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Sunday 11 December 2016

The greatest game I have ever seen

Eamonn Sweeney

Published 06/11/2016 | 17:00

Chicago Cubs outfielder Ben Zobrist celebrates after hitting a RBI double against the Cleveland Indians in the stunning finale of the World Series
Chicago Cubs outfielder Ben Zobrist celebrates after hitting a RBI double against the Cleveland Indians in the stunning finale of the World Series

Woody Allen once wisely observed that bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for a date on a Saturday night. In the same way an inclusive attitude towards sports hugely increases your chances of witnessing something great and memorable. Some of the finest Irish sporting moments of this year have, for example, come in sports such as rowing, sailing and Mixed Martial Arts, which stand at varying angles to the mainstream.

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As sports fans we're well advised to live by the words of the Roman playwright Terence, who said: "I am human, nothing human is alien to me." The rewards can be great. They were in the early hours of Thursday morning, when I watched the Chicago Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians in what may well have been the greatest sporting contest I've ever seen. For outrageous reversals of fortune, nail-biting moments, surprises and all-round drama, Game Seven of the 2016 World Series has had few rivals. Anywhere. Ever.

You can throw historical resonance in there, too. The Chicago Cubs had been the great underachievers of not just baseball but of American, maybe even world, sport. Their last World Series win had come in 1908, when they'd just drawn up plans for the Titanic, man hadn't reached either the North or South Poles and Chicago's most famous citizen, Al Capone, was still a kid in New York.

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