Author: Dylan Bordonaro
The Chicago Cubs were eliminated from the playoffs Wednesday, Oct. 21 after losing four games in a row to the New York Mets in the National League Championship Series (NLCS).
Having last won the World Series in 1908, the Cubs’ 107-year drought is the longest in baseball. More importantly, the Cubs have not even appeared in a World Series since 1945, when the Curse of the Billy Goat began, and they never will again until they learn how to make amends for their trespasses.
William Sianis, Chicago businessman and owner of the Billy Goat Tavern, and his pet goat Murphy were denied entry into game four of the 1945 World Series at Wrigley Field. According to the Billy Goat Tavern’s website, Sianis appealed to owner P.K. Wrigley, who reaffirmed that animals were not permitted in the park. Consequently, Sianis cursed the Cubs.
“The Cubs ain’t gonna win no more,” he said. “The Cubs will never win a World Series so long as the goat is not allowed in Wrigley Field.”
After initially taking two of three games in Detroit, the Cubs lost three of the final four games in Chicago to hand victory of the 1945 World Series to the Tigers.
As some curses in sports, such as the Red Sox Curse of the Bambino, have recently been lifted, many Chicagoans have expected the Cubs to follow suit. The Cubs’ front office has not shied away from spending, including on the draft, in free agency, and by bringing in manager Joe Maddon. The franchise appears poised to be a consistent postseason contender, but until they fully address the curse, all the spending is for naught. Regarding the Cubs’ recent failure in the NLCS, Mets fans find no coincidence in the fact that the goat shares his name with their postseason hero, Daniel Murphy, and that the Cubs couldn’t even muster to win a single game against them.
For some reason, Cubs fans believed (or hoped) that the prediction in “Back to the Future II” that the Cubbies would finally win the World Series in 2015 would come true. Buying into the ridiculous idea that an ’80s movie could predict the end of the curse eschews the responsibility the Cubs have in atoning for their wrongful treatment of Murphy.
The Sianis family, along with Murphy’s descendants, have tried to lift the curse — to no avail — at various points over the years. On some occasions the Cubs have welcomed the goat, and other times they have, yet again, shut him out. When the goat has been welcomed, the Cubs have fared better. When he hasn’t, they have fallen apart.
The Cubs will never escape their curse as long as they are unwilling to fully embrace the goat. They should make him the official mascot, let him graze Wrigley’s outfield, welcome him in the dugout and bring him to every game, home and away, if they ever want a chance at postseason success.
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