Three Take-Aways From the Chicago Cubs 2016 National League Championship
Chicago Cubs Win the 2016 MLB National League Pennant
For those of you not familiar with the "Curse of the Billy Goat" , The Chicago Cubs, or even the MLB in general - rest assured that The Win-dy City (I borrowed that from a headline I just read..) can sleep happy tonight, or tomorrow morning..whenever they decide that the party is over.
Here's what just happened:
Tonight marks the first time The Chicago Cubs have reached the MLB World Series for since 1945
Keep in mind that the Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908, but being one of two teams in contention is pretty good odds in my book..
Why Is This Important?
After being eliminated in four games (being swept-not winning any games in the series) by the New York Mets in 2015, the Cubs were not only able to RETURN to the National League Championship series, but they were able to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in brute fashion, outscoring their opponents 31-17 in the 2016 NLCS.
The Chicago Cubs win the series 4-2 by closing out Game 6 allowing only 2 hits, no runs and a final score of of 5-0.
The Three Take-Aways
1. Stack the odds against someone and their drive to succeed skyrockets.
Swept on one of the biggest stages in your sport the previous year? No problem...
Matched up against three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw? No worries, we'll throw in our Ace, with a league leading, 2.14 ERA, score 5 runs and win the pennant.. Thanks!
Ask Michael Jordan or Wayne Gretzky if they want the biscuit when the game is on the line. Wayne said you miss 100% of the shots you don't take, and I'm pretty sure his shooting percentage went up with the game on the line.
2. Adversity doesn't build character, it reveals it.
Just like muscle, our brains respond positively to negative stimuli:
"Adversity, Dr. Seery adds, can help people develop a "psychological immune system" to help them cope with the slings and arrows that life throws, while those with no experience of adversity may have a hard time dealing with tough times."
You couldn't have written a better story about adversity if you tried for the 2015 Chicago Cubs:
Finishing 3rd in the NL Central
Winning a Wild Card berth and play-in game over the Pittsburgh Pirates
Beating St. Louis Cardinals (best regular season record in 2015 season) in a series 3-1
Yet falling short and swept NY Mets being outscored 21-8 in the 4-0 series loss.
Talk about an anti-climactic ending to a riveting uphill battle..
3. Distractions are inevitable, the way you handle them determines your own success.
Whether we're talking baseball or writing this blog, we can establish that distractions are inevitable.
In this case, the fact that as a franchise the Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series in 108 years or even appeared in a Series in 71 years.
Cubs players step into the batter's box suppressing flashbacks of the Steve Bartman Incident and drowning out the Joe Buck's stupid voice in their heads "You know Bob, the Chicago Cubs haven't appeared in a World Series since 1945.. Not sure they can do it here.."
At the end of the day, the story remains: distractions will ALWAYS exist, the real question is How Badly Do You Want It?
The Bottom Line:
Remember the Cubs next time says that the odds are stacked against your favor, everybody loves an underdog story.