The City of Chicago was in full-on celebration mode on Friday, November 4, as millions of people gathered to celebrate the Chicago Cubs World Series Championship. It was estimated that 5 million people – the largest gathering of humans in the history of the United States and 7th largest in human history – jammed the streets from Wrigley Field to Grant Park to catch a glimpse of their heroes and to see that beautiful World Series Trophy.
— FOX 32 News (@fox32news) November 4, 2016
I arrived at Grant Park at 8:30 in the morning, about 3 1/2 hours before the rally was scheduled to be held, and it was already a huge party, just an incredible sight to see so many Cubs fans all in one place. Every direction you walked or looked were people wearing Cubs shirts, hats, carrying W flags, singing ‘Go Cubs Go’, chanting ‘let’s go Cubbies.’ It really was a remarkable day.
What struck me the most about the day was just how overjoyed and well-behaved everyone was. It’s not like I didn’t expect that but to be there and actually see that many people, together and so excited and overjoyed, it was just….wow. Why can’t everything else in life be that awesome?
The streets were packed from side to side with people waiting, anticipating the moment when that first bus would come down Michigan Avenue. It was around noon when the players and coaches finally reached me – I ended up at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Lake Street, mainly because I finally found a great spot that was elevated enough to ensure I had a good view.
It sure was an amazing site to see when the final bus rolled up and I could finally see what I, and every other Cubs fan alive, have waited a lifetime for – that big, shiny, gorgeous World Series trophy. It was everything I had ever hoped for and way, way more. A truly unique, amazing, surreal moment.
Once the buses rolled by, the crowd dispersed in orderly fashion, many of them recounting their favorite sights of the day, a lot of them still talking about that incredible game 7. I’m pretty sure that everyone who was downtown, with the exception of maybe three people, were sporting Cubs gear. It was a dream come true.
I headed down to Wrigley Field later in the afternoon, thinking that if I waited a couple of hours to go down it’d be a little less crowded then earlier. Well, it may have been less crazy than earlier in the day but it was still such an unreal sight to behold. It felt just like a normal game day except a little more busy and much more boisterous. It was a straight-up party and everyone was having such an incredible time. Horns honking, singing, cheering, just a whole bunch of joy.
I walked to Wrigley and took a shot of that beautiful marquee that was lit up with the words ‘World Series Champions.’ That was certainly one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Once I snapped a few photos I thought I’d duck into Sports World and scout some World Championship gear and, once again, I was mistaken. There were long lines wrapping around the building to get in. ‘Ok,’ I thought, ‘time to go drink some beer.’
So I rolled down to one of my favorite spots, Gingerman Tavern (or G Man) and I proceeded to get my celebration on. I met a lot of happy Cubs fans, and some old friends too. We talked, recounting the season, the postseason and we even talked about spring training, which doesn’t feel all that far away.
As I was leaving the bar and walking toward Wrigley Field, Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod and a bunch of others all came walking out of the Metro, which is next door to G Man. Apparently they were holding a Cubs staff party there – I must’ve lost my invitation.
As I was walking, I spotted a friend and we chatted for several minutes and then, out of nowhere, fireworks started shooting off at Wrigley, no one knew what was going on or why there were fireworks but it was obvious really. As I walked by I could hear Smashing Pumpkins loudly echoing from inside the park. Yeah, they were in there partying it up and man, what I would’ve given to be in there too.
Overall, it was a sweet day, one that I’ve dreamt about but, honestly, it was so much better than I ever imagined it would be. Wow. This whole World Series experience has been just awesome. I went to all seven games of the World Series, saw an incredible end in game 7, and met so many wonderful people along the way. I can’t wait to do it all again next year!