Cubs Fans Celebrate Playoff Victory
Oct. 06, 2003
CHICAGO (AP) _ Thousands of Cubs fans rushed out of sports bars and swarmed the corner of Clark and Addison outside Wrigley Field moments after the team's victory in Atlanta.
They cheered wildly as the stadium's marquee flashed ``Cubs Win!'' and some did a ``Tomahawk Chop'' to mock the Braves.
The Cubs won their first series since the 1908 World Series, beating the Braves 5-1 on Sunday night in Game 5 of the first-round National League series.
``It's unbelievable, after 95 years,'' said 29-year-old David Hunt as fans with other fans on their shoulders belted out the rock band Queen's ``We Are the Champions'' in one bar.
``They're like the everyman team,'' Hunt said. ``They don't have the best players, but they found a way to win.''
Outside a mile-long parade of honking motorists responded to the walking, hopping hordes, with passengers hanging out open windows to smack hands with strangers.
A hundred or more police officers formed walls along sidewalks keeping pedestrians out of intersections. One officer smiled and admitted it's nice to have a winner in town even though he's a South Sider _ code for White Sox fan.
Neighborhood residents Eric Hartwig and Laurie Zellmer brought their dogs out for a midnight walk among fellow Cubs fans.
``They love the attention, and they're Cubs fans,'' said Hartwig, 28, a lifelong Tigers fan from Detroit who says he understands Chicago's pain and roots for the Cubs except in the rare event Detroit makes the playoffs.
Street vendors were open for business into the morning, selling souvenirs just as if it were a game day at Wrigley.
Zellmer said the crowd got rowdier as the night wore on, hours after the victory.
``I love this,'' she said. ``It just keeps getting louder.''
Rob Kunzler, 29, said he phoned his 92-year-old grandmother, a Chicago native, at her home in South Bend, Ind. ``This isn't just about 22-year-old kids,'' Kunzler said. ``It's about her.''
Now, to make their first World Series appearance since the pre-playoff era in 1945, the Cubs must win the best-of-seven National League championship series. That starts Tuesday night against the Florida Marlins at Wrigley Field.
``I lived till next year. It's here! It's here!'' said 44-year-old Norma Rolfsen.