Just imaging going back in time just a year and telling your past self “In 2016 Donald Trump will be running for president, a dead gorilla will cause national outrage, Great Britain will leave the E.U., and the Cubs will go to the World Series.” It has truly been a strange, strange year.
The Cubs, Chicago’s baseball team, have not been to a World Series in over seven decades. Many fans of the sport have considered this a “curse.” The curse, however, was lifted when the Cubs beat the Los Angeles Dodgers. For the first time in 71 years, the Chicago Cubs will be going to the World Series.
USA Today reports: No one is quite sure how the Cubs celebrated their last pennant in 1945, but there’s no way it could possibly compare to this historic evening on the North Side, complete with players lying down in beer tubs, a coach wearing nothing more than a Speedo, and enough bubbly and Budweiser to souse the masses gathered outside on Clark Street.
The Cubs, after a historic drought of 71 years, are going to the World Series, knocking off the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-0, to win their first National League Championship Series, 4-2.
To put things into historical context, the last time the Cubs won a World Series was in 1908 (The Ottoman Empire, segregation, and Civil War veterans were still around in those days.) The last time the Cubs were even in the World Series was 1945. Of course, this string of bad luck, according to some, can be attributed to the Curse of the Billy Goat.
History.com reports: The hex in question dates back to October 6, 1945, when the Cubs were gearing up to face the Detroit Tigers in Game Four of the World Series…
As excited Chicagoans flooded into Wrigley on October 6, Billy Sianis strode up to the gate with two tickets in hand—one for himself, and one for his pet goat “Murphy.” Sianis was a Greek immigrant who owned a local watering hole called the Billy Goat Tavern, and Murphy was his beloved, bleating mascot. He’d rescued the animal after it fell off a passing truck in the mid-1930s, and it had since become a fixture at his bar. Sianis often paraded the goat around town to drum up business. He’d even grown a goatee and adopted the nickname “Billy Goat.” On the day of the World Series game, he brought Murphy to the ballpark to publicize his bar and bring good luck to the Cubs. The animal was draped in a banner reading, “WE GOT DETROIT’S GOAT.”
There are a few different legends about what happened next. One has the team’s ushers stopping Sianis at the gate and blocking him from bringing his goat inside. When Sianis protested that he had a ticket for his bearded pal, Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley appeared and told him Murphy couldn’t come in “because the goat stinks.” As the story goes, Sianis then threw his arms in the air and put a curse on the team. “The Cubs ain’t gonna win no more!” he supposedly said. “The Cubs will never win a World Series so long as the goat is not allowed in Wrigley Field.”
After living through the madness that has been 2016, I’m willing to believe in the Billy Goat curse. Whether or not the curse has been lifted has yet to be determined. The Chicago Cubs will be playing against the Cleveland Indians in the 2016 World Series.
Maybe the Indians will suffer from the Curse of Harambe?