Daily Egyptian

108 years of agony, heartbreak over for Cubs fans after World Series victory

Cubs+fans+celebrate+the+team%27s+first+World+Series+championship+since+1908+on+Wednesday%2C+Nov.+2%2C+2016%2C+at+Tres+Hombres+in+Carbondale.+Brittany+Ristaino%2C+pictured+second+from+right%2C+said+she+has+been+waiting+for+this+moment+her+whole+life.+%22I+couldn%27t+even+breathe+from+the+eighth+inning+on%2C%22+said+Ristaino%2C+a+DeSoto+native.+%22I+was+just+holding+my+breath.+I%27ve+never+wanted+anything+so+bad%2C+for+so+many+other+people%2C+in+my+life.+There%27s+never+been+a+team+with+more+young+players+with+more+heart+that+wanted+this+more+than+we+wanted+it+tonight.+And+I+think+we+proved+that.%22+The+Northsiders+won+the+Series+4-3.
Cubs fans celebrate the team's first World Series championship since 1908 on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, at Tres Hombres in Carbondale. Brittany Ristaino, pictured second from right, said she has been waiting for this moment her whole life.

Cubs fans celebrate the team's first World Series championship since 1908 on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, at Tres Hombres in Carbondale. Brittany Ristaino, pictured second from right, said she has been waiting for this moment her whole life. "I couldn't even breathe from the eighth inning on," said Ristaino, a DeSoto native. "I was just holding my breath. I've never wanted anything so bad, for so many other people, in my life. There's never been a team with more young players with more heart that wanted this more than we wanted it tonight. And I think we proved that." The Northsiders won the Series 4-3.

(Morgan Timms | @Morgan_Timms)

(Morgan Timms | @Morgan_Timms)

Cubs fans celebrate the team's first World Series championship since 1908 on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, at Tres Hombres in Carbondale. Brittany Ristaino, pictured second from right, said she has been waiting for this moment her whole life. "I couldn't even breathe from the eighth inning on," said Ristaino, a DeSoto native. "I was just holding my breath. I've never wanted anything so bad, for so many other people, in my life. There's never been a team with more young players with more heart that wanted this more than we wanted it tonight. And I think we proved that." The Northsiders won the Series 4-3.

By Sean Carley

Cars drove down the Strip late Wednesday night honking their horns. Rogue fireworks went off above the skyline. Strangers hugged strangers yelling, “We did it!” All of this for a team that resides 337 miles from where they stood.

“Sure as God made green apples, someday the Chicago Cubs will be in the World Series,” the late Cubs announcer Harry Caray said in 1991.

Not only did they make the Series, but the Northsiders are World Series champions after coming back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Cleveland Indians in seven games.

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When the Cubs last won the World Series in 1908, the zipper had not been invented. Nothing was the best thing since sliced bread because sliced bread wasn’t available yet. Even the Cubs’ famous Wrigley Field hadn’t been built.

After first baseman Anthony Rizzo caught the final out to clinch the championship, fans in Carbondale took to the streets to celebrate the end of the 108-year drought.

Cubs fans all over the world have been waiting for this for 108 years and it’s finally here,” Andrew Gagnon, a junior from Bartlett studying civil engineering said.

Tristan Workman, of Carbondale, embraces a friend Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, while celebrating the Cubs' 2016 World Series championship at Tres Hombres in Carbondale. The Northsiders won the Series 4-3.

(Morgan Timms | @Morgan_Timms)
Tristan Workman, of Carbondale, embraces a friend Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, while celebrating the Cubs’ 2016 World Series championship at Tres Hombres in Carbondale. The Northsiders won the Series 4-3.

Hours after the Cubs clinched victory, fans still had trouble comprehending what had happened.

“I can’t believe this,” Tyler Tuchscherer, a senior from Crystal Lake studying marketing said. “I never thought I would see this in my lifetime. Every year it’s ‘Next year is going to be the year’ and it never is. We’re finally the freaking champs.”

While Saluki fans of the Cubs have dealt with plenty of struggle, their families have been often been deprived for much longer.

Kyle Heisler, a senior studying marketing and psychology from Mount Prospect, said being a Cubs fan is often a family tradition.

“My family has been Cubs fans through all our lives, our grandparents’ lives,” he said. “You’re brought up as a Cubs fan, you don’t deviate from that. You’re not going to be a Sox fan or a Cards fan because it’d be going against your family and it’s sacrilegious.”

With many fans being away from their families while in Carbondale, they found unique ways to share this moment with their loved ones.

“We had a group text going and we would text the whole time,” Gagnon said. “[Being Cubs fans] is more of a family thing than anything.”

For his family in particular, the Cubs’ World Series win served an extra special purpose toward remembering a loved one who just missed the feat.

Gagnon lost his grandfather, Tony Covelli, on Oct. 14 after battling cancer.

He said while in his hospital bed Covelli would watch every Cubs game up until the day he died.

He’s up in heaven watching this and making this happen,” Gagnon said. “I wish he would have made it up to this. It’s just so sad having that happen, but he would want us to be happy, so we’re happy and we’re going to celebrate.”

For those who were lucky enough to witness the first Cubs title in more than a century, seeing their favorite team come out on top was enough to become overwhelmed with emotion.

“I don’t want to say I got choked up a bit, but I did because everything we’ve been waiting for finally happened,” Heisler said.

Cubs fans react to a play in the 10th and final inning of the Cubs' World Series-winning game against the Indians on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, at Tres Hombres in Carbondale. The Cubs won the 2016 World Series 4-3, the team's first championships since 1908.

(Morgan Timms | @Morgan_Timms)
Cubs fans react to a play in the 10th and final inning of the Cubs’ World Series-winning game against the Indians on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, at Tres Hombres in Carbondale. The Cubs won the 2016 World Series 4-3, the team’s first championships since 1908.

He was not alone.

“My mom and dad grew up in Wrigley so this is a very special moment for them,” Tuchscherer said. “When I talked to my mom on the phone right after they won, she was crying.”

“My grandmother who’s a Cubs fan was in bed,” Kaitlynn Daubaras, a senior from Westmont studying pre-veterinary studies said. “But, I called my mom who’s a Sox fan and woke her up and she cried for us. She was so happy. I think everyone was waiting for it.”

Multiple local businesses, such as Tres Hombres and Pinch Penny Pub, held viewing parties to cater to the Cubs faithful.

“It just proves what great fans the Cubs have,” Daubaras said. “We’ve kept it up for over 100 years and everybody, no matter what season, good or bad, smiles at the end of it. This won’t change anything, everybody’s happy and everyone will stay happy.”

Wednesday put an end to the longest-running series of “curses” in American sports.

Starting in 1945, mentions of Billy Goats caused Cubs fans to cringe after William Sianis, pet goat in hand, declared “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more.”

Then comes the black cat curse of 1969. Then the infamous Steve Bartman in 2003, that Heisler knew all too well.

“To finally have a World Series,” he said. “We can put to rest those memories of 2003, 1969, all of it. We were actually in the seats where Steve Bartman was for a game that next year. There was just that negative feeling of him more or less ruining that game and or potential to go to the World Series.”

But now it’s all over. The team whose fans always said “Next year,” finally had next year happen.

From here on out, Daubaras said “next year” could spark a potential dynasty.

It feels so good, we needed a new motto,” she said. “Now we’re going to keep winning. Next year has a whole new meaning.”

Sports editor Sean Carley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @SCarleyDE.

To stay up to date with all your SIU sports news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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