Some stories satisfy you because of an unexpected twist, others because they so richly fulfill expectations.
As predictably as a rom-com ending with a kiss, the Chicago Cubs lost at home yesterday during the 100th anniversary celebration of their beloved Wrigley Field. And they didn’t just lose. That wouldn’t play to type. They gave the fans what they really expected and blew a three-run lead in the ninth inning. They went on to fall 7-5 to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Welcome to Wrigley Field, the most ornate burial ground in America.
If another team lost at their stadium’s centennial party, it would be ironic. For the Cubs, it wasn’t ironic, it was expected. Anything other than a ham-handed, bumbling loss would have left people dumbfounded, confused even. A victory would have sparked talk of turning corners, turning over new ivy leaves, embracing brighter futures blah blah blah blah blahhhhhhhhh ….
No, no, no. This loss was right and good, like cops catching robbers, like the guy getting the girl. Give the people what they want, because what they want is what they expect when they walk in the door. And people don’t expect the Cubs to win big games. They expect them to lose, big-time. And did the Cubs deliver?
Yes, they did.
Before the game, the Cubs honored several star players from the past 50 years — Banks, Williams, Dawson (no Sosa, predictably). These guys really are heroes, not for their Series-winning hits or catches, but simply for rising above the mediocre North Side mess.
If yesterday was about celebrating the past and all that is Cubdom, this loss was the most appropriate thing the Cubs could have done. It was the capturing of the villain, the bully’s humiliation, the kiss (OK, the kiss of death).
That, dear friends, is what Wrigley and the Cubs have always been about.