For those of you living under a rock–or those of you who like your sleep–the Chicago Cubs won the world series last night. Quite dramatically, I might add.
On a scale of one to Kardashian, last night’s game was Kim in tears over losing an earring in the ocean–the only difference being that the game was something you actually wanted to watch.
Both teams hard fought their way to the final showdown. The Indians haven’t had a World Series win since 1948. This 68-year drought was topped only by Chicago, who tacked on another 40 years to Cleveland’s trophyless tally. The combined 176 years of franchise frustration made the series a high-stakes battle from the bottom.
After the fourth game, the Cleveland Indians lead the series 3-1. Aside from obvious reasons, this was some serious bad news bears for Chicago. The final two games in the series were scheduled to play at Progressive Field in Cleveland, giving the Indians a much-desired home field advantage. Cue my Ohio friends flying home mid-week to see what they thought would be another 2016 title for Cleveland sports, and this guy making a huge mistake.
Against the expectations of my Cleveland classmates, the Cubs’ forced a seventh game after tying the series with a 9-3 Tuesday night win. They continued on this roll for the majority of game 7, holding a 6-3 lead at the close of the 7th inning.
But then THIS happened, and the game quickly turned into the basis for a Lifetime feature film.
Rajai Davis’ eighth-inning homer made the game the first World Series game 7 in 25 years to be tied heading into the final inning. Did I mention that it started pouring rain as the 9th began? That’s the kind of drama that even Moneyball can’t buy.
With neither team scoring in the 9th, the game went into extra innings. Unfortunately, the weather picked up, causing a rain delay until 12:15. When the tarp was finally lifted, the stress was palpable. After a few infield slip-ups, the Indians gave up two RBIs in the top of the tenth to game MVP Ben Zobrist and catcher Miguel Montero. Though Rajai Davis (would be MVP? I think so) drove in a single runner in the bottom of the tenth, the Cubs ended both the series and the 108-year curse with an 8-7 win against Cleveland.
WHY ARE YOUR WRITING THIS POST AGAIN?
The 2016 World Series had some of the highest TV viewership baseball has seen in ten years, with average viewership sliding in just under that of the 2004 Red Sox’s curse-breaking win (kudos, Theo Epstein, kudos). This series has also been 2016’s most-viewed television event since the Super Bowl, with each individual series game garnering more viewership than any prime-time NFL broadcast this fall. Further, Fox Network, who has exclusively carried the series, has jumped to the second-best spot in network ratings. In a world that is rapidly moving away from television, the Cubs victory is a success both for the franchise and the TV network industry as a whole.
Though many tuned in the “old-fashioned” way (can we call TV old-fashioned yet?), there were a number of ways through which fans could get in on the action. CNN and other news channels offered fans live feeds of both Progressive Field and Wrigleyville on their Facebook pages. MLB live-tweeted the game and gave real-time updates on MLB.com. ESPN’s Instagram account made over 30 posts surrounding the showdown. Maybe Bill Murray even gave you his ticket.
If these outlets weren’t enough entertainment for you, the internet, of course, went berzerk. Over 1 Million Facebook posts were made about the game as it went on, and that number remains the same for users talking about the Cubs this morning. Twitter, as per usual, was a race for the first to the punchline, with Michael Jordan crying memes galore. Snapchat brought millions of users to the series with a live story amassed from game attendees.
Overall, the intensity–and excessive media presence–of this game made it a hard one to miss. If you’ve been #FlyingTheW, congrats on a well-deserved win. For those of you still trying to #RallyTogether after last night’s loss, fret not: a 69-year drought would be the perfect time for a comeback–I’m sure Gronk is already on your side.