I’ll be the first to admit, walking into the lobby of the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Chicago and seeing that Godzilla-sized World Series trophy made me get the feelies. My chest puffed up and my chin raised in the air as I walked by trying to act like it was old hat, like we should have expected this all along (of course we should have). For fans at the Cubs Convention this weekend, it was all about the World Series championship, as you’d rightfully expect.
For too many years, Cubs fans have had to endure way too much. Too much taunting, too many goat references, too much of the ol’ lovable losers nonsense, and too much of just about everything that was associated with the Cubs not winning it all. This weekend was the first chance since the World Series parade that the Cubs and their fans could hoot and holler, be over-the-top happy, play ‘We are the Champions’ (again), dance, high-five, say “The Cubs are World Champions” over and over. They did it all while being completely immersed in a veritable Cubs kingdom.
If there was one take-away from CubsCon 2017 it was that this weekend was about celebrating (a lot) while the whole family was in town. Now I’m sitting on an airplane heading back home to Arizona, still basking in that championship glow and realizing that there was a common theme to the weekend. And it was more than just the continuation of that crazy, beautiful game on a warm, pulpy night in Cleveland that bound us all together forever.
At previous Cubs Conventions — and pretty much everywhere Cubs players, fans, and management went — the biggest question was always regarding whether and when the team would finally win it all. Now that we have the answer to that question, as new one has taken its place in everyone’s minds: When is the next time the Cubs will win it all? We have officially transitioned from if and when to how many.
— Jon Strong (@CubsKingdom) January 14, 2017
Let’s face it, this Cubs team is all of the above. They’ve got another year of experience under their belt, one that included being the front-runner all season long and then translating that into a World Series for the ages. What does that reveal when held up to the light? A team that is led by the most talented executives, coaching staff, scouts, player development, and players in all of baseball.
The common theme from every panel I listened to was simple: This team is young; exceptionally talented; hard-working, and we’ve yet to see them reach their potential. The confidence that oozed from the entire organization this weekend was nothing if not humble recognition of the reality that exists. When you have a team that’s this good and has already attained that ultimate goal of a championship, you can’t help but see a future with more parades and trophy tours in it.
Now that the Chicago Cubs have finally won it all, management doesn’t have to answer those relentless questions from lines of fans about why they’re doing what they’re doing. Players past and current feel that same relief. There is only one thing left for this organization to prove, and that’s that they can win it all again. That quest will start again in a few short weeks in Mesa.