The truth is out there—if you want to believe (cue cheesy X-Files music).
For all you fans of the Lovable Losers, you can mark July 5, 2008 on your calendar as the Day the Curse Returned. For on this day, the Cubbies were hosted by St. Louis in the middle game of a three game series.
Through eight innings, the Cubs dominated. Lilly, Cotts, and Marmol scattered seven hits and allowed two runs to silence the Cardinals while Aramis Ramirez provided the go ahead RBI in the eighth in what appeared to be all but a done deal for the Cub win.
Wood started the ninth, and even though he struggled, the planets aligned and the baseball gods frowned—once again the curse raised its ugly head.
This incarnation was not in the cute bearded form of a Billy goat. Nor did it appear as infamous Cubbie fan Steve Barman. In fact, this time the curse had nothing to do with restaurant owners, foul balls, or anything that even happened on the field.
No, this time the curse was brought upon the Cubs by the voice of a major corporation.
For on this day, with one out in the bottom of the ninth, one of the Fox announcers made the declaration that Aramis Ramirez had been named as the Fox Player of the Game.
Did I just hear that right? A player of the game announced before said game had concluded? Then, a big fancy Fox graphic graced my 46 LCD high definition screen that spelled out Fox Player of the Game Aramis Ramirez.
Two of my senses couldn’t have failed at the same time, so the award had to be true. Kind of silly that Fox would do that now, but no big deal.
One would think.
Then right after the announcement, Rick Ankiel slapped a two out single to right field to plate the tie and winning runs. The Cubs just lost a nationally televised game in which they should have won.
Yes, a closer can blow a lead. Look at the struggles Izzy has made this season. It can happen. But in this instance, Fox propagated the curse.
That, or the network is playing favoritism with the Cubs in order to sell the drama of the 100-year drought.
I personally want to believe there is no such things as curses, but if stuff like this keeps happening, what choice do I have?