Monday, October 19, 2015

Back To the Foresight?

It was a joke in 1989 when, in Back To the Future: Part II,  Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) shows up in October 2015 and learns that the Chicago Cubs, one of the most hapless teams in Major League Baseball, have won the World Series.  After all the Cubs hadn't - and still haven't - won the World Series since Roosevelt was President (Theodore Roosevelt),  and they hadn't - and still haven't - won the National League pennant since Harry Truman was President (in his first year in office, 1945).  
Now, however, the Cubs are playing the New York Mets for the pennant and have a six-to-one shot at winning the World Series.  Those numbers are better than Martin O'Malley's chances of winning the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination (and please don't remind me about that).    
All right, from here on, let me see if I can write in this blog entry a paragraph comprised of more than one sentence that doesn't have hyphens or parentheses in it. :D
Anyway, the joke from the movie was the brainchild of screenwriter Bob Gale, who was subtly needling the Cubs because he was a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cubs' traditional rivals. The joke emanated from Back To the Future: Part II's storyline.  In the movie, Marty goes from 1985 into the future with Doc Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd, in the doctor's DeLorean time machine to straighten out Marty's future kids.  Marty, upon learning the outcome of the 2015 World Series, decides he can make a ton of money if he takes a 2015 edition of a sports almanac, brings it back to 1985, and bets on games knowing the outcome beforehand.  It turns out to be a disastrous gambit because . . .well, if you haven't seen the movie, I don't want to spoil it for you.
"What better way to give him the idea than with a really outrageous scenario, which is the Cubs win the World Series?" Gale told ESPN. "It's a double joke because they win the World Series against Miami, which [didn't have] major league baseball in 1989. . .. The second prediction, people don't automatically realize when they watch the movie today, but we were predicting there would be a major league team in Miami."
Gale admits that he never expected to see the Cubs as possible World Series contenders, but he does admit that he would look like a prophet if they actually win.  In the spirit of the moment, Christopher Lloyd has said that he would like to throw out the first World Series pitch, in character as Doc Brown, if the Cubs make it to the championship.  Seventy years after denying a Cubs fan access to a Series game because he wanted to get in with his pet billy goat and inspiring him to put a curse on the team, the Cubs may finally reverse the curse. Hey, the Boston Red Sox did it - and they've won three Series championships in this century!
If the Cubs do win the Series, though, they won't beat Miami for the Series title, like they did in  Back To the Future: Part II, because even though the movie correctly predicted that there would be a Miami baseball franchise in 2015, the Marlins (who debuted in 1993 as the Florida Marlins) are in the National League, just like the Cubs. The Marlins, for the record,  won the Series in 1997.
So far, a future Miami baseball team is the only thing Bob Gale has gotten right.  If the Cubs do win the Series, the part about them beating Miami will end up being the only thing Bob Gale got wrong.   

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