After a 108 year drought, the Chicago Cubs finally clinched the World Series title last night. In a nail-biter Game 7 that went into extra innings (and a rain delay), the Cubs won 8-7 against the Cleveland Indians. Billy goats and black cats be damned, the curse was finally lifted.
Billy goats? Black cats? Are we still talking about baseball? For those not as familiar with the famously superstitious ways of baseball fans and players, let’s backtrack – all the way to 1945, Game 4 of the World Series at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
Local Billy Goat Tavern owner William Sianis bought tickets for himself and his pet billy goat, Murphy, to Game 4 of the World Series. While at the game, the odor of the goat was bothersome, and Sianis was asked to leave the Wrigley. Outraged, Sianis declared “The Cubs ain’t gonna win no more!” And so, the Curse of the Billy Goat was born.
And then, as luck would have it, during at Cubs-Mets game in 1984, a stray black cat walked between the Cubs captain Ron Santo, who was on deck, and the Cubs Dugout. Ominously, the cat not only walked by the dugout but stared at the dugout for a good few seconds, just to let it sink in. The Cubs would go on to lose that game.
Last year, things were looking up for the Cubs. Theo Epstein, former GM and president of the also formerly-cursed Boston Red Sox, was in charge and his plan was coming to fruition. Players were hitting well, and Chicago felt that the worst was behind them. So why not tell the world that the Cubs were back with a TV campaign that declared the age old sports saying “it ain’t over ’til it’s over.” Needless to say, the Cubs didn’t go all the way.
However, last night was another ball game, and the Cubs won in a spectacular fashion. After the final out last night, Nike bought the first spot and aired a quiet and sincere tribute to the windy city. The spot was a testament to the tenacity and positivity of the city and its people.
From one formerly cursed city to another, congrats Chicago. It feels good, doesn’t it?