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The Chicago Cubs Curse

The Chicago Cubs Curse. What is it? Is there really a Chicago Cubs Curse that prevents the Cubs from winning the World Series? Does the Curse prevent them from even getting to the World Series? Some fans would be satisfied, somewhat, just getting to the World Series. We haven't won a World Series since 1908. We haven't been to a World Series since 1945. It is from that series that the Chicago Cubs Curse was established and it has to do with a billy goat. Believe it or not. Sounds like Ripleys. In case you donot know the story, it was during game 4 of the Series in 1945 that a fan by the name of Billy Sianis had two box seat tickets. He came to the game with his billy goat. The goat was a problem. It smelled and was bothering the other fans. P. K. Wrigley was the owner of the Cubs and asked him to remove the goat. That didnot please Billy Sianis and as he was leaving he placed the curse the Cubs, "they ain't gonna win no more".

Billy Sianis and his goat

You can think what you want, say what you want but the Cubs have not been in a World Series since. But, they also until 1969 have not had a very good team. In fact it was not until 1967-1968 that they would finish better than 500 in two consecutive years. And we all know what happened in 1969.

Black cat 1969

Was 1969 a curse? There was a black cat incident. Or did the Cubs just run out of gas. Plus the Mets were a team of destiny winning 37 out of the last 50 games to come from 9 games back.

The curse keeps coming up as reason for the Cubs not getting into the World Series. They put together some very competitive teams. But for some reason they just can't finish.

The 70's were filled with good starts but by the All Star break they faltered and earned the name lovable losers. The Cubs had a fan base but it was being challenged.

Then came Dallas Green. As the general manager and Jim Frey in charge of the troops they put a team together through trades and free agent signing that brought the team to the Division Championship in 1984. The first time since 1945 that the Cubs had won anything. It also brought lights to Wrigley Field for the first time. But the ugly curse raised his head again. The Cubs won the first two games at Wrigley Field against the San Diego Padres in a five game series. They were led by Cy Young winner Rick Sutcliffe and Steve Trout. They needed to win one game in San Diego. Game three went to the Padres but it was game four that stuck the knife in and turned it. The Cubs were tied 3-3 going in to the seventh inning when the Padres scored two runs. To their credit the Cubs bounced back with two runs in the top of the eighth to tie the score 5-5 going into the ninth inning. The Cubs had their top closer Lee Smith pitching to get them into extra innings. But it was clutch hitting Steve Garvey that tied the series with a walk off two run home run in the bottom of the ninth to send the series to the fifth and final game. Even with ace Rick Sutcliffe pitching and a 3-0 lead going into the sixth inning the events lead one to believe the curse may be more than a myth. The Padres put across two in their half of the sixth. Then, with one on at second base via the walk and sacrifice, a ground ball hit to Leon Durham went through his legs for an error allowing the Padres to tie the game. The Padres added three more and the Cubs went home with one of their worse defeats.

This curse thing has gained momentum because it wasn't just 1984. The Cubs would win the division again in 1989 and had another great team only to lose to the San Francisco Giants in five games. Then in 1998 they had a thrilling finish and a one game playoff win against the San Francisco Giants only to go cold and lose to the Atlanta Braves. They keep being invited to the party but they go home alone.

2003 ended in heartbreak. Is it a curse or do the Cubs just choke? Is it the pressure of not winning and everyone and his brother, mother, sister wanting and hoping that the Cubs can finally get to the series? Is that the curse or the old man with a billy goat?

The Cubs came within 5 outs. This time we beat the Atlanta Braves to win the Division Series. Now we faced the Florida Marlins in the Championship Series. Steve Bartman was not the one that caused us to lose. We were up 3 games to 1 and within 5 outs. It was the reaction of the team following a foul ball that may have been able to be caught, maybe not. An error on a potential double play followed and eight runs eventually scored to give the Florida Marlins game 6. We still had game 7 and couldn't get it done. Steve Bartman wasn't there, neither were the black cat or the billy goat. We just lost and went home again.

To many of us die hard fans it was just another wait til next year. Next year didn't come again until 2007. But each next year brings us another heartbreak. We signed big players in the off season. The flamboyant Lou Piniella and team brought us another entertaining season and we won the division again. This time it wasn't close as we didn't show up and were swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks in three games.

But all was not lost as wait until next year was next year. 2008 was another one for the books. This can't be all that bad. But then again it can. It is sure fun watching and hoping that the Cubs will finally get over the hump and get to the World Series. People all over the country pull for them. They sell out every game and run over 3,000,000 fans through the turnstiles. We added some more players, had a rookie of the year and brought an ex Cardinal and an unwanted player to the party. And it was a party. Its just the ending was the same. This time the Los Angeles Dodgers did the same, or we did the same and bombed out in three games and it was another wait til next year.

This year, 2009 is not looking like it will be next year as the season just has not clicked. Is it the Chicago Cubs Curse? Is it the pressure? This is a never ending discussion and will be until we finally get past it all and get to the World Series. You might say at this point the Curse is not old man Sianis but a curse the team and the die hard fans have put on ourselves. It has been 100 years since we have won the World Series and 63 years since we have been to the big game. That is a big burden to carry around and say what you want sooner or later each player, coach, manager, front office and fan carries it and will until we finally get there. That I would say is the curse following the Cubs.

Wait until next year is just around the corner.





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