Opening Day is upon us once more. Last season, I eschewed the typical bold predictions in favor of a look at how a 2014 prediction about the path of the rebuild held up to reality. I decided to make this type of historical review my personal season-opening tradition.
My chosen prediction this year is this advertisement for the video game MLB ’12: The Show.
The commercial imagined Chicago’s reaction to a Cubs World Series victory back during the worst year of the rebuild. It got so much right. It also evokes massively different emotions today than it did on its release, for me at least.
The opening image of a fan nervously watching through his fingers is one I can personally testify to seeing in my group at various points of game seven, particularly during the bottoms of the 8th, 9th and 10th innings. Interestingly, I could not find an exact match of a Cubs fan in any public video or still, but did find an Indians fan in nearly the same pose from the 10th inning of game 7.
At the 8 second mark, we see the buildings lining Millennium Park with windows lit up in celebration of the victory, just as they were on November 2, 2016.
The ad shifts to street-level celebrations around Wrigley at the 13 second mark. I challenge you to guess reality from commercial below.
The scenes from the Wrigley Marquee are just as spot-on, with the same message and W flags waving in the foreground.
In fairness, predicting happiness and euphoria over a Cubs’ Series win is not exactly a massive stretch. Still, the ad team took the time to do the research and present plausible scenes that did in fact turn out to match reality. The ad’s final scene of tears is also surprising prescient, even if that was not intended. YouTube a few reactions to the World Series victory and you will find a lot of tears.
There were, however, a few things they got wrong. Most obviously, a lack of cell phones. Even in 2012, one would have expected a lot of camera phones in every frame. The ad also predicted the game would be at Wrigley, not Progressive Field, but I cannot ding them for that.
Here is hoping this season allows us to see what a repeat championship looks like.