Surreal: Some Ninth-Inning Reflections from Pre-Election Police State America

Photo by Laurie Avocado | CC BY 2.0

Photo by Laurie Avocado | CC BY 2.0


I may have grown up a White Sox fan and hate the right-wing owners of the Chicago Cubs but there’s no way I can deny the epic and magical nature of the Cubs victory in the seventh and final game of this year’s World Series last Wednesday night.  After coming back from a three game to one deficit to tie the series, the Cubs the dreadful pitching-change decisions of their manager Joe Maddon (whose ridiculous early removals of Kyle Hendricks and then John Lester cost the team a five-run lead) to push two runners across home in the top of the tenth inning.  The final Cleveland out ended a 108-year championship drought on the North Side of Chicago.

It was better than the best baseball fiction.  After sending untold millions of Cubs fans into near catatonic shock (“oh my God, it’s happening again”), the Cubs got it together to end “the curse of the Billy Goat” once and for all.  The winning runs followed a mystical pre- extra inning rain delay that allowed the mostly young Cubs players to re-group from the shock of (their manager) blowing the lead.

I’ve never seen anything quite as dream-like and drop-dead Hollywood dramatic in the wild world of sports. It was surreal.

But harsh reality hit me in the face within minutes of the last out.  Amidst the pandemonium in Iowa City’s tavern-laden Ped Mall, a student climbed a lamppost and fell to grave and potentially fatal injury. Police vehicles quickly occupied all…

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