It is no secret that the 2016 World Series is an historic one. More historic than most as it is being played between the two teams with the longest championship droughts in Major League Baseball, the Chicago Cubs having last won in 1908 and The Cleveland Indians in 1948. Whichever team wins, the fans of that team will likely experience a level of catharsis generally reserved for the moment your father’s murderer falls at your feet and begs your forgiveness. The only mitigating factor for that catharsis will be that it will come from the extension of another team’s already intolerably long championship drought rather than defeating a historic bully, say, The Yankees or The Cardinals, and becoming giant-killers in addition to long-awaited champions. So who should you root for? If you are from a part of Illinois where they don’t root for the White Sox or a part of Ohio where they don’t root for The Reds, are a lifelong fan of The Cubs or Indians due to proximity, family heritage, or happenstance, play for either of the teams, or are betting heavily on one team or the other, this article is not for you, via con dios, but for the generally neutral fan, he or she who would definitely root for The Cubs or The Indians were either playing a different team in the series, there is a choice to be made here, and there is only one truly right choice. It is the moral imperative of the neutral sports fan to root for the Chicago Cubs in the 2016 World Series.
A number of factors have led me to this conclusion:
1: The Droughts
The Cubs’ World Series drought is insane. Almost every Cubs fan alive during the Cubs’ last series victory is now dead. Those fans who were alive for that victory were certainly not old enough to be cognizant of the win, so essentially no Cubs fan has experienced the team winning the world series even though the Cubs are amongst the oldest franchises in the sport. On the other hand, may father was born a little more than a month before the Indians last series win and he is now a spry 68; that’s nothing compared to the over 108 one would have to be to have watched the cubs win. Faith has to be rewarded at some point, and even though Cubs fans are some of the most annoying fans in the world of sports, they deserve a win.
2: The Cities’ Respective Needs
Yes, Cleveland was recently in the midst of a 52 year, 147 season, city-wide professional sports championship drought, but that is over now. That drought was ended in June by the Cavaliers in as sublime a victory as the sports world has ever seen. The Cavs’ win, coupled with the fact that they will likely return to The Finals this year, should be more than enough to sustain the city of Cleveland for a few years. Chicago has never experienced that kind of city-wide championship drought, and, if you believe in this kind of thing, The Cubs’ drought has likely been cosmically extended as payment for the dominance of the Bulls in the 90s. Yes, The White Sox have won the series in recent memory, but that will mean less than nothing to the portion of Chicago that roots for the Cubs (a population roughly the size of Cleveland).
An Indians victory could have the effect of making The Cavs Finals win less special. The return of LeBron James to the city and the come-from-behind series win against The Golden State Warriors, the team that had set the single-season record for wins, was as romantic a victory as can be imagined and if the story become “The Cavs won, ending the city’s 52-year-long drought, and then the Indians won, breaking their 68-year-long series drought.” well, that story has less pizzazz. It means the drought was going to be ended this year whether the Cavs won or not. Further, were the Indians to win this year, the people of Cleveland may get spoiled, they shouldn’t go from nothing to everything so fast. We don’t want another Boston situation on our hands.
3: The Mascots
The Chicago team is called The Cubs. That is cute. The team from Cleveland is called The Indians. That is racist. That team name is so racist that it would seem absurd were it not for the name of the Washington football team. Also, Cleveland has a very racist logo, a grotesque caricature of an American Indian called Chief Wahoo, from which the team claimed they would distance themselves yet it has still appeared on the players’ sleeves during every game of the playoffs. This team does not deserve to win the series until they have lost the name and the logo.