We know the Cleveland Indians advanced to the World Series a couple days ago. Yay, Lake Erie. Now the Chicago Cubs have joined them and they did it fair and square by beating the LA Dodgers with ace Clayton Kershaw on the mound. Here, here for the north siders.
The question now becomes -- who to root for? Neither has won a World Series in quite some time. The Indians over a half century ago and the Cubs over a full century. Both are long overdue.
Having grown up and currently still living in a northern Detroit suburb, yours truly finds himself almost equidistant from the two cities so there's no geographical/proximity loyalty. To boot, I like both teams. The players, the managers, the works. I would root for either against just about anybody else, but this match-up is unique. Still, somebody's gotta win the WS and somebody's gotta lose. The curse will go on in one city, while the other will be delirious with joy. So let's look at other factors. Which city is starving for a championship more?
Cleveland is fresh off a somewhat improbable NBA championship. True, the NFL's Browns have long been terrible and absolutely stink this year as well. And they don't even have an NHL team. Still, it would be cool to see the Indians (ala the movie "Major League") get over the top. Give em the heater Rickey.
Conversely, the Cubs have gone a whopping 108 years without a title. Before World War One. Definitely a long time.
But Chicago has had its share of champions in recent years. The dominant Bulls of the Michael Jordan era wren't all that long ago. And the Black Hawks have hoisted three Stanley Cups in the last six years. That's a lot of banners, trophies, and parades for one city. But c'mon man, it's the Cubbies -- right? How can anybody outside of the immediate Cleveland area root against those guys?
Still, it's a tough call. Here's hoping the WS goes seven games and one of them wins the finale 15-14. In at least 12 innings.
Speaking of Illinois, what can the Illini possibly have been thinking? They hired Lovie Smith as the head coach of their football team? Isn't this the same guy that sleep walked through nine long years of mediocrity as the Chicago Bears coach before finally getting fired? The very same that then promptly put up an 8-24 record with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the last two years before getting run out of that town too?
And the Illini grabbed him to turn their program around? Does it get any more boneheaded than that?
First of all, guys with names like Lovie aren't supposed to be football coaches. Neither are Romeos (see Crennell -- another loser). This is a MAN'S game, dammit. We don't need any Wilburs, Dilberts, Theodores, or Felixs either.
Worse, just the very look on Smith's face is enough to give one pause as to his competency. To the average eye, he comes across as----
A. Having just woken up in a strange new alien world.
B. Stewed to the gills and/or stoned to the bone, or
C. Gee, that lobotomy was fun. Who am I now?
In other words, he doesn't exactly project an aura of superior command of what is going on around him with a football team.
To compound their problem, the Illini now have Jeff George Jr. quarterbacking their team. He appears as clueless as his old man. Good luck with all that.
Nevertheless, bring on the World Series. This should be really good, and either way a franchise that is long overdue for glory will finally taste it.
The loser? Sad, but it's not like they haven't experienced it before. Maybe next year.