So here’s what happened. I got home and the power was out. While reporting the outage, I jumped on a bus to head into Old Town (<5 minutes, no driving tonight). Got off and went over the Jack’s, a nearby sports bar. When I got to the door I found out that Jack’s had closed two weeks ago. So I walked further into downtown Scottsdale, settling upon Scapegoat, one of my favorite bars. The goat reference was coincidental, yet I took it all the way. I ate a lovely sandwich called ‘The G.O.A.T.’ If the bar had Celebrator I would’ve loaded up.
When I entered it was still largely an after-work crowd with a handful of Cubs fans watching the game. Scapegoat is not a sports bar and only has one TV. It’s also a quite small bar, so when a crowd of 20 people come in they can practically take over the place. So I chatted up a bunch of Cubs fans that came around the 5th inning and a couple Indians fans, me being the neutral observer. As the tension rose the Cubs fans got more jokey (a well-developed defense mechanism I have seen elsewhere), but still desperately hopeful. Even as the Cubs lost the lead the fans didn’t get depressed. They saw the prize in the near distance. And as Kris Bryant smiled while fielding the last grounder and threw to first for the final out, I sat there and watched the gathered fans. I realized that I’ll never truly appreciate winning like they are right now. The fans have been down for so long, so much failure and disappointment, and now the ultimate in sheer joy. It was beautiful.
As I left I shook hands with them and said, “Enjoy this. Next year the Cubs will be hated by America like every other team.” I’m sure they enjoyed it to the fullest. I walked home.
Baseball’s pretty great, indeed.