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How Parks And Recreation Predicted The Winner Of The 2016 World Series

"Parks and Recreation" has gone down in TV history as one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time. Though the mockumentary about the fictional government of Pawnee, Indiana, failed to win an Emmy over the course of its seven seasons, it developed its own base of "Parks and Recreation" superfans who hold the show as dearly as some of the most prized sitcoms in television history (via Emmys). While it often struggled to escape the imposing shadow of "The Office," the series stood out from the crowd for earning its genuine optimism and empowering tone.

In its final season, the series took a sharp creative left turn, by jumping ahead to the year 2017 — about two years ahead of when they would actually be filming the show. This made the world of Pawnee even more unbelievable than it had been previously, except for at least one detail. Indeed, the show ended up correctly predicting a long-laughed-about impossibility in the world of baseball.

A home run prediction

As the writers moved the show into the future to depict Leslie Knope's (Amy Poehler) political career down the line, the series decided to turn the time jump into a season-long gag. Though they only jumped forward a few years, technology seemed to be decades ahead of even today's standards. A common trope with shows and movies that take place in the future — especially those of the science fiction genre — is to provide realistic societal innovations that will be made by the time the show or movie takes place. Even unintentionally, this trope can lead to hilariously off-the-mark results, such as when "Back To The Future" predicted there would be hoverboards and self-tying shoes by 2015. By exaggerating future progress, "Parks and Recreation" winks at future audiences who know better than the show does.

Surprisingly, one off-hand joke ended up being completely correct. The Chicago Cubs have been the subject of ridicule for a long time, as the team failed to win the World Series for over a century (via The New York Times). This led some even to suspect the team was cursed, with the supposed spell originating from a Billy Goat way back in 1945. It stands to reason then that the writers of "Parks and Recreation" regarded the Cubs winning the World Series with the same level of seriousness as holographic cellphones — it seemed that way when a character on the show mentioned their fictional victory as a throwaway joke. As Time estimates, that fictional World Series would have taken place in 2016 — the very same year the Cubs actually ended up winning their first World Series since 1908.