Chicago Cubs fan, David will be chronicling his 7,000 mile journey from Germany to the World Series, one game at a time. Connect with David Hein on Twitter.
Chicago O’Hare Airport/Atlanta Airport/Flight to Munich/Regensburg, November 3/4 – It’s hard to really know what to think. What do you do when a life-long hope or dream comes true? A dream many people before you never had the chance to experience – and you just hope they are watching from above.
How do you move from suffering to fulfillment? For our whole lives we Chicago Cubs fans have been known affectionately as Lovable Losers – a loyal folk who only knew home day games until 1988 and then annually said to ourselves “There’s always next year” when the Cubs were eliminated.
Next year is this year and that smile on the face of Cubs fans these days is the most genuine you might ever see; the most proud that will ever greet a “Go Cubs!” welcome from a stranger; the most relieved that you will encounter.
Curses, billy goats, 1908, 1945, Back to the Future II, black cats, Bartman – thankfully all this is gone by the wayside with a magical and legendary Game 7 victory – a game seemingly everybody watched.
World Series champion: three words Cubs fans thought they’d never utter – and words that Cubs fans were scared to speak out loud for fear of being a jinx. But the days of jinxes are over!
Now it’s time to celebrate – which is a very different concept for Cubs fans, who had long become used to just being a Lovable Loser.
Now we have a World Series parade and rally behind us. And the answer to the question how many years has it been since the Cubs won the World Series is ZERO!
Friends and family are asking me if the trip was worth it. Of course it was. Being around my life-long favorite team let me be a kid again. It renewed my never-ending love of the game. And it was a chance to spend some wonderful and quality time with much-missed friends and family. Thank you to all of them who I visited during the trip for taking time out of their schedule to see me, give me a roof over my head, and being there to share this moment. The Cubs making the World Series also made possible a dinner with two of my best friends in the world who I see way too infrequent.
It was also an opportunity to pull back from my current work situation and re-evaulate where I am.
I always prided myself on my work ethic and thought I did a good job in my work. Me being overlooked for two employment opportunities made me wonder if the reputation that I had thought I had was actually at the level I think it is. That has not been answered as of yet but leaving town for a while helped me re-assess things and gave me a motivation to come back to Germany with a different work frame of mind.
But the biggest change away from work is that I no longer support a team associated with curses or choking or losing. The Chicago Cubs are World Series champs. The smile on my face will take weeks to wear off.
For decades – okay, for 108 years – Cubs fans were a fun batch to be around. This team is built to win for years, and something like three World Series titles in five years is not at all out of the realm of possibilities. I just hope Cubs fans don’t get cocky but instead retain that lovable feature about them.
The last thing the Cubs need is someone getting angry with them and getting a curse put on the team. Oops … no I didn’t say that. Actually I do not believe in curses at all, but one of the overwhelming traits of this team this season has been its fun-loving nature. We Cubs fans are thrilled not only that we finally got to celebrate one but also that the youth around us will not have to wait as long as we did.
They did it! The Cubs are finally World Series champs and I can return to my day-to-day life. Hopefully you enjoyed the ride from Germany to Chicago and back. I know I have.
Go Cubs! Let’s make it back-to-back