There was a time not long ago when the idea of the Chicago Cubs in the World Series was met with skepticism or disbelief. For years, the Cubs had not given even the most die-hard fans reason to believe anything would change.
But that didn't stop Parks and Recreation co-creator Michael Schur from making a bold prediction during his show's final season, which wrapped in 2015.
During a media stop last January, Schur told the crowd that a reference the sitcom made to the Cubs winning the 2016 World Series was no joke. Before he could finish his sentence, he was interrupted with laughter. The Cubs were, after all, just a few months removed from an 89-loss season.
Fast forward nearly two years and the Cubs, as Schur predicted, are in the World Series.
"It's one of those things where until it happens, it seems impossible," Schur said Tuesday. "But that's what makes (Cubs president of baseball operations) Theo Epstein amazing. He puts together these teams — the 2004 Boston Red Sox and these Cubs — and after it happens, you're like, 'Oh, it was inevitable. They were just the best team.' "
In an episode during the show's final season, some of the characters visit Chicago in the summer of 2017, and the city is basking in the Cubs' recent World Series victory. Schur, an avid Red Sox fan, personally wrote the line in the episode that predicts the victory.
"As soon as we decided to throw the last season of Parks and Rec into the future, into 2017, we sort of started calculating what the world might be like," he said. "We talked about ... aspects of America that we could sort of casually mention that we thought would be funny.
"I was the only person on the staff who cared about baseball enough to track the Cubs' minor-league system," he said.
Schur, 40, predicted the Cubs will win in five games — although he said that's mostly because of the song Cubs in Five by the indie band The Mountain Goats — and said "it's going to be awesome" for Parks and Recreation actor and Cubs fan Nick Offerman.
Yet Schur is hesitant to take credit for his foresight.
"Every baseball writer in America knew the Cubs were going to be good," he said. "I can't emphasize enough how little credit I feel like I should take for that prediction."