A Look Back At How I Celebrated The Cubs Championship [PHOTOS]
I have traveled well over 2,000 miles. I have hugged hundreds of strangers (and kissed a few others). I have shared rounds of drinks with friends that I never knew their names. I have eaten a lot of mediocre fast food. I have a $40 hat that reeks of champagne. I appeared in a national television commercial. And, oh yeah, my beloved baseball team won the World Series. Take a look back at my CRAZY fall right here.
So how did I spend the past four weeks? It all started by growing my playoff beard. Then the Cubs won games one and two versus the San Francisco Giants, and the beard stuck around. My stress level started to increase each night as I watched the team I loved so much go through these games.
There was some heartache along the way. The team lost an extra innings game that ended at 2:44 am ET against the Giants. I had a business trip the next morning, and it's safe to say I was exhausted.
Then I watched a game from Dallas, TX. The team was down late in the game, but they came back! Despite not drinking that night, I was probably being awfully loud and obnoxious in this Dallas bar that evening because I was so excited.
The National League Championship Series (Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Dodgers) got off to a rough start, and I started to feel a stomach ulcer coming on. But when the Cubs clinched the National League Championship (for the first time since World War II) I cried like a baby. I also spent A LOT of money ordering championship gear online.
I watched the first two games from random New York City bars with some friends that we made along away. Cub fans are SO incredibly friendly that everyone I met in NYC was nice, and we all knew that we were in this together.
Being in New York for games 1 and 2 was fun, but I had to get to Chicago. I kept saying: who knows when the Cubs will be in the World Series again? So last Saturday morning I boarded a flight to Chicago just to be in the city. I couldn’t quite bring myself to spend more than $2,000 on a ticket to the see World Series from Wrigley Field, but I knew just being there would feel good from my soul.
I watched Saturday night's heartbreaking loss from beloved Cub announcer Harry Caray's sports bar in downtown Chicago. The crowd was SO in to the game, and we lived on EVERY pitch of that nail biter. We even sang the national anthem together.
The game didn't go too well for the Chicago Cubs, and the team was down three games to one in a best of seven series. I comforted myself with some Chicago deep dish pizza after the game, and I headed right to Wrigley Field after I woke up on Sunday morning (game 5).
I saw dogs trying to pass on the good luck to the team, and bars were sending their positive messages to the team because deep down we still believed that the Cubs COULD do it.
I, again, watched Sunday's game from Harry Caray's bar in downtown Chicago. There was even a commercial being filmed (and you can see me in it if you squint). The bar chanted "Go Cubs Go" together, and the bar sang a few great songs together ('Take Me Out to the Ballgame' and 'Go Cubs Go'). I was ecstatic by the end of the night on Sunday, and the famous Cubs 'W Flag' was flying all over the city.
I went back to Wrigley Field after the game to celebrate with fans, and I met one of the most famous Cub fans of the 2016 postseason, Dorothy Farrell. Dorothy, who is 90, made national headlines when she was interviewed after the Cubs were headed the World Series. She said she planned on celebrating by drinking some jager.
Dorothy was incredibly sweet to me, and let me take a photo with her. She gave me a big hug, and we said "Let's go Cubbies!"
I watched the Game 7 from Kelly's Bar in lower Manhattan (the only "Cubs Bar" in New York). I was so nervous that I didn't eat ALL day. The bar, however, was already jam packed. I was lucky to squeeze in to the second row. I stood with friends I just made named Chester and Pete. We all were so nervous. We shared stories about how we became Cub fans (despite being from the Northeast), and about what this would mean. It's the stories about loved ones who have come and gone that have made me feel SO emotional this week. A young woman in the bar told me about her great grandmother passing away, and how she never got to see the Cubs win. She and I took turns kissing her rosary beads during the game.
As everyone knows by now the game was an INCREDIBLE roller coaster of ups and downs. The bar was so full that fans were watching from the sidewalk. Yet, when the Cleveland Indians tied the game in the 8th inning you could hear a pin drop in the bar. Yet, they came back in the 10th inning, and we celebrated together. I hugged my new friends, and I even kissed a few others. We poured champagne on each other (you can see a photo of champagne being poured on me here), and celebrated for all of the past Cub fans who weren't lucky enough to see this day. And, oh yes, we sang 'Go Cubs Go' at least 20 times.
Wednesday was the most magical night of my life. Baseball may just be a game, but I have been hooked ever since I got that Cub hat when I was 6 years old. The Cubs may just be one of the few things that I've honestly loved that long. I've gone through a lot of personal changes this year, but the young Cubs team brought me a lot of hope. They've been there for me when maybe I've needed them the most. For so much of my life they've been known as the "Lovable Losers," and that's something I guess I have always identified with personally. But what this team gives all of us is SO MUCH more. The team was a true family this year, and they are young charitable guys. They were so resilient, and that is SO inspiring to me.
So if you see me still looking a little tired this week just know it's all for a good cause because I have had an incredible fall season. I guess I can shave my playoff beard tonight too.Go Cubs Go!