If you’re a Chicago Cubs fan, you just experienced the season of a lifetime. Not only were the Cubs far and away the best team in baseball during the regular season, they proved it (didn’t blow it) in October and took home their first World Series Trophy since before the beginning of World War 1 (so much better than the sequel) in November.
But, as I’m quite sure you’ll recall, there were a few times when that looked exceedingly unlikely. The Cleveland Indians built up a nearly insurmountable 3-1 lead in the World Series, and even tied things up in the 8th inning of Game 7. BUT the Cubs were resilient, and, with the help of a little rain delay, they won it all.
… but what if they hadn’t?
Obviously there are a million what ifs … regarding life after a Cubs World Series loss (for example, I’d be living the rest of my life hiding out somewhere in the rainforest, or Siberia, or wherever), but one of the more observable ones is the newspaper.
All of those covers claiming “It Happened,” or “No More Wait ‘Till Next Year!” etc. would be replaced by, well, something about how the Cubs lost again (refreshing). In fact, you don’t even have to image what it would look like. At the New York Times insider, Wayne Kamido reveals the plans for the World Series Sports Page That Wasn’t (i.e. had the Cubs lost once again) and it’s heartbreaking:
For better image quality and the rest of the story, please head over to the original article here.
If you’re unfamiliar with the image to which this refers, Normal Rockwell painted the original (seen below) entitled “The Dugout,” back in 1948 (coincidentally the last time the Indians won the World Series). The image, of course, shows a beaten down, disappointed Cubs team, because even in 1948, the Cubs were already the lovable losers with a 40-year World Series drought.
But don’t be disappointed by the image above, Cubs fans, it’s actually the reason they won it all. Apparently, a NY Times staff designer, Andrea Zagata, got way ahead of herself, and commissioned a freelance illustrator, Robert Carter, to begin working on the design before Game 1 of the World Series, because “how could the Cubs win?! lolololo!OlO1ol.”
The Cubs, of course, did what they do best (not cooperate with plans), and made it all the way to Game 7, before winning it in extra-inning fashion. Curse -> broken. Image -> ruined.
But still … I can’t stand looking at it.