Throughout history there have been people all over the world who have tried to predict the end of the world. One popular belief especially around Lake Michigan is that the world will end when the Cubs win the world series.
The Cubs have been America's "Lovable Losers" for over a century. Here is a list/time-line of ten moments that give every cubs fan a reason hide their teary eyes with their blue baseball cap.
In the 1918 World Series, the Cubs went up against the Boston Red Sox and were defeated 4 games to 2. It wasn’t the defeat that made the list though. It was the fact that years later, even as late as 2009, there have been rumors and accusations that the Cubs were paid as much as 10,000 dollars to throw the series. No real evidence was ever found, but to think that a team would be willing to give up a championship for money does not look good for a Cubs fan.
There are many different versions to this curse, but in general it goes like this. In 1945 the owner of the “Billy Goat Tavern” Billy Sianis was forced to leave a World Series game against the Detroit Tigers because his pet goat that he brought was bothering other fans.
He was so mad that he had to leave that he yelled out “Them Cubs aren’t gonna win no more!” No one is sure what he exactly said or whether it happened that way, but ever since that incident, the Cubs have failed to make it to the World Series. So the Red Sox get the Bambino curse and the Cubs get a Goat?
This is yet another great idea from the head offices of the Cubs franchise. During the 1961 and 1962 seasons, instead of having a team manager, the Cubs used what is now known as the College of Coaches. Instead of having one head coach, which owner P.K. Wrigley called “expendable”, the team rotated the position to eight coaches.
The coaches ranged from position coaches to minor league team coaches. The system failed however with records of 64-90 and 59-103 during the two years. So for any baseball fan that questions why their team would hire a certain coach, just remember that there have been worse decisions.
From 1977 to 1979 the Lovable Losers faced a tough couple of seasons where they would have a great start in the month of June, and then blow it all towards the end of the season. Most notably in 1977 the Cubs had a record of 47-22 by the end of June and were 19 games over .500 and in first place in their division after the All-star break. However from July 31st to the end of the season the Cubs went a dismal 20-40 and finished 4th in the division with a record of 81-81. Ever since those rough seasons, fans have always been skeptical of any good starting season.
In yet another attempt for the Cubs to break their World Series drought, Ryne Sandberg and crew faced the Sand Diego Padres in the 1984 NLCS. The Cubbies started strong with 13-0 and 4-2 wins in the first 2 of a best of 5 series. Needing only one more win, the lovable losers managed to lose three straight to the Padres. What added to the heartbreak was that in game 5 the Cubs had a 3-0 lead going into the 6th inning and blew it by giving up 6 runs in the next two innings.
Okay, I am not putting down this movie. I like it a lot. But think about this. This fictional movie, where a 10-year-old boy and Gary Busey are the two best pitchers of the team, is the last time in the real world or the movie world where the Cubs have won a world series! Not even Hollywood has any respect for the Cubbies.
The 2003 NL Championship is to date the last time the Cubs have been close to going to a world series. They were five outs away from defeating the Florida Marlins and facing the Yankees in the World Series. Then a routine foul ball towards the 3rd base line was caught not by a Cub, but by a man who is now universally hated by Cubs fans throughout the world, Steve Bartman. Of course he is not solely to blame for the loss of the series. The Cubs did blow a 3-0 lead in the 8th inning after the incident AND lost the following game 7, but that catch will be a cancer in the brains of Cubs fans until they find a way back to the Series
In recent years the Cubs have done well in collecting talent and building a potential championship team. The problem was that once they had the talent, they had trouble keeping them on the field. The most notable injuries were the duo nicknamed “Chicago Heat”, Mark Prior and Kerry Wood. With 2 aces on the mound and a young Carlos Zambrano, The Cubs were looked at as perennial contenders. However both players were “cursed” with elbow injuries, both having season ending Tommy John surgeries. There has been speculation that their injuries were due to coach Dusty Baker putting almost no limit on their pitch counts. However no coaching was to blame for slugger Sammy Sosa’s back injury. In 2004 Sammy Sosa blew out his back not by swinging the bat, but by sneezing. If that is not a curse I don’t know what is.
The Cubs World Series drought is to date the longest one in North American sports. And what makes it hurt more for the fans of Chicago is having to watch other cursed teams break their droughts. In the past decade the Red Sox broke the 86 year old curse of the Bambino, the White Sox broke the 88 year old curse of the Black Sox, and San Francisco Giants broke their 54 year World Series drought. The Cubs drought is currently set at 103 years.
Nothing shows how much it sucks to be a fan of the Cubs than the present. Currently the Cubs are 23-35 and are on a 7 game losing streak. In the cardinals series last weekend the Cubbies gave up 2 walk off home runs to Albert Pujols, leading former starting ace Carlos Zambrano to speak out against the Cubs saying "we are playing like a Triple A team, we stink". What really makes this comment sting is the fact that people in Chicago and the media were not surprised by his words. That tells you that they were thinking the exact same thing. It’s tough out there for a Cubs fan, and sadly there does not seem to be much hope in sight.