The Cubs and This Post: Late, But (Hopefully) Worth The Wait

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. epa05615216 Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo celebrates the final out as the Cubs win the World Series over the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, 02 November 2016. The Cubs won the best-of-seven series 4-3.  EPA/DAVID MAXWELL ORG XMIT: MCX019

DEFINE “DRAMATICALLY”

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.

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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.

SEVENTH HEAVEN

 

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.

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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. Image result for cubs world series gif

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.

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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.

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An example of the MLB real-time update tool on their website, as I was too distracted to take a screenshot of the feature during the actual game. Oops. 

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.

 

 

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Twitter also discovered not one, but two people who predicted the outcome of the game long before it started. This guy is officially 1993’s coolest high schooler, and this guy might be a wizard.

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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.

11 comments

  1. fernaneq4 · ·

    Loved this and loved watching the games. I’m someone you call a “fair-weather” fan because lets face it I’m from Miami and what else are we known for but our fair weather! My sister lives in Chicago now so my cheer order ranks (1) Marlins (2) Red Sox (3) Cubs. And I’m happy my number 3 won last night! We were all talking about how right after the game they already had targeted commercials for the cubs, apparel was being heavily marketed and even sold at the stadium. We also discussed how they print thousands of winning material on both sides even though only one team wins! My roommate asked me where all the losers apparel and posters go and I really didn’t know but I presumed they donated it. To me, the waste is wild but in todays age necessary for profit. The other thing that was funny throughout the game was on social media people reposting the “apocalypse” tweet where someone had predicted this outcome would lead to the apocalypse 5 or so years ago. It had to have been a doctored tweet but it still got people talking and retweeting and reposting! Cool article and go cubs!

  2. holdthemayo4653 · ·

    Great post for so many reasons. I missed to games due to work travel and had no clue what happened last night. This was a great overview of the “drama” that was the 2016 world series. I loved your use of hyperlinks that actually made me click them and see what you were referencing (full disclosure, I rarely click them when reading peoples’ blogs). Finally, you did a great job of weaving the social media relevance at the end. This traditionally TV dominated sport became popular across multiple channels and allowed people to share in the experience together.

  3. Great post! As someone from beautiful Akron, the end of last night’s game was definitely hard to watch, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the series has been a phenomenal case study of fandom and social media. Constant snapchats of the crowds outside of Progressive, Wrigley, and countless bars have been paired with curated Instagram shots and hashtags declaring the immanent victory of one’s preferred team. A big outstanding question about all of the profits both social and traditional media have made from this series is whether they can come close to duplicating such momentous turnout in less-momentous circumstances. Do you think that expanded social media presence and interactive tools like the one pictured above have the potential to bring as many viewers to a 6 game series in which both teams were champions in the past decade? Would that be enough to offset the swaths of viewers who are being directed from Fox to Netflix for show content?

  4. Tyler O'Neill · ·

    Incredible post! At first I was wondering how the Cubs winning the World Series related to technology or digital business, but you did a good job integrating that info into the second half of your post. Personally, I absolutely hate watching baseball, but you really couldn’t have asked for a more passionate and meaningful baseball game. Both teams had much more to fight for than say the Yankees or Giants, who have been in the same position many times in recent years. It’s interesting to consider the number of viewers too. Although the game was literally once in a lifetime for fans on both sides, it’s interesting that it still attracted fewer views than the Super Bowl. It will be interesting to see how social media and the digital age affect the prevalence of certain sports that we currently view as central to American culture.

  5. Loved the post Catherine! I am personally not a Cubs fan but last night I definitely was! And I would say that momentary fandom is a result of social media. Whether it was my roommate from Chicago, who flew home to watch the game at Wrigly, snap chatting me every moment and during the celebration… or the group of BC students from Chicago who used social media to gather together to watch the game at Cityside… or watching Wrigley on FB Live (as you mentioned), social media made me feel like I was really part of something. And that’s what being a fan is; its the community and the craze and emotions that sports brings out of people that brings them together, and through social media this connection is amplified. Anyone who knew anyone who was a Cubs fan, felt that emotion last night. Even though I was totally a bandwagon fan last night, I’m glad social media made me feel like I was part of the crowd!

  6. Maybe if the Indians let Charlie Sheen throw out the first pitch they could have pulled it off (http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/cubs-indians-world-series-charlie-sheen-shows-up-to-game-7-as-rick-vaughn/). Glad to see Theo Epstein enjoying himself after another World Series win (http://nypost.com/2016/11/03/theo-epsteins-two-drunk-interviews-should-be-cherished/), the Red Sox never should have let him go. He literally built this franchise from the ground up. People were paying as much as $20,000 for tickets to game 7 which is absolutely insane to me. Great post overall.

  7. skuchma215 · ·

    Go Cubs! It’s crazy to think the last time the Cubs won a world series, there hadn’t been a world war yet and most people were still riding horses. Overall great article and good way to tie in the Cub’s series win with social media and digital business. I think Fox definitely deserves the ratings bump, they did an excellent job of covering the games, even though the Monday night football song confused me a few times. Seeing snapchats of people from Chicago celebrating really gave me a sense off how monumental this was for the city. Obviously everyone knows it’s a big deal after 108 years, but twitter and Snapchat allowed me to see exactly how people were reacting.

  8. Really enjoyed your post this week. I really liked how your voice was able to shine even though this is an online platform. You were very creative with all of your connections as well. I laughed the entire time reading. I also find it so intriguing on the social web over the past 24 hours all the stories and local outbreaks that have been coming out. It is truly amazing how much the city yearned for this win. I just find social media a great way for communities to come together and find out, follow, and share excitement about their sports teams.

  9. This was a hilarious post! I need to say that i really think that baseball is a boring sport. But yesterday this changed. I didn’t know that the world series was yesterday until a rain of comments in Facebook and twitter made me realize something was happening. As I said, I am no fan nor I am expert on baseball i decided to pass the chance to see that event. And my neighbors kept screaming and then my roommate screamed as if he was being killed and i maintained my position. It wasn’t until a received a message from my friend form SPAIN asking me if i was seeing the match. Factors important for this to be wild. He is in Spain, six hours of difference, and I am certain that this guy has no idea of baseball. This was a turnover, and finally I saw the end of the match.
    But this shows three things, one social media is incredible, secondly social media is dominated by american users at least the influencer community and finally that my friend is crazy.

  10. wfbagleyiii · ·

    Great post – and hilarious! I was wondering who will buy the rights to turn this game into a golden egg on the big screen? Lifetime? I digress. I think you nailed it. TV is absolutely becoming an old fashioned way to watch live events. With social platforms viewers can discuss what’s happening with one another and it’s really catching on. I’m curious who’s going to win the war of social platforms getting the most views for such events, but assume it’s Facebook and Twitter in the short run. Fascinating topic!

  11. ikechukwu_28 · ·

    Great post Cath. Many of my friends here at BC are from Chicago, so experiencing this WS with them has been a wild ride of both nostalgia (04 Sox) and excitement. While this WS had a ton of viewership, it still lags behind other playoff sports ratings, which is a problem baseball has been suffering from. With the genesis of multiple social media platforms, it will be interesting to see if they cause viewership to decline even more in the future.

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