By Roger Currie
In Canadian football, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are still in the hunt for the 2016 Grey Cup, but based on the egg they laid last weekend against the Ottawa Redblacks, led by the oldest quarterback in captivity, we sort of have the feeling that at least one more year will pass by before they sip the bubbly. That’s more than a quarter of a century since the Manitoba capital had a football champion to cheer for, and most of the names on their Ring of Honour go back a lot further than that.
Hey, Toronto will soon be celebrating 50 years since the Leafs won it all in hockey, and it won’t happen this season either.
I don’t know about Mudville, but there surely is joy in the Windy City of Chicago. For the first time since 1908, the Cubs have won a World Series. The sad part is they had to disappoint the folks in Cleveland who have waited 68 years already.
It’s hard to get your mind around a championship drought that lasts more than a century. In 1908, most Americans did not drive cars or enjoy electricity. Most did not have telephones, and wondrous toys like radio and television and smartphones, were strictly barely in the minds of fantasy writers like Jules Verne.
But if you lived in Chicago back then, you had a choice of two great ball clubs to cheer for. They faced each other in a World Series for the only time in 1906.
In a five-year span, the Cubs won four national league pennants and two World Series. Wrigley Field was not there until 1914. The Cubs played at West Side Park, and the announcer used a megaphone to announce the batters.
It was almost 30 years before major league baseball was played at night, and the Cubs didn’t play home games under the lights until 1988.
The team has many loyal fans, although strangely Barack Obama says he’s a White Sox guy. Better make it a good meal for the boys at the White House, Mr. President.
Somehow, I still don’t think we should be watching baseball in November, but it all worked out did it not?
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Roger Currie is a writer, storyteller, voice for hire, observer of life on the Canadian prairies, and can be heard on CJNU 93.7FM in Winnipeg.