by Amy Lignor
It was announced yesterday (on The Weather Channel) that New Jersey’s in a drought for the first time since 2001. You know who’s not in a drought anymore? Exactly! Congratulations Chicago…your Cubs did it!
I think we all know that the chant: “Go, Cubs, Go!” will be echoing from every rooftop in Chicago for a good, long time to come. In fact, there are many saying…vote for what? That’s right; Election Day means nothing right now because the team that literally had not won a World Series title since Jesus was a boy (okay…that’s a bit of an exaggeration) finally knows what it’s like to be on top once again in the World of Baseball. The only thing missing in this fantastic Series, where the beloved team had to come back and fight hard to win it all, was the fact that they were not allowed to do it in front of their home crowd. Of course, I think the Cubs were just as happy, even if all those Cleveland fans were dumbstruck and heartbroken at the loss.
Into the history books this one goes. Behind 2 games, many analysts all over the TV stated that “this one was over.” That “the Cubs have no shot of coming back and beating the Indians.” Well…as we the people know, the analysts are wrong more often than they are right. We are more inclined to remember Yogi Berra saying: “It ain’t over till it’s over.”
The loveable Cubs, always known as “the North Siders” because of the location of historic Wrigley Field within the city of Chicago, were the hottest thing on the diamond…back in 1908, that is. In that year, most were talking about the horror of the San Francisco Earthquake and the horrendous damage it had done. However, in the world of sports, people were talking about a baseball team that had won back-to-back World Series championships (1907 and 1908), becoming the first major league team to play in three consecutive World Series, and the very first to win it twice.
Until Wednesday night, the Cubs had not won the World Series in 108 years, and had not won the National League pennant in 71 years, both of which were record “droughts.” The 108 year drought also was on record as being the longest in all major North American sports, not just baseball.
Now…some say it was “The Curse of the Billy Goat,” placed on the Chicago Cubs in 1945 that stopped them from ever seeing the limelight again. For those who are unaware, the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern, William Sianis, placed the curse on the team because the odor of his pet goat, Murphy, was bothering other fans, causing Sianis to be ousted from Wrigley Field during game 4 of the 1945 World Series. A very angry bar owner apparently stated that: “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more,” after he was asked to leave; and gosh darn if his declaration didn’t come true.
The Cubs lost that World Series to the Detroit Tigers, and from then on…the curse took hold. After the incident with Sianis and Murphy, the Cubs did not play in the World Series for the next 71 years until, oddly enough, on the 46th anniversary of the bar owner’s death when they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5–0 in game 6 of the 2016 National League Championship Series to win the NL pennant.
Many tried to lift the curse over the 71 year period. Even the bar owner, Sianis, proclaimed that the curse was rescinded right before his death in 1970. His nephew, Sam, showed up at Wrigley Field with a goat on Opening Day several times over the years to make sure that the “gods” knew there was no longer any anger. A Greek Orthodox priest blessed the Cubs’ dugout with holy water in 2009, apparently begging the “god/gods” to allow the fans to see the Cubs win again. And then in 2012, five fans of the Chicago Cubs, titling their little band “Crack the Curse” walked over 1,700 miles—along with a goat named Wrigley—from the Cubs’ spring training camp located in Arizona to Wrigley Field. Nothing worked.
Over time people came to believe that the curse meant absolutely nothing. What people did see was that the Cubs needed a new “hierarchy” to help them hone the immense skills and talents of their players in order to reach the top once again. That worked. Although some people are probably lining up outside of farms right now across the country in order to “give thanks” to every goat they can find.
In the end, Cleveland doesn’t have to mourn. Yes, it’s been a long time since they’ve won the biggie, too, but the fans there still have their illustrious basketball team that won it all last year. And neither of the cities can argue about football, seeing as that both the Bears and the Browns are horrific and don’t make any difference to the NFL anyway. But when it comes to baseball, Chicago can most definitely rejoice. You told the team: “Go, Cubs, Go!” And they most definitely listened.
So, from all the goats wandering the fields out there, congratulations to the 2016 World Series Champs! Who knows…maybe 1907/08 will repeat itself and this is just the first of the next back-to-back Series titles for Chi-town.
Source: Baret News