I’m not a scientist, by any stretch of the imagination, but I do understand how the scientific method works. A hypothesis is put forth, and then observations are made to see if this hypothesis is correct, or if it needs to be revised in some way. Then more observations are made, and so on. That’s what I remember from high school physics, anyway.
So here’s a hypothesis for anyone who might be interested: Bruce Springsteen concerts bring sports championships to Chicago teams. It sounds bizarre, I grant you, but let’s see if it holds up.
Observation One: Soldier Field
The Bears did not win a Super Bowl until they beat the Patriots in New Orleans on January 27, 1986. This victory came exactly 172 days–or a bit less than six months–after Bruce Springsteen played Soldier Field on August 9, 1985, on the triumphant Born in the U.S.A tour. So Springsteen played, and a title was secured by the team that plays in that building. Let’s keep going with the observations, though.
Observation Two: United Center
After spending most of the 1990s away from touring with the E Street Band, Bruce hit the road in 1999, and hasn’t ever stopped since. In September of 1999, the Boss and his band played three shows at the UC on their Reunion tour. They also played there in 2007 and 2009. The third time seemed to be the charm, since it happened 393 days—or just about thirteen months—before the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in Philadelphia on June 9, 2010. The Bulls, on the other hand, were so good back in the 1990s that they didn’t need Bruce Springsteen’s help. Let’s keep going.
Observation Three: U.S. Cellular Field
The Cell doesn’t have too much of a concert history. The Rolling Stones played there in 2002, and Springsteen and the ESB played there on August 13, 2003. There hasn’t been a major act that’s played there since, since Jimmy Buffett moved the ballpark concert action to Wrigley in 2005, and it’s remained there ever since. The White Sox finished the 2003 season, played the 2004 season all the way through, and then on October 26, 2005—806 days after the Springsteen concert—they broke through by winning the World Series in Houston.
On the basis of these observations, it seems pretty clear that a professional sports team in Chicago wins a championship within two full seasons of a Springsteen concert. The title clincher happens away from Chicago, but that’s a small price to pay for getting the hardware and the rings. Since the Boss played two shows at Wrigley Field in September of 2012, this will be the second full season after the concerts took place. If the Cubs should win on Halloween, for example, it would be 783 days after the second Wrigley show back in 2012.
If the Cubs should fail to win this season—and we’re all expecting that to be the case—it would push the post-Springsteen title drought beyond 1,100 days, or longer than any of the other Chicago teams had to wait for their Springsteen dividend to occur. Since this is my hypothesis, I’m going to boldly state that this won’t happen.
A victory by the Cubs this fall—and not one of those division-titles-and-then-coming-up-short flameouts in the postseason, but a full-blown championship—would further prove my hypothesis to be correct. So start clearing your calendars for October
now. And if it comes to pass as I have theorized here, let’s invite Bruce Springsteen to come to Chicago for the party. There surely would be some magic in that night.
R. Lincoln Harris is a guest contributor for Wrigleyville Nation. He also writes for BlueBattingHelmet.Wordpress.com, ChicagoSideSports.com, ThroughTheFenceBaseball.com, and FiveWideSports.com. Thanks R. Lincoln for the contribution!
Photo: Bruce Springsteen @ Wrigley Field, Chicago 9/7/2012 / swimfinfan / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 / Alteration: Cropped
Left Photo: Bruce Springsteen @ Wrigley Field, Chicago 9/7/2012 / swimfinfan / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 / Alteration: Cropped
Right Photo: Bruce Springsteen @ Wrigley Field, Chicago 9/7/2012 / swimfinfan / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 / Alteration: Cropped