Every year, a champion is crowned in the NBA, NHL, NFL and MLB, leaving 29 or 31 fan bases to wait until next year. It is a time-honored tradition for fans of those losing clubs to make their championship dreams come true in a video game.
Until last night, the Chicago Cubs had not won the World Series since 1908 — a time long before television was a thing, much less video games. So for the entire existence of the video game medium, which was born in the 1970s, the only place where the Cubs were the champions was in baseball video games. (Well, there and in Back to the Future Part II’s vision of 2015.)
Today, the entire city of Chicago — or at least, the north side — is celebrating the Cubs’ first World Series win in 108 years. The scenes of jubilation last night from Wrigleyville and across the city may have looked familiar to some people, if they’d seen a memorable commercial for a certain baseball video game: 2012’s MLB 12 The Show.
The minutelong ad, which you can watch below, is full of Chicagoans finally being relieved of more than a century of pent-up frustration and “lovable loser” angst. Then, of course, it’s all revealed to be happening only in the mind of one Cubs fan — and in the copy of MLB 12 that he’s playing. But it’s remarkably similar to what we saw unfold in Chicago last night, and it’s a wonderful reminder that for every long-suffering sports fan, hope springs eternal that eventually, someday will be today.