It’s the best time of year to be a sports fan.
Whether you participate or watch, local sports or the pros on TV, so much is happening in October.
Our little piece of paradise has been getting a lot of rain lately, perhaps providing an excuse to stay indoors and watch some professional athletes ply their trade for our entertainment.
All four major North American pro sports — hockey, football, baseball and basketball — intersect in October, the only month of the year that happens.
Much of the intrigue this month centres around futility. The Chicago Cubs, cursed by a goat, are in the World Series starting this week against Cleveland. The Cubs last won the Series in 1908, Cleveland in 1948. It’s hard not to cheer for the Cubs this year.
The last time the Cubs won the World Series, their highest paid player, Johnny Kling, made $4,500 for the season. The top annual salary on the Cubs this year belongs to game one starting pitcher John Lester: $25 million. Women couldn’t vote in 1908; Hilary Clinton is likely going to win the presidential election next month.
Speaking of futility, the Vancouver Canucks have started the new season well, providing many hockey fans around these parts with some hope the franchise could bring home its first Stanley Cup soon.
The youthful, exciting, resurgent Toronto Maple Leafs are also giving their long-suffering fans some hope their run of futility that stretches back to 1967 will end. The Leafs, some say, have been suffering their own version of the goat curse. But former captain Dave Keon is back in the fold and his number has been properly retired to the rafters, a move that erases that curse, no?
(Speaking of the Leafs, we wish a speedy and full recovery from knee surgery for four-time Stanley Cup champion, former Member of Parliament and current French Creek resident Howie Meeker, who could still teach some of these youngsters a thing or two, despite being well into his 90s. Even Howie wasn’t around when the Cubbies last won the World Series.)
Watching professional sports can be an escape. Every day we are faced with serious issues about health, finances, politics. If watching a World Series game or the Canucks on TV provides an outlet, a breath from the serious world, what’s the harm?
One tip for watching professional sports these days: don’t think about their salaries. It just brings back those serious thoughts about health, finances and politics.
— Editorial by John Harding