New York Times Reveals Cover They Would Have Run if Cubs Had Lost (Pic)
The Chicago Cubs winning the World Series is easily the biggest sports story of 2016. However, it almost didn’t happen. Down 3-1 against the Cleveland Indians, it was looking like the North Siders were about to make it 109 years without a championship. And the folks at the New York Times were prepared.
On Friday, the Times Insider blog ran a feature about the amazing cover the New York Times sport section was planning to run if the Cubs had lost. According to that feature, somebody in the Times obits department reminded the folks at the sports desk about a painting called “The Dugout” by iconic American painter and illustrator Norman Rockwell that ran on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post and featured a bunch of dejected-looking Cubs players being heckled by merciless fans.
The Rockwell painting inspired New York Times sports editor Jason Stallman and staff designer Andrea Zagata. So they commissioned freelance illustrator Robert Carter to create a modern version featuring manager Joe Maddon and players Kyle Schwarber, Jake Arrieta, Javier Baez, and Kris Bryant, plus a couple of celebrity fans.
The plan was to run this updated version of “The Dugout” on the cover of the sports section when (not if) the Cubs lost the World Series, under the headline, “Still Life, With Cubs: Make that 109 Years Without a Title for the Team that Is the Portrait of Futility.”
Take a look:
Unfortunately, the Times did not get to run this illustration, and they did not commission a Rockwell-style painting for a Cubs win. So on Thursday, November 3, readers just had to settle for a plain old photograph.