Chicago And The Curse of the Windy City
The concept of baseball gods is as old as silent films and the Wild West. Baseball is entrenched in superstition and supposed magic. I imagine this spawns from the speed of the game allowing the players and fans to imagine the possibility of a higher power contributing to the game. Rally caps, gold thongs, jockstraps from high school, 2-2-2 shake a cap, avoiding the foul line, and tucking in your shirt a certain way have all “contributed” to the success of this leagues biggest stars. All these things are done to appease the baseball gods. These bigger than Olympus and living in the cornfields Gods seems to have more control over certain people than Buddha, Allah, and even the Judeo-Christian conception. I have often cursed these fictitious gods for injuries, cold streaks, and even owners, but recently I have noticed that a specific city has received the ire of the baseball gods, the windy city Chicago.
The Chicago Cubs have received the Curse of the Billy Goat. The curse was given when the Billy Goat Tavern owner Billy Sianis was escorted out of the 1945 World Series game against the Detroit Tigers. The reason for the escort was because his pet goat was stinking up the place and the fans were complaining. Upon leaving Billy yelled “Them Cubs, they ain`t gonna win no more,” thus spawned the curse of the Billy Goat. The Cubs have never won a National League Pennant since and have not won a series in over a hundred years.
Many attempts have been made to break this curse. Billy`s nephew brought a goat out onto the field twice, Cubs fans went to Houston with a goat and read a verse from a scroll in front of Astros stadium, and there was even a dead goat that was hung from the Harry Caray statue. None of these remedies have seemed to work. Then you take into consideration the Steve Bartman situation, and yes it had to come up eventually. We all know the story of the kid sporting headphones, a Cub`s hat and glasses that single handedly ruined the Cubs chances for a World Series bid. Well, interestingly enough, that same day the Cubs denied entrance of Sam Sianis` goat. Enter the X-Files theme song. The latest news of the Goat curse came this year when on April the tenth a severed goat`s head was delivered to Cub`s owner Thomas Ricketts as to lift the curse and set the young cubbies free. Moving on.
The Chicago White Sox recently broke their curse of the Black Sox in 2005 when they finally won a series. I will refrain from going too far into the history of that event and talk more specifically of the baseball God`s wrath concerning this season. The Sox have lost 59 of their last 60 games, well not really but I’m sure that`s how White Sox fans feel, and are finding very innovative ways to lose. I have watched the last three White Sox games and it is incredible how many times they have loaded the bases or got runners into scoring position with zero outs and come away with the big nada. Their bullpen is fantastic while their starting pitching is very top heavy. Adam Dunn is playing as well as Miley Cyrus` last relationship and even their ace was one big hit away from a shut out last night. Alas, the losing streak continues and Chicago continues to weep.
As I watch both of these above-average market teams struggle to find the win column, I often ask myself why can`t money buy happiness. I watch as the Rays and the Athletics construct very good teams on a fifth of Chicago`s money and I`m sure its very frustrating. They have everything going for them, they are rich in tradition, have good fan following, and their marketing is pretty good. It wouldn`t be a terrible idea for the two MLB clubs to come together and try to figure out a way to appease the gods. Round up some virgins and start a fire, make a donation to the National Goat Loving Association, or maybe you could just allow the rooftop watchers at Wrigley some peace, karma perhaps? In any case, Chicago needs to find the mojo and the clock for this season is ticking quickly.