Red Sox and Cubs in the
World Series? Get serious
The Red Sox and the Cubs are in the playoffs and who wouldn't be tempted to dream of a World Series confrontation.
They are the all-time Little Engines That Never Could.
They represent everybody who's ever come close to taking it all, but walked away with nothing.
Again and again and again.
They're the cat who never caught a mouse. The hound dog who never caught a rabbit, and they ain't no friend of mine.
When they played each other in 1918, the Sox won and became 5-0 in World Series competition.
That was the last time Boston took the World Series.
But the Cubbies' fans only wish they could revel in such recent glory.
Their last Series crown came in 1908.
That was the year the Chicago Cubs became the first team to win back-to-back World Series titles -- a veritable dynasty in that era.
So, for the sake of the little guy who never can seem to win an argument with his wife, a pay raise from his penny-pinching boss, or even the table centerpiece at his sister's wedding, bring on the Sox and Cubs.
Pedro Martinez vs. Sammy Sosa.
The Green Monster vs. the ivy-covered Wall.
The team that bungled away Babe Ruth vs. the team that gave away Lou Brock.
The curse of Bill Buckner vs. the curse of Leon Durham.
The Citgo sign vs. the Torco sign.
While on the subject of postseason matchups that would fascinate us, let me throw in the fantasy of a Super Bowl matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals, in which we could see locally bred running backs Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala (St. Louis) and Adrian Murrell (Leilehua) doing battle.
Give Fuamatu-Ma'afala a year or two to get the kind of playing time Murrell gets before dreaming too hard on that one.
Watching Barry Sanders last night rush for 100 yards for the 70th time in his career brought inevitably to mind Hawaii's own diminutive dart, Joe Igber.
He's still a kid, and far from Sanders' level of ability. But you've got to treat yourself some weekend to watching Igber being creative in the face of a human tsunami.
Against St. Louis on Friday night, he did so many lateral evasion maneuvers that the East-West Center should be renamed the Igber Center.
But when Igber manages to turn the corner, or find a keyhole up the middle, he's like the mouse you just flushed out of the dining room closet. No way you're going to catch him.
At 5-feet-7, his center of gravity is too low, at 190 pounds, he's too compact, with a partial season of competitive sprinting last spring under his belt he's too fast, and with his tremendous field vision, he's too unpredictable to shut down in any game.
Add to this combination an intellect that has earned academic honors at one of the state's top preparatory schools, and a personality that is refreshingly self-deprecating.
This kid, Joe Igber, is not only a blue-chip football athlete who can actually sign his name. He's what everybody wishes the sport was still all about at the high school level.
Pat Bigold has covered sports for daily newspapers
in Hawaii and Massachusetts since 1978.