Editorial: Success of Cubs provides important life lessons
Wednesday was an extraordinary night for Chicago sports.
One Chicago team celebrated its long-term success by hoisting another championship banner while another kicked off what may be long-term success with its first playoff win in 12 years.
The story of hockey's Blackhawks and their rise from one of the worst-run professional sports teams to one of the best is well told now after three Stanley Cup championships in six seasons. The story of the Cubs' earlier-than-expected rise to prominence is still being written.
But in both, there is a lesson for all of us that goes beyond the hockey rink or the baseball diamond, beyond the Stanley Cup or the World Series.
And it's certainly something to consider as the Cubs prepare to face a daunting task in a best-of-five-game series against their most hated rival, the St. Louis Cardinals.
The success of both the Hawks and Cubs can be attributed not to quick fixes (yes, somewhat of an understatement when discussing the more than a century-old futility of the North Siders) but from careful planning, wise judgments, good investments, a hefty dose of patience, a willingness to experiment and the belief that you are not constrained by the mistakes of the past.
Imagine if we all lived our lives like that.
Imagine if we had the smarts to trust our gut the way Theo Epstein trusted his while building a team full of youngsters, rookies who now are shining at bat and in the field.
Imagine if we had the patience Cubs executives have shown not to rush their plans, to experience the failures of the last few years knowing that good things come to those who wait.
Imagine if we had the confidence in our leadership skills to brashly speak of getting to the playoffs on the first day on the job and then actually following through as Joe Maddon has done.
Or imagine if we believed so strongly in our abilities, despite some rocky times, to become the best at what we do as ace pitcher Jake Arrieta did this year.
Sports can be more than wins and awards and champagne showers. Enjoy them, certainly, but like these athletes, dig just a little deeper as well.