“This is the year.” At least, that’s what lifelong diehard Tampa Bay Rays fans will tell you. After 16 long and torturous years, fans of the storied Rays franchise firmly believe that they can get out from underneath their cursed history and win their first ever World Series title.

To put this curse in perspective, the Rays became a professional baseball franchise all the way back in 1998. Back then, Bill Clinton was President of the United States and Apple hadn’t even invented the iPad. In fact, the last time the Rays were even in the World Series, you would have to go all the way back to 2008, a year when Rihanna was dominating the pop music charts and The Dark Knight was the #1 movie in America, a full four years before The Dark Knight Rises even came to theaters.

Third baseman Evan Longoria, the team’s elderstatesman who has played for the franchise dating all the way back to their 2008 campaign, summed up the sentiment felt by the team.

“For years, we’ve had passionate, diehard fans who show up to the stadium every time we play the Yankees, the Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers,” said Longoria. “Also, there are other nights where our fans stay until the 5th inning, and that really means something. Hopefully we can deliver a World Series so that the agony and misery doesn’t have to reach 17 years.”

The road to a World Series won’t be easy.

After winning their one-game playoff against the Texas Rangers, they will have to win the ALDS and ALCS just for the right to get back to the World Series. All this for fans who have tirelessly showed their support by packing the stadium to almost 42% capacity night-in and night-out, as well as for the dozens of fans who have signed a petition to not move the team to another city.

In unrelated news, bars on Waveland Avenue in Chicago were packed today with people asking about the Blackhawks chances of repeating so that the pain could at least be stopped temporarily.