Could a curse be what has been holding the Chicago Cubs back since 1945?
Well, yes, that's what legend says, anyway. Perhaps it is, or maybe it is just the best story to give some explanation as to why a great team fell from the top and as to why it hasn't fully recovered since. Either way, it all started on October 6, 1945, at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
It was Game 4 of the World Series. The Cubs were leading the Detroit Tigers two games to one. Local tavern owner William "Billy Goat" Sianas bought two tickets to the game. He arrived at the entrance to Wrigley Field with his pet goat "Murphy" to accompany him, hoping it would bring good luck to the Cubs.
As it turned out, Mr. Sianas was told that the goat must leave, with the order coming directly from the Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley. His reason? Legend has it that Mr. Wrigley claimed, "The goat stinks."
This is the event that led to the curse. Mr. Sianas became so upset that he proclaimed emphatically that the Cubs would never win a World Series again, until the goat was allowed into the stadium. He then followed up the Cubs' loss of this particular game with a telegram to Mr. Wrigley stating, "Who stinks now?"
Since that time, the curse has reigned and has even developed its own cult following of sorts. The tavern is still thriving, now under the ownership of Mr. Sianas' nephew, Sam, and the Cubs have not won a World Series nor have they even been in one since.
Still, loyal Cubs fans are not giving up.
A few attempts to break the curse have seemed to have some effect. Yet, even an attempt by the curse's originator, in 1969, was lacking the full reversal that fans have been hoping to see. A seemingly winning season that year ended in defeat to the "Miracle" Mets.
Promising signs were again seen in 1984 when "Billy Goat's" nephew, Sam, was invited to the field. With his goat "Socrates," a descendant of Murphy, Sam proclaimed the curse to be lifted. The Cubs went on through another close-to-winning season, only to fall one game short of making the World Series.
More recently, in May of 2012, six men hiked 2,000 miles from the Cubs' spring training grounds in Mesa, Arizona, to Wrigley Field with a goat named "Wrigley." Their vision was to "Crack the Curse" along with raising money for cancer research. Their arrival in Chicago landed on the same day that the Cubs broke a 12-game losing streak.
Will the curse ever be lifted? Curses were made to be lifted.
Jennifer Thompson is a resident of the state of Illinois, and a believer that the Cubs will prevail over an old goat tale.