Coming into this season, the Chicago Cubs were supposed to be a year away from contention. With their long rebuild nearly complete, 2016 would be the year when it call came together.
But no one told the players, and the plucky upstarts on the north side of Chicago just kept winning. This is the year, they seemed to declare. The year to lift the curse of the billy goat, to forget about Bartman and to live up to the prophecy foretold in Back to the Future II. This was a year for the Cubs to win the World Series.
Not any more. On Tuesday, the Cubs lost game three of the NLCS as Joe Maddon’s supremely talented band of phenoms looked like the Cubbies of old, bumbling and uncoordinated, desperate to wrest defeat from the jaws of victory.
Now fans have a new scapegoat: the movie that gave them hope in the first place. Call it the curse of Back to the Future II, the movie that prophesied a Cubs World Series win, by sweep, on October 21, 2015. Instead, the Cubs might get swept themselves tonight and miss out on their best chance to reach the World Series in over a decade.
It’s hard to come down too hard on these fans. This is the way of the Cub. With logic incapable of explaining a century of atheltic ineptitude, they’ve turned to the fanciful and cinematic for comfort. And to their credit, it’s not hard to imagine the baseball gods smiting the Cubs this year. How dare they presume a World Series win because a 26-year-old movie predicted it? For a franchise so steeped in superstition, that’s more than enough reason to concoct a new curse.
But hey Cubs fans, unless something crazy happens and your team digs itself out of a 0-3 hole, there’s always next year! And this time, that actually means something.
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