The Cubs Convention has ended, and with the Chicago Cubs having brought back most of their core World Series-winning roster, there wasn’t really much in the way of transactional news. That meant the Convention was mostly just Cubs fans feeling good about each other, getting the same news we already knew from the offseason regarding Wrigley renovations and other odds and ends, while telling all the owners, staff and players THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. You can see some of that in Anno’s Facebook Live videos on our page, and here is the montage that brought the house down:
Of course, you had all the different sessions where fans could gush and fawn and say “thank you” all over again. The best one is usually the kids’ Q&A session:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) January 15, 2017
One of the featured kids did ask about who would play the guys in the inevitable movie. I am, of course, a big fan of movies, especially ones with motivational tales like the 2016 World Series. If they did do a movie, I’m guessing one of the choices to direct would be Kevin Costner, since he was thinking about it already at the beginning of the season. The awesome thing about it, as Tom Ricketts suggested, is that the script was already written from all the highlights from the season.
This, in turn, got me thinking of how similar the Cubs’ 2016 story was to the main plot of Major League, which I believe to be one of the best baseball movies ever made (if not the best), at least until the Cubs movie comes out. From back then:
But the movie that I absolutely will watch straight through no matter what is “Major League“. Although the protagonist is the Cleveland Indians baseball franchise, the eternal fan depression of a team that hadn’t won a World Series (or even a pennant) in decades, a stadium falling into disrepair, an ownership group who plans to gut the team and move the team to Miami…all that is something Cubs fans can sort of relate to. The ragtag band of scrubs and misfits coming together to form a contender is classic movie plot 101, but it works so well that one doesn’t even care about the cliche. “Major League” works as a popcorn movie, a comedy, a sports movie, a drama in some sense, and the feeling of elation the moviegoer gets as the Indians have won it (kudos to Bob Uecker) is more than one can bargain for.
I got the Cubs World Series Blu-Ray for Christmas (thanks, honey!). Like many of you, I noticed how, with just a few cuts and other adjustments, the entire Series could have been a sports movie in the style of Major League. However, the Cubs’ version of Major League would have to stretch over the course of several years, not just one season.
The first act, where the new ownership and front office comes in to clean out the organization? That’s probably the first three years of the Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer era. Since most of us would prefer not to remember the hardships we dealt with during those seasons, maybe our Cubs movie would focus more on the scouting and minor league development.
We would follow that up with the steady improvement of the young players as they gained experience, confidence, and learn how to be winners in the regular season. Along the way, we could sprinkle in some of the usual, as well as some unorthodox, highlights, like these from a key game at the end of July:
There are plenty of highlights to make up the inevitable montage sequences within the Cubs movie, from the NLDS, NLCS, and the World Series itself. Most of the last part of the movie would take snippets from the World Series documentary, just with less narration and more Pat Hughes, plus a reenactment of Jason Heyward‘s rain-delay speech. It’s slightly out of sequence with what we saw in Major League, but it would probably look a lot like this:
At some point, we would have to watch the 10th-inning rally, with an image of Ben Zobrist celebrating at second base that likely will not need any edits:
After that, of course, we have the annoying comeback in the bottom of the inning and one last threat for the Cubs to quell, with dramatic music, moments of tension, and looks of despair in the dugout as are the usual Hollywood tropes. But we end the relevant sports moments of the movie with a classic call by the radio booth:
Now, there are numerous ways to end this movie.
- End it right there, with the dog pile on the diamond, slowing it down to a crawl and fade to black.
- Fade to parade, celebration with fans, selfie and fade to black.
- Love story ending, where Kris Bryant marries his high school sweetheart.
- The Karate Kid ending, where Kyle Schwarber (yeah, I know it was David Ross, but bear with me here) gets carried off the field, yelling, “We did it, Joe!” while Joe Maddon nods approvingly with a subdued grin.
- David Ross plays catch with his family in the back yard, with one of the young ones saying, “Tell us about your World Series home run again, Grandpa” before we roll credits.
Or! They could end it as they did at the White House, with the outgoing President throwing zingers:
Just like most of us bought the World Series Blu-Ray, I’m pretty sure we’d enjoy watching this in theaters before owning it on home video. This is assuming, of course, that Kevin Costner gives us the “Dances With Wolves” version and not “Waterworld.” But hey, you can’t screw this movie up, right? Ultimately, however much you dislike Joe Maddon’s decisions in the big game, the Cubs didn’t screw up either. I just have one request…that Jason Statham plays Grandpa Rossy. Prove me wrong.
UPDATE 3/21: Of course they’ll actually do it!
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) March 21, 2017
Here’s hoping it’s good, but even if it sucks, we LIVED it.