WASHINGTON — On the surface, Donald Trump and the Chicago Cubs don’t seem to have much in common. The Cubs are baseball’s lovable losers, while Trump is perhaps the opposite, presumptive winner of the Republican nomination while being statistically the most unfavorable candidate in modern political history. It’s only the thought that each of them could be the ultimate winner this fall that unites people in the feeling that the end of the world may be upon us.
The chatter is already heavy comparing the two online. And with the Nationals heading into Chicago the same week that both Ted Cruz and John Kasich drop out of the race, it’s as good a time as ever to prepare you for the six-month onslaught of comparisons that are about to come your way.
It’s been 108 years since the Cubs last won the World Series, longer than nearly anyone on the planet has been alive. Losing has been so ingrained in Cubs fan culture that some have even penned essays despairing at what might happen if they actually won.
The prospect of a Trump win, meanwhile, has inspired enough talk by some Americans about moving to Canada that Cape Breton, Nova Scotia has set up an entire campaign to recruit future expats to help populate the island.
In either case, no other team or candidate elicits anywhere near as much of a response over the prospect of a November win.
According to FiveThirtyEight’s prediction model, the Cubs — who own the best record in the Major Leagues — have clearly the best odds in baseball of winning the World Series. But with a 30-team league (and 10 playoff teams), they currently peg their odds at just 20 percent. Meanwhile, the betting odds for Donald Trump winning the election sit at +280 over at Bovada. Both predictions figure to move over the next six months as we get closer to November.
But there are more connections than you might believe between Trump and the Cubs. For instance, you might be further confused by the photo below of Ted Cruz in front of a Chicago Cubs backdrop.
That is, until you realize that it’s not Cruz, but rather Tom Ricketts, Chairman of the Cubs, who doesn’t even need any accessories for his Halloween costume this year.
In a bizarre twist, Trump actually called the Ricketts family out on Twitter earlier this year, claiming they were “secretly” spending money against him, and issuing a vague threat.
I hear the Rickets family, who own the Chicago Cubs, are secretly spending $'s against me. They better be careful, they have a lot to hide!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2016
As it turns out, members of the Ricketts family contributed $3 million to Our Principles PAC, which reportedly aimed to stop Donald Trump from capturing the nomination. That adds another layer of intrigue to what happens this November, which could be either really good or really bad for either Trump or the Ricketts family.
There will no doubt be more talk about these connections and others will be unearthed the closer we get to either a World Series Parade through the Loop or a Trump White House becoming a reality.
“Donald Trump welcomes world champion Cubs to White House” is a plausible news item in 2017. What world are we living in?
— Jesse Spector (@jessespector) May 4, 2016
Perhaps our societal attachment of the two is unavoidable. Sports inspire us to believe that seemingly impossible things can happen. People like Bill Simmons have forged entire careers out of comparing what happens in the unscripted world of sports to the scripted one of pop culture, which seems a further stretch than to the similarly unscripted one of politics.
But the one thing I know for sure is that the longer the Cubs stay atop the league, and the deeper the run they make in the playoffs, the worse all of this will get.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.