I’m obsessed with the Chicago Cubs baseball team. This statement might seem odd since I’ve never seen them play and I don’t follow sports. Technically, it’s not the game that fascinates me, it’s the curse.
In the 1934, tavern owner Billy Sianis adopted a baby goat (Murphy) that fell off a truck in front of his bar. (The “falling off a truck” thing happens a lot in Chicago.) He was so infatuated with Murphy that he began calling himself Billy Goat, grew a goatee and renamed his bar The Billy Goat Tavern (of Saturday Night Live “Cheezborger, Cheezborger, No Coke” fame).
Billy often took Murphy to unusual locations, including Cubs games. Normally the stands were empty so it wasn’t a problem.
However in 1945, fans converged on the stadium to see the Cubs play in the World Series. Seven years had passed since the Cubs were in the Series; the war was ending – both reasons for hope and excitement. The anticipation was palpable.
Then partway into the game, Billy was asked to remove Murphy because his odor was disturbing other fans. The insult was more than Billy could bear so he placed a curse on the Cubs saying something like: “Dem Cubs, dey ain’t gonna win no more”.
Some people thought this meant the Cubs would never win a championship whereas others thought there would never be another World Series won at Wrigley Field. After all these years, we might find out.
As the second oldest baseball stadium in the United States, there’s a proposal to renovate the field to the tune of $500M. If the request is denied, the owners have threatened to leave Chicago.
Which goes back to the curse. Could this be a turning point for the Cubs? If they left Wrigley would they have a chance at winning the World Series? If another team started playing at Wrigley, would the curse apply to them?
Personally, I don’t think we’ll ever know because I believe the Cubs are here to stay. That leaves only one solution: the renovation must include a place for a goat.
May the farce be with you!