Yes, I was there. Well, not inside Busch stadium when the Cardinals were crowned champions, but I was in St. Louis. I was a couple blocks away watching the game with hundreds of Cardinals fans outside. It was cold that night. Being a Cubs fan, one would assume I’m naturally a cold person as well. However, no one in St. Louis could be cold on October 28th, 2011. It was in the low 40′s at best that night, but there was a warmth that grew throughout the city with each passing pitch, each passing at-bat, and each passing inning.
I high-fived Cards fans with each passing out, trying not to be the one curly fry in their french fries. Unlike most Cubs fans, I wasn’t cheering for the Texas Rangers or against the St. Louis Cardinals. I was just there to be a part of something. Something that would make thousands, if not millions of people happy. Surprise Surprise… I became happy too. No matter who you are, it’s hard not to be happy for those people with me in the gardens going crazy, hugging and kissing one another like it was New Years. It was hard not to be happy for the little kids who have no idea how lucky they are to be apart of such a miracle.
People were running all different ways in the streets. Cars were stopped, honking in jubilation. Kids were climbing up trees and laying on the ground. And me, I was going along with the fun. Instead of being the sour Cubs fan, I enjoyed myself. I wasn’t celebrating the Cardinals as much as I was celebrating what they actually had just accomplished. But I was celebrating nonetheless. Ask anybody, except a Rangers fan, that was there. You couldn’t help but to feel happy.
A good friend of mine, and Cardinals fan, has said, “I’m not going to take this for granted. Us Cards fans should realize that we will NEVER see anything like this again.”
He doesn’t mean that the Cardinals will never win a World Series again because, well, God obviously loves them dearly to pull off such a miracle. No, what he refers to is the fact that this team probably shouldn’t have won the wild card. They shouldn’t have beat the best starting rotation known to man. They shouldn’t have beat the “Monsters” up at Wrigley North. And they sure as hell shouldn’t have beat the 2-time American League Champion, Chuck Norris supporting Texas Rangers.
But they did.
And that’s all that matters. The fact that they did it. Many will say this team got lucky. They did. Others will say that they just got hot at the right time. They did. And there will be a pack of people that will say that this is right next to the 2006 Cardinals as the worst team to win a World Series.
This is where I disagree. To do what they did, accomplish what they accomplished, defy the odds that they defied, this team has to go down as one of the BEST teams to ever win a World Series.
The Cardinals winning a World Series was how I imagined. Streets full of red. Friends and strangers embracing as if there will be no tomorrow. However, WHEN the Cubs do win the World Series, I don’t think anyone will be able to imagine what it will be like. My best guess is that instead of seeing smiles everywhere, you will see tears. The kind you only shed on the best days of your life.
One thing I can promise you, I WILL be there when it happens. I want to feel what Cardinals fans felt last night.
Hopefully, soon, I won’t have to say this anymore. But there is only one thing I can do until then…
Wait ’til next year.