By Patrick Barron,
Sports Business Writer
If you are a Chicago Cubs fan, you can finally celebrate. On Wednesday, November 2, 2016 the Chicago Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians in Game seven to win the Major League Baseball World Series championship. Ben Zobrist, the second baseman for the Cubs earned the World Series’ Most Valuable Player honors.
It took 10 innings and a rain delay to finally come to the score of 8-7 in an epic Game seven that was one for the ages.. It is the first time that the Cubs won a championship in 108 years, ending the longest active title drought in sports.
Many people assumed that the Cubs would never win another championship again due to the Curse of the Billy Goat. This legend dates back to the 1945 World Series, where the Cubs played against the Detroit Tigers. In game fourof that series, the owner of the Billy Goat Traven, Billy Sianis, a Greek immigrant, brought his pet goat to the game. In response to the smell of the goat, both Sianis and goat were ejected from the game. Sianis reportedly said, “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more”.
And just like that, the Cubs failed to win another World Series, a drought which lasted until now. Their victory puts them in exclusive company. Having won the World Series in both 1907 and 1908, the Cubs hold the distinction having the shortest time to win another series (one year-tied with multiple teams) and the longest 108 years between 1908 and 2016.
Initially, the Cubs almost did not make it this far. They were down 1-3 against the Indians and had to win three straight to win. Before game five, the team had a 13.6 percent chance of winning the series, according to CBS Sports. It is a bit ironic though, as the basketball counterpart to the Cleveland Indians, the Cleveland Cavilers were down three games to one in the NBA Finals series against the Golden State Warriors before rallying to win the series in seven games. Their victory ended Cleveland’s 52-year title drought, however the Indians were unable to end their drought.
In addition, the ratings were high throughout the World Series and were compared to the World Series in 2009 between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies. According to Fox Business, the first four games had an average audience of 18.2 million people, making it the highest viewed World Series since 2009. It makes sense because both teams were looking to win a World Series championship in cities that craved them. It all made for a perfect storyline to drum up during the series.
The Indians were looking to win a championship for the first time since 1948, and the Cubs had not won the title since 1908. Both team’s histories contributed to the high ratings in the series. According to ShowBuzzDaily, the last game had an average of over 40 million viewers, helping make the2016 World Series is the most watched one since 2006.
It does not matter if you do not like the Cubs. It does not matter if you are not a baseball fan. The Chicago Cubs did something magical this season, and it will be forever remembered in the sports history books. Chicago Cubs fan, celebrate, this was your year. You earned it. Now the question is, can they win again?
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, November 8th print edition.
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