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Nov 3, 2016

Chicago Cubs Finally Win World Series! Belizean Fans Celebrate

“The Chicago Cubs are World Series champions.” Before Wednesday night, that phrase had never been uttered or written anywhere since 1908, the team’s last victory. But after a heart-stopping ten-inning thriller at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio, over a century of hurt and pain was released in an all-encompassing celebration, not only in the north side of Chicago, Illinois, but wherever Cubs fans were worldwide. Here in Belize City, local fans of the formerly Lovable Losers were watching and celebrating too. The recent history of the beloved baseball franchise is inexplicably and inextricably tied with Belize in the 1980s. News Five’s Aaron Humes delves into that history and why Wednesday’s win means so much to so many.


Michael Finnegan

Michael Finnegan, Chicago Cubs Fan

“It’s thrilling, you feel excited; you feel amazed. Although you win, you still have to di pinch yourself to realize that we dah di champions, after all these many years.”


Aaron Humes, Reporting

Michael Finnegan and Dennis Peyrefitte best sum up the emotion that exploded on Wednesday night for fans of the Chicago Cubs. They saw their team complete an improbable comeback from three games to one down to defeat the Cleveland Indians in the World Series of Major League Baseball. The win broke a supposed “curse” by an annoyed fan that was turned away with his pet goat from a 1945 World Series game. As they vowed from the beginning, this year’s team defied expectations even as supposed favourites. However, the much-awaited win did not come without some anxiety for even these most confident fans.


Dennis Peyrefitte

Dennis Peyrefitte, Chicago Cubs Fan

“When we tek the two-nil lead, and we start to creep up, creep up, the game gone all the way to five-one, and people di text me di say, “Get out the champagne,” I seh, “not yet, ‘cause the game still eena di fourth inning.” So when dehn start to come back I seh, “We still have a chance, we still have a chance.” And the mistake – it’s not a mistake because everything is for the better, is when they changed the starting pitcher and that is when things started to go down. But me and my friend Lemus, we always believed in the Cubs, and we pull it off. But the emotion was there from the start to the end.”


Michael Finnegan

“Man, I da human being; I mi think ih all over fi wi. I mi think ih mi wah over me. Dat da mi – when that happen I had to lef mi house, I had to gahn to di hospital. Because all of a sudden, the pain that I trouble in my back and with my leg, I feel wah amazing pain – I know no if da mi mind or whatever, I had to gone da di hospital to get two injection, I get two injection. During the eighth inning when they tie up the game, I gahn da di hospital and had my blood pressure taken, because I feel like mi head mi bust, I believe mi blood pressure mi high. But amazingly of my age.”


The Cubs first came to the attention of Belizeans in the 1980s, when television was just gaining a presence here. The Cubs had lost the 1984 National League Championship Series to the San Diego Padres. But the franchise gained a following here through pirated broadcasts of Chicago flagship WGN-TV on a local channel, Channel Nine. It crescendoed when a member of that team, Gary “Sarge” Matthews, visited Belize and met large crowds in 1985. Michael Finnegan recalls his conversion from the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.


Michael Finnegan

“It started since television; when television came to Belize, the only station we could see was Channel Nine, and Channel Nine was WGN, and WGN was the station out of Chicago weh play all the Cubs’ games. And everybody became Cubs – even me became a Cub afterwards, years afterwards I should say, because I was a Dodger fan. I was a Dodger fan because of Jackie Robinson – Jackie Robinson was the first black man to play baseball in the Major Leagues, and it happened through the Los Angeles Dodgers. So all ah we eena Belize, at that time, were Dodgers. But when television came to Belize, and the only station was WGN, and they showed all the Cubs games, everybody became Chicago Cubs fans.”


There were modest viewing parties around a rainy City, from Riverside Tavern to Radisson Hotel to the Bliss Center where Peyrefitte took in the game. But after all the celebration, do these Cubs superfans believe they can win again next year?


Michael Finnegan

“We wah repeat, we wha repeat, we wah repeat.”



“You’re sure about it?”


Michael Finnegan

“Yes, I am sure that we wah repeat.”


Dennis Peyrefitte

“Wi mih do wah repeat nineteen-ought-seven, and then we win nineteen-ought-eight; so there’s nothing wrong to win 2016 and 2017, there’s nothing wrong with that. And then we still have a young, vibrant and energetic [team]; I mean, the news on ESPN this morning di seh can these guys do a repeat, and I think we can.”


Aaron Humes Reporting for News Five.


The Cubs’ massive parade in Chicago is planned for Friday, according to ESPN. A local motorcade in their honor has been scheduled for sometime this weekend. The Cubs’ defeated opponents, the American League’s Cleveland Indians, now have the dubious honor of longest streak without a World Series title, dating back to 1948.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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