On a hot sunny afternoon, a crowd gathers at a cathedral. This cathedral is like no other. It has an abundance of beer, and ivy covers part of the inner wall.
This cathedral is Wrigley Field. The fans worship their players, and the Bleacher Bums are the Priests, drunk as they may be. This congregation is completely and utterly loyal to this team.
To most Chicagoans, Cubs fan-hood is just something in their blood. They live, and they die with their Cubbies. These are die-hard fans.
However, the Cubs have not won the World Series since 1908, and have not even been to that October Finale since 1945. Why is this?
Well, it begins with a man and his goat. Yes, you read that correctly, his goat.
In 1945 the Cubs were playing in the World Series against the Detroit Tigers. Before game four, a man by the name of Billy Sianis brought his goat to the game. They both had tickets, and both were let into the game. However, in the middle of the 4th inning, they were both kicked out, because of complaints of a terrible stench coming from the goat.
As Sianis left, he, by legend, told the gate workers that the Cubs would never reach the World Series again because of this. Since then, the Cubs have not been to the World Series.
If you do not think the Cubs are cursed, then keep reading. It gets better.
In 1969, the Cubs were rolling as they started to end their season. They were up by an 8.5 game led at one point, but by the time the Cubs went to play the Mets on September 9, the lead was by only 1.5 games.
On that day, as the Cubs played the Mets, out of nowhere came a black cat. This cat ran towards Ron Santo, who was in the on-deck circle, and proceeded to run around the mystified Santo. Then, the cat walked in front of the dugout, and stared down the whole bench. Afterwards, as suddenly as the black cat had appeared, it left.
The Cubs ended up going 8-17 in September, missing the playoffs.
Still not convinced? Keep reading.
In 2003, the Cubs were gunning for the National League crown against the Florida Marlins. The Cubs were up 3 games to 2 heading in to game 6.
If you are a Cubs fan reading this, now would be a good time to look away.
With 5 outs away from ending the curse, the Cubs were miraculously up 3-0. Then, Mark Prior threw ball right down the plate. Luis Castillo was at bat and hit it towards foul territory. It was an easy pop up. As Moises Alou drifted towards the stands, the ball began to fall. Inches before Alou caught the ball, a fan, wearing headphones and a Cubs hat, reached out over the stands, and caught the ball.
Castillo was safe. Worse yet, the Marlins made a comeback, and won the game. The Marlins ended up winning game seven as well.
Is it not poetic how it was one of the Cubs' own that kept them out of the World Series? This man, Steve Bartman, ended up having to be escorted out of the stadium, and protected by police for days. Bartman has not been seen near a Cubs' baseball game since. At the time, Jeb Bush, then the governor of Florida, attempted to give Bartman asylum. However, Bartman did not take it, and has not been seen since.
It is 0265102 A.C., Anno Catuli, literally meaning "in the year of the cubs". They still have not been to the World Series since 1945. This franchise is truly cursed.
However, their fans are as loyal as ever. Some hold signs that simply say "BELIEVE". And many do believe, but those Lovable Losers always seem to find a way to lose. Even so, the Cubs' fans stay loyal.
As the Chicago Cubs head into this year, the question is simple. Will they break the curse?
Even though I am a Cubs fan, I do not have it in me to believe it will happen, which is depressing to say. However, the Cubs will always hold a special place in my heart and other Cubs' fans' hearts as well.
However, as much as Cubs fans pull for their team, they all realize their team is cursed. Believe whatever you will, but I truly think those Cubbies are cursed by a man and his goat.