With all due respect to Michael Jordan’s six championships and the ’85 Bears, the 2016 Cubs will occupy a space in rarefied Chicago air for the foreseeable future, for when it comes to which team or which title means the most to Chicago sports fans, it’s no contest.
“This by far,” Chicago’s 670 The Score reporter Bruce Levine said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones, referring to the Cubs’ epic come-from-behind World Series win. “It’s something that no one had ever seen. People that are 85, 90 years old didn’t come close to seeing them as a World Series champion. Some of those people that are 85 to 90 remember them being in the World Series. That’s it. Nobody alive saw them as world champions. So I think this by far trumps that. Before this, I would have told you it was the ’85 Super Bowl Bears and the way they perpetuated it with Mike Ditka and those great players for so many years. But I think this blows all that way.”
The Cubs overcame a 3-1 World Series deficit and survived extra innings in Game 7 on Wednesday to win their first championship since 1908. Many people played a pivotal role in the Cubs’ run to the title, none more so than Theo Epstein, who has now ended the two most infamous “curses” in baseball, if not all of sports.
“This was a five-year plan, and it came to fruition in four years, as they went pretty deep in the playoffs last year a lot sooner than they thought,” Levine said. “But that’s what ownership brought him in for. They brought him in to strip it down and put it back together. That’s certainly what he and his people did. He had a mandate to create a new tradition with the Cubs of a young team with sustainable success, and that’s what he did.”
The Indians, meanwhile, are still searching for their first World Series title since 1948. But given the talent on their roster, the Indians could be back in the Fall Classic next season.
“Congratulations to the Cleveland Indians, who were just as amazing a team this year as well,” Levine said. “I don’t look at them as losers; I just look at the Chicago Cubs as a team that just happened to win this ball game and win this series. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about if you’re an (Indians fan).”