Perhaps the longest losing streak in professional sports evaporated into the surprisingly warm Chicago air last week. After more than 111 years, Ireland finally defeated the New Zealand All Blacks in rugby. And Cubs fans thought they had it bad…

Not to be outdone, however, the Wrigley faithful threw the biggest party this city – and the world – has ever seen, as five million gathered to celebrate the end of the Billy Goat Curse. Never to be outdone himself, Donald Trump pulled the greatest upset in modern political history, earning enough electoral votes from traditionally Democratic states to win a seat as the 45th President of the United States. All of these improbable events arrive on the heels of what is statistically considered the most unlikely season in sports history after long-time cellar-dweller Leicester City defeated dynastic powerhouse Manchester United to win the English Premier League. Old and young, we have all seen things this year that we have never seen before.

One could look at 2016 and say that it’s less the year of the upset and more the year of the choker. While women rock the trend nowadays like it’s 1999, many sports teams have followed suit.The Cubs only said goodbye to their 108 years of misery after the Cleveland Indians choked away a 3-1 series lead for only the sixth time in World Series history. If you think that was bad, consider the Golden State Warriors. After rewriting the record books with the most regular-season wins in NBA history, the Warriors will be remembered for all the wrong reasons as the first team to choke away a 3-1 lead in the Finals, granting LeBron his redemptive championship in Cleveland. But for as badly as Hillary, Steph Curry, or Terry Francona feel, perhaps no one was as down in the dumps over losing as the San Jose Sharks. After years of being ridiculed and criticized for being pretenders in the Western Conference, the Sharks blew their best chance at Stanley Cup glory, losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins four games to two. Familiar bullies Chicago and Los Angeles are back this season, meaning it’ll be years before San Jose (my favorite third-tier city by the way) gets a taste of the air at the top of the NHL’s Mount Olympus.

Whether you’ve watched your teams win or lose this year, 2016 has reminded us all that you can never count the little guy (or the guy with the little hands) out. If October baseball or June basketball are any indication, anything can – and sometimes will – truly happen. We have watched as seemingly insurmountable odds have been overcome and unbreakable  streaks have been shattered. If that doesn’t spark just a glimmer of hope in you as a sports fan and as a person, then go back and watch 90-year-old Dorothy Farrell celebrate the return of the Commissioner’s Trophy to Wrigleyville. It is only fitting that in 2016, his last year in the booth after sixty-seven seasons calling games for the Brooklyn and L.A. Dodgers, legendary broadcaster Vin Scully’s most famous call still rings so vibrantly in our ears…

In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!