Back to the Future and sports

In the beloved American Sci-Fi trilogy Back to the Future, protagonist Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, and his partner, Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown, find themselves traveling through time in an old, plutonium-driven DeLorean. Spoiler Alert: In the first film, which is set in 1985, Doc appears to be shot down by gunmen, and Marty escapes through time to 1955. Marty meets up with 1955 Doc and tries to warn him about his death. Doc sends Marty back to the same day in 1985 when the Marty from that time departs for the past, and Doc is shot down. However, this time, Doc is wearing a bulletproof vest. Doc leaves Marty to tend to his family and travels by himself to 2015. He returns only to request that Marty and his girlfriend Jennifer accompany him on his trip, dare I say it, back to the future! This is where the second film begins.

We have been anticipating this date for seemingly endless decades. But now the time has finally come. The second film of the trilogy, Back to the Future II, begins with Marty, Jennifer, and Doc arriving on October 21, 2015. Does that date sound familiar?

In the second film, Marty goes venturing around in the 2015 world, thirty years into the future. Back to the Future II has some pretty incredible predictions for the world of 2015. While walking through the streets of his hometown, Marty notices a hologram with an interesting current event. The hologram shows that the Chicago Cubs had ended their 107-year World Series Championship drought. In an interview with ESPN, screenplay writer Bob Gale, who has actually been a St. Louis Cardinals fan his entire life, said that he chose the Cubs to win the World Series because he wanted to present Marty with a “really outrageous scenario.” His goal was to pick the team he felt had the smallest chance of winning the World Series. Ironically, the Cubs are pretty close to winning the World Series this year.

The Cubs’ path to the World Series has been unconventional to say the least. They played in the toughest division in Major League Baseball, the National League Central. Even after going 97-65, they finished in an abysmal third place behind the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates. Their 97 wins would have put them in first place in any other division. They entered the postseason as a wild card team and beat their divisional rivals, the Pirates, in a one-game elimination. Their next stop was a best-of-five series against the St. Louis Cardinals. After winning that series, and beating both of their divisional rivals in the postseason in the process, the Cubs moved on to play the New York Mets. Only one more stop away from the World Series. Although the World Series will not be finished by October 21, it’d be pretty incredible if they end their championship drought later in the month.

Back to the Future II makes several other predictions regarding technology in the year 2015. The movie depicts self-lacing shoes worn by Marty. In 2008, Nike came out with the Hyperdunk Supreme, a shoe looking almost identical to the shoes Marty wears in the film. Although the Hyperdunk Supremes are not self-lacing, Tinker Hatfield, one of Nike’s primary shoe designers, promised shoes with actual self-lacing technology are ready to hit the market in 2015. These shoes, if they really exist, have yet to hit the market.

It seems like the Back to the Future trilogy predicted our technology as being only slightly further ahead than it is in reality. Hopefully, in due time, we’ll see the Cubs win the World Series and even have self-lacing shoes.

Ricky Conti

Ricky '19 is a senior math and econ major on the baseball team from SoCal. He is colorblind and always gets the green and red Gatorades mixed up.

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