Was that just another windy day in Chicago or the result of a collective sigh from the city's baseball fanatics?
It's been over 100 years since both our baseball teams were in the playoffs at the same time. On the North Side, the anticipation was greater this year than in any previous season. The Cubs had better starting pitching, better hitting, better closers (Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood) and more team speed than ever in their history. On the South Side, the Sox far exceeded early season expectations and fought and clawed their way into the playoffs by winning their last 3 games (including a one-game playoff) against 3 different teams.
Alas, Chicago proved once again to be the city of broken dreams. The Cubs shocked their faithful by losing 3 straight (including the first 2 at home) to the Dodgers. The White Sox didn't fare much better, only winning one game before they were closed out by Tampa Bay.
Cubs fans, who know too well that this was the 100th anniversary of the team's last World Series victory, dared to dream again and allowed themselves to be totally invested in their heroes. How easy will it be for them to rejuvenate their passion come opening day '09? White Sox fans were hopeful, but once the Sox got in the playoffs, most fans considered everything after that gravy. They were pumped after the first victory at home, and even stood in appreciation when the team's fate was finally sealed.
October was set up to be a crazy, zany month with fans preoccupied with our national pastime. Now, we can all get back to things of lesser significance: The presidential election, the economy and the bailout, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan/Pakistan, climate change and the environment and the financial needs of both Chicago and Illinois. And now, we can also turn our attention to dreaming about a Bears playoff run. After all, we wouldn't be Chicagoans if we didn't dream!