Does anyone remember the last time the Chicago Cubs won a World Series? Of course. It’s the most infamous title drought in all of sports.
In October of 1908, the Chicago Cubs defeated the Detroit Tigers in five games to win their second World Series in as many years. When the MLB playoffs begin in October, it will reach 108 years!
Does that even register to the functional mind? Let’s jump in that Bill and Ted’s Excellent Time Machine to a that miraculous time in history.
In 1908, there were no smartphones–nor were there televisions. Theodore Roosevelt held office. Harvard University voted to establish the Harvard School of Business. Henry Ford produced the first Model T. Mother’s Day was recognized for the very first time. For those baseball fans out there, the Great Bambino, Babe Ruth, hadn’t even stepped up to a Major League plate until six years later.
As you can see, 1908 seems to be light years away. The Cubs and its fans have been waiting a long time–some dying waiting for that sweet parade, only to see their hopes and dreams die along with their soul. The ones that still breath continue to ask that agonizing question, “How long will it be ’til we win another?” Only to respond, “there’s always next year.”
Back before most of us were alive, optimism was actually legitimate. Between 1908 and 1945, the Cubs actually partook in seven World Series. Unfortunately, those seven appearances resulted in complete frustration. Despite reaching the big show seven times, they lost every one–the last being the worst of them all, where a certain billy goat became the most infamous scape-goat.
In 1945, Billy Goat Tavern owner Billy Sianis attended Game 4 of the World Series at Wrigley Field [against the Detroit Tigers, if I may note] and brought along his precious pet goat. As you can imagine, the goat’s scent was bothering fellow patrons of the game, resulting in club representatives asking Mr. Sianis to leave the ballpark. Mr. Sianis was offended by the request so the tavern/goat owner relinquished his frustrations by working his voodoo magic and placing that infamous curse on the Cubs organization. “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more.” [Apparently double negatives didn’t mean nothing.] At that point in the series, the Cubs were up 2-1. They ended up losing that day and eventually fell to Tigers in seven games.
Years would pass as well as World Series opportunities. With the years, the acknowledgment of the curse has grown fonder. As of recent years, several attempts have been made to dispel the curse.
On October 3, 2007, a butchered goat was hung from the Harry Caray statue.
In 2012, five Cubs’ fans walked from Mesa, AZ all the way to Wrigley Field with a goat named “Wrigley” in attempt to bring the goat within the ballpark grounds. The self-proclaimed Crack the Curse group walked 1900+ miles only to be turned around by owner Thomas S. Ricketts.
In April of 2013, an anonymous person mailed a severed goat’s head to the team owner’s office.
The organization themselves have even gone as far as bringing Sam Sianis, nephew of Billy Sianis, to the ballpark with a goat–two of those occasions include opening days of 1984 and 1989, resulting to the Cubs winning the division later that year. [Close…but no cigar.]
Is the curse the one thing that’s holding the Cubs back from earning their next World Series ring? Are spells as real as witches and wizards make them up to be or are they merely an obstacle of mind over matter?
Let’s not forget that Cubs have showed glimmers of hope. They’ve made playoff runs in 1984, ’89, ’98, ’03, ‘0–wait. Should we reminisce the debacle of 2003 that still stews in the air in Chicago?
It was October 14, 2003 and it was a cold, vicious night in Chicago, Illinois. Wrigley Field was hosting game six of the NLCS against the Florida Marlins. This particular night, a fan by the name of Steve Bartman made the conscious decision to attend in hopes to see his team win and progress to the World Series. What he didn’t know was he’d leave ball park as the most wanted man in Chicago…and not in the most ideal way.
In the top half of the eighth inning, a foul ball driven in the direction of Mr. Bartman when he made another conscious decision to attempt to catch the fall ball to take home as a souvenir. Stretching his arms through several other fans who were replicating the same intent, Mr. Bartman cuts off Cubs’ leftfielder, Moises Alou, from possibly catching the second out of the inning. Now, although it is clear that SEVERAL fans in the vicinity decided to make the same conscious decision to reach over the wall in attempt to snag a catchable ball, Bartman took the fall and is possibly forever remembered as another ingredient to the Cubs’ curse
The curse is real and even more so in Chicago. Rival baseball town St. Louis may sicker away, but Chicago allows it to hang over them like a black cloud. The Cubs haven’t ventured back into a World Series since the spell was placed and it hasn’t been easy. As you can see, Cubs’ fans have tried everything to break the curse.
Even a Back to the Future prediction has fallen short . But who knew one crucial miscalcuation could have faulted to the prediction? [Miami, which didn’t house a Major League team until 1994, is currently a National League team–thus making it impossible for the Cubs to play them in the World Series since the Cubs also play in thus league.] Let’s also overlook the fact that according to the Chinese zodiac, 2015 is/was the year…of the Goat.
But Chicago Cubs’ fans, I have some light to your cloudy day. You can lift up that beer in pride and hold back on saying those disheartening four words, “there’s always next year.”
The Cubs will win another World Series in…2016.
MARK MY WORDS. These 2016 Chicago Cubs will become World Series Champions. Theo Epstein, Cubs’ President of Baseball Operations, has put together a championship team. The best of baseball. Shall we…?
Anthony Rizzo. Dexter Fowler. Jake “the Beard” Arrieta. Jon Lester. Kris Bryant. Jason Hammel. Ben Zobrist. Jayson Heyward. John Lackey.
Must I continue? This team is stacked! These guys are Title bound. BUT–just in case the curse is real–I proclaim the entire Chicago Cubs organization proactively do everything in their power to uplift this spell. It’s no secret to what must be done.
According to the Billy Goat Tavern family, the only way for the curse to be dispelled is if the Cubs organization act sincerely and welcome the goat to Wrigley Field–sans intentions of a publicity stunt.
My suggestion? Ask team manager Joe Maddon to lead in a herd of goats through the streets of Wrigleyville and onto that beautiful green grass. Allow those precious goats to be flood the streets then ROAM the other side. The doors of Wrigley should burst open to allow the stream of goats to burst through and carry the flood onto the grass. Perhaps the only thing that’s stalling the grass, and ivy, from becoming greener is simply…the goat.