See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

How To Talk About the Chicago Cubs Win With Your Non-American Friends

Remix of public domain images by Allen Smithee

Remix of public domain images by Allen Smithee

Baseball is rarely, if ever, a topic of conversation around Global Voices’ multi-national virtual water cooler. But with a Chicagoan in our ranks and the sheer miraculousness of the Chicago Cubs win in the World Series last night, it was inevitable that the topic would work its way into the discussion on one of our Slack channels, and quickly become viral….

The Chicagoan started it, of course.

Chicagoan: Still basking in my city's historic world series win last night…. i may or may not be fully functional today.

Caribbean: World Series, you say? Remind me which other countries were competing again. :wink: But congrats anyway!

Wisconsinite resident in Europe: Canada! :stuck_out_tongue:

Caribbean: Ha, you have a point, Wisconsinite, but not a very strong one!

South Asian: Real shocker that the Cubs finally won. A baseball miracle—waiting for the Hollywood version. Crazy aside: a little girl randomly struck up a conversation with me at the park yesterday, saying that her father's always traveling to Cubs games and they never win. Her grandfather was with her, and he was wearing a faded Michigan baseball cap, so I told him that was my alma mater. Then we got talking. Turned out he was a journalist, worked on a bunch on free press issues around the world, and worked for the Knight Foundation before retiring. We have a bunch of friends in common. Baseball brings people together in weird ways.

Chicagoan: Caribbean, you're looking at me like it was my idea to name the series after a NY newspaper...?

Caribbean: Of course not, but I fully expect you to spearhead a campaign to change the name of the tournament to something more rational, like “Cross-Border Series”. The use of the term “world” in contexts like this is one of the reasons a type like Trump can run for president.

Wisconsinite: Apparently, it's been an entire evolution. [Quotes source that traces the history of the tournament’s title]. The more you know!

South American: I’m staying off social media today. Too many bandwagon fans. I went to one Cubs game in my life, never have I seen so many people less interested in the game itself. It was just an excuse to drink and annoy people around them.

Chicagoan: If White Sox fans can jump on the bandwagon, so can you! Baseball: it brings people together. Brought to you by a second generation Asian-American.

Wisconsinite: (I should mention in all this, I'm a Milwaukee Brewers fan, and the Cubs are our mortal enemies, so I'm not celebrating)

Chicagoan: LOL, I'll spearhead the effort to rename it “the series of the privileged white american male”.

Caribbean: Isn’t that name already taken?

South Asian: hahahahahahahaha

South American: There are players in the major leagues from Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Curacao, Brazil, Germany, Australia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan. Not quite the melting pot that is European football, but not bad.

South Asian: And Pakistan too, this time! I thought I would add that in for good measure.

Caribbean: Again, this demonstrates the bogusness of US anti-immigrant sentiment.

South American: Never thought I’d be talking baseball on our Slack channel! Who is from Pakistan?

South Asian: Farhan Zaidi, the Dodgers’ general manager, is a Canadian-American with Pakistani roots.

Middle Easterner: Cricket is almost baseball's cousin.

Caribbean: Cricket is baseball’s cousin who went to university.

South Asian: I can't deal with most spectator sports. With cricket or baseball, at least I understand the game. Four years at a football-crazy college and I learnt nothing. Went to two games, I think. Or maybe two half-games. What the brain doesn't want to learn, the brain doesn't want to learn.

Caribbean: The only spectator sports I enjoy are test cricket (the shorter forms I dislike for exactly the reasons South American outlines) and tennis. All the others can take a hike.

Middle Easterner: Football = soccer, South Asian?

Caribbean: No, American football.

Middle Easterner: I never understood American football, for how many movies I saw. American football for me is: Sumo + running + a weird ball

South Asian: I don't get soccer either. Although, I am frequently told I should watch it for the hot men.

Caribbean: Haha! I myself am a World Cup-only soccer fan.

Wisconsinite: I'm pretty versed in American football and love it, so I can offer lessons for anyone interested :stuck_out_tongue:

Then our resident Canadian shows up out of nowhere.

Canadian: One of the only things I know about baseball is how unlikely it was for the Cubs to win, because this folk song refers to it as the only thing so impossible it can compare to the likelihood that “I will love you again, like I used to”.

Our work building bridges across cultures, languages and perspectives is more urgent than ever before.

Learn more about Global Voices »

Donate now

Close