How did the observation of the Christian All Hallows' Eve and the three-day Allhallowtide, which also includes All Saints' and All Souls' days, evolved into a modern-day tradition of kids dressing up in costumes and trick-or-treating?
Your guess is as good as mine. But, college kids and twentysomethings everywhere are certainly happy for Halloween and the annual costume-fueled debauchery it brings with it.
Unfortunately, and to insert my almost weekly qualifier — writing this on Saturday, this time with the Indians holding a 2-1 lead the Cubs in the World Series, with two games to be played between when I submit this on Saturday afternoon and when it goes to print on Monday — the sports world may look a lot different between now and then.
It may be a particularly morbid-feeling Halloween in Chicago on Monday. Cubs fans and the city itself may be mourning the death of another season past without hoisting a World Series trophy. For that city's sake, I hope not.
The Cubs' losing may single handedly kill Carl Spackler.
Though I don't have a particular dog in that fight, and as much as everyone within this paper's circulation not originally from Chicago should probably at least half-heartedly root for the Indians as some sort of penance for Baltimore having, for all intents and purposes, stolen Cleveland's football team, though "rooting" is a strong word, I'll admit that I think I want to see the Cubs win. (Sorry Dain family!)
With what may be the Series-deciding game being played in the interim, I can only hope, as Jimmy Buffett says, that come Monday it'll be all right for all those Cubs fans in Wrigleyville.
If you asked me why — especially with my best friend's family hailing from a combination of Akron and Cleveland, and rooting for their Indians — I'd rather see the Cubs win, I'd tell you that as best as I can guess, it has something to do with the way Chicago embraces their "lovable losers."
The way they go all-in annually, with a certain youthfully exuberant naiveté. Whereas, Cleveland's fan-base on the other hand, seem to have more of a sad-sacked mentality; the walking embodiment of Murphy's Law as it's applied to sports; embracing an, "if it can go wrong, it will" mentality.
Cubs fans can't wait to "fly the W," while Indians fans seem ever ready to sullenly tell you they told you so when their team manages to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
I've been Eeyore before, and no, not in costume for Halloween. And if there's one reason I'm sort of silently pulling for the Cubs, it's more so for their fans and their almost obnoxious optimism they have that each year, and this year in particularly, is going to be the year they end their 108-year (and counting?) World Series drought. Negative thinking begets negative outcomes. And, while optimistic thinking itself doesn't guarantee positive outcomes — well, happy people are just more fun to be around.
As somewhat of a fun aside, I was talking with someone on Friday night that whole-heartedly believed that Bob Uecker was actually a broadcaster for the Cleveland Indians.
It's OK. I've got friends from Philly who grew up being told and believing that Rocky Balboa was real too.
If Uecker's Harry Doyle — modeled after none other than Chicago's own Harry Caray — didn't sort of sum up Cleveland's Murphy's Law mentality, then Randy Quaid's bleacher-seated cynic of a fan certainly did.
For their part, Cubs fans have the lovable and always seemingly somewhat sublimated walking caricature of himself, Bill Murray as their unofficial cheer- and ring-leader. "KKCO," Cubs fans, as some of my more hipster-ish and way too into their craft beer-loving friends would say.
Maybe the timing is right: the stars almost literally aligning for the Cubs and their fans. For a team plagued by purported curses (assuming they haven't been eliminated in the interim between the writing and publishing of this piece) to have a chance to win the World Series on either of All Saints' or All Souls' day — well, in the name of all the séance and spirit talking and walking that is at the heart of the Halloween holiday, maybe Cubs fans can conjure up a little help from some of their faithfully departed.
Maybe, Tuesday (All Saints'), or Wednesday (All Souls') if a Game 7 is needed, the spirit(s) of Ernie Banks and ol' Harry Caray can play a little modern-day "Angels in the Outfield," so to speak, and lend a little haunted helping hand, bringing the Cubbies, their fans and the city of Chicago its first World Series title since 1908.
It's time they were rewarded for their eternal optimism. Besides, LeBron brought Cleveland a title just last summer.
Then again, who am I kidding? All of that said, and so as to ensure that I'm not disowned by my second family (with their Cleveland roots), or lose my invitation to or seat at Christmas Eve dinner:
Go Tribe! (Who knows, maybe they already won it all late Sunday night.)
Latest Carroll County Times Opinion