When a Los Angeles Dodger hit a grand-slam home run off of the Cubs’ most reliable pitcher in the first game of the National League division series, a great silence descended on Wrigley Field. I was there, one of 42,000 faithful who thought this might be the year our team would go all the way. After all, the Cubs had played good baseball all season and had the best record in the National League. Even the skeptics thought that the end of the team’s century-long drought—the Cubs have gone longer without a championship than any team in professional sports—was in sight.
Then the Cubs lost three straight to the Dodgers and were out of the playoffs.
The century of futility has produced philosophic reflection and lots of bad humor. It also has given preachers and congregations a rich trove of theological illustrations: Cubs fans understand what it means to live in hope, to wait in the darkness until the light shines.