Last year I watched my beloved Portland Timbers (alone at my local Pizza Hut, which also happens to be a decent sports bar) erase 50 years of futility by winning the MLS cup. I walked out to my car with tears in my eyes. It was so moving to think about how important the very few (very unsuccessful) sports teams Portland has are to that city. Those fans are essentially college sports fans of commercial city teams. The only reason that the Timbers have somehow managed to survive is because of the loyal Timbers army. There have been numerous different Timbers organizations and the fans keep the legacy in tact. Through bankruptcy, through all kinds of disappointment they remain faithful. And they were rewarded last year. And this year we missed the playoffs entirely. Such is life.
I also watched the Blazers end their playoff drought in that same Pizza Hut. Maybe it’s good luck…
Then this last year the world watched as Leicester City won the Premier League. Something my beloved Liverpool has never done.
Then the world watched again as Le Bron James finally brought redemption to Cleveland. This was more remarkable than most people realize because the Warriors were basically the 07 Patriots of the NBA and it is essentially statistically impossible to win a Finals game 7 on the road. It hadn’t happened since like 1981 until Cleveland did it last summer.
And then the Indians almost brought another championship to Cleveland. That fact alone is amazing considering how title bereft that poor city has become. Before their finals victory Jim Brown was the last Champion Cleveland could point to, back in 64.
But in the end after the rains washed away the curse(s) the lovable loser Cubs became the lovable winners.
In an era where no one can remember how pathetic the Patriots used to be and the two most successful MLB franchises are the lowly Giants and Red Sox and the best rivalry in the NHL takes place in Los Angeles and Manchester City is better than that other team from Manchester…it seems like (at least in sports) anything might be possible.