With World Series At 3-1, 'Cursed' Cubs Fans Cope With Last Night's Loss
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
To baseball now. The Cleveland Indians are up 3-1 in the World Series. Our resident Cubs fan, Scott Simon, is in Chicago recovering from last night's game. He joins me now on the line. Hi, Scott. How are you doing?
SCOTT SIMON, BYLINE: Hi, Rachel. Are you there, Rachel?
MARTIN: I'm here. Are you OK?
SIMON: My wife had to call - at 3:00 a.m., I was draping myself off the Michigan Avenue Bridge, wondering what life was all about. And she reminded me it was her and the kids, so I'm back here with you.
MARTIN: All right.
SIMON: I'm fine.
MARTIN: You're all right. How was the game? I mean, you were there. I mean, it's exciting.
SIMON: How was the game?
SIMON: Didn't you see it? Yes. You know...
MARTIN: ...Some of it.
SIMON: Cleveland's a great team. Cleveland's a great team. They won 7-2. Corey Kluber was terrific after three days' rest. I have been sitting for the past couple of games a few rows behind the family of Jason Kipnis, who's from Northbrook, Ill., a suburb north of here. And he hit - it was, I believe, a three-run home run last night. And his family, they're just wonderful people. They got a contingent from Northbrook, and they talk about how he's always - it's always been his dream to hit a home run in the World Series in Wrigley Field.
And I wanted to say, yes, but surely for our team (laughter), not the other team. But look, Cleveland's been terrific. Their pitching staff in particular has been terrific. As a Cub fan, I'm glad, you know, there's no curse. There's no billy goat. There's no black cat walking past the dugout. This is just good pitching. And the Cub bats haven't come around. They're only - Rachel, they're only behind three games to one. And...
MARTIN: ...Only three games to one? I mean...
SIMON: ...And it's happened five times in World Series history that, you know, a team is down three games to one - and you know Stu Rushfield, who I believe is our technical director?
MARTIN: Here's our engineer here, yes, behind the glass.
SIMON: He reminds me that the last time a team was down three games to one and came on to win the championship was just 140 days ago when the Cleveland Cavaliers did it in a totally different sport, basketball. But he said, you know, miracles are possible.
MARTIN: So you have been in Chicago, your hometown, for the last few days, talking with people, marking this moment. What has that been like for you?
SIMON: Oh, it's been wonderful. I mean, the streets have - it's just been awash with Cubby Bear blue. And people doff their hats to each other like it's a town in the Old West. You know, the streets are throbbing on the North Side within 10, 12 blocks of the ballpark from the early morning hours. Everybody says hello to each other. It's something - it's - you know, it's utterly wonderful to be here and to be swept away in the euphoria of the town.
And you run into so many people who are not going to the World Series. They're watching it on TV. You know, they're watching it in bars with their friends. You know, I've run into people from all over the country, even a couple of people who live outside the country, who say, look, I just had to be in my town with my Cubs for this because it's a more than once-in-a-lifetime advantage to - you know, my grandfather died without seeing the Cubs in a World Series.
MARTIN: Are you ever coming back, Scott? Or are you just going to stay there and be in this moment for as long as you can?
SIMON: (Laughter) If they lose tonight - you know, if they lose tonight, I'm coming back, Rachel. What can I tell you? If - you know, if they don't find me in the river. Yes, of course I'm coming back.
MARTIN: Scott Simon, keep hope alive, my friend. Keep hope alive.
SIMON: I like that phrase. Another Chicagoan coined that, you know.
MARTIN: (Laughter) I did not. Teaching me things every day. NPR's Scott Simon. Thanks so much, Scott. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.