Baseball, America’s pastime, was once by far the most popular sport in America. Yet, with recent generations, it has been passed up for faster paced sports like football, basketball and hockey. As one of the most historical World Series matchups ever unfolded, we witnessed a resurgence of the sport that is considered by many to be a staple of the American people, and not so much because of baseball itself, but because of the storyline that entertained the American people.
The Chicago Cubs broke their legendary 108-year-old curse by winning the 2016 World Series, after being behind three games to one to the Cleveland Indians. For the Indians, their 68-year drought continues in heartbreaking fashion.
Regardless of which side you were on; I think everyone can agree that this will be considered one of the greatest World Series of all time.
With a series of such historical significance, the entire nation was captivated by the dramatic way it played out. According to the Ports Business Journal, Game 7 was the most watched baseball broadcast in over 15 years, with a T.V. rating of 25.2. Game 6 had an overnight rating of 14.8, according to sportingnews.com.
The reason for these high ratings is that people had a reason to watch. The average American is not very intrigued to a series between two teams they have no attachment to for a sport they see as boring. But this year, unlike any before, Americans were drawn to the underdog stories of both sides. Not necessarily in the actual talent of these teams, but in the history that seemed to be against both the Cubs and the Indians.
The Cubs had not won a World Series since winning back-to-back championships in 1907 and 1908, which is the reason behind their infamous curse. This will be seen as one of the most significant moments in sports history, and everyone wants to be able to say they witnessed history.
As for Cleveland fans, after the Cleveland Cavaliers broke the championship drought for Cleveland after winning the 2016 NBA Championship, they saw this as a chance for the Indians to open the floodgates for Cleveland sports (except for the Browns, of course). The Cavaliers came back from being down three games to one to the Golden State.
Warriors, who had gone a record 73-9 in the regular season and were led by their point guard Stephen Curry, who was the first unanimous MVP in NBA history, according to ESPN.
Fans were drawn to the irony of the fact that the Indians took a 3-1 lead against the Cubs, and lost two games toforceagameseven,before officially blowing the lead after losing 8-7 in 10 innings. The Warriors lead in the NBA Finals was the biggest Finals lead ever lost. Basketball fans across the country took every opportunity to make fun of the fact that the team with the greatest record ever also broke a record for biggest Finals lead lost.
While for the fans, this presented the entertaining situation of the tables being turned on Cleveland fans, statistically this isn’t that shocking. While the Warriors were the first to lose a 3-1 lead in the Finals, teams leading the World Series 3-1 lose that lead 13 percent of the time, according to usatoday.com. To put that in perspective, the World Series began in 1903, 113 years ago.
For the Indians, this dramatic loss is nothing new. Cleveland is notorious for hanging in long enough to get the fans excited, just to lose it in the end. For the fans, once again, they will have to try and get over this one and stick the infamous motto, “there’s always next year!”
As for the Cubs, the streak is over, and they can now bask in the glory of a championship, and the franchise is now on top of the world. The question becomes whether they will keep it going and continue as one of the top franchises in baseball.