| March 18, 2018

Column: Curses are Real

October 27, 2016

Aliens have not contacted Earth and ghosts have no business haunting the living.

But curses are real. There is one piece of undisputable evidence supporting this claim: the Chicago Cubs.

Nothing has made me question my belief in the supernatural more than my beloved Cubbies. It is simply astounding that one team has experienced so much loss in a lifetime.

As a Chicago sports fan, I have seen my fair share of bad teams. This season’s Bears are shamefully uninspiring. The Bulls’ management made a poor situation even worse.

This pattern of bad luck makes me skeptical of the Cubs’ recent rise to dominance.

Some may question my skepticism. The Cubs, after all, had the best record in baseball this year. Chicago was favored to win the first game of the World Series.

To the naysayers, I’m proud to say I believe the Curse of the Billy Goat.

It began during the 1945 World Series. The Cubs led the series 2-1 in their first championship since 1908.

Before the start of Game 4, a Chicago tavern owner named William Sianis wanted to bring his pet goat, Murphy, to Wrigley Field.

But Sianis and Murphy were denied entrance. In his anger, Sianis proclaimed the Cubs would never win another World Series again. Chicago dropped three out of the next four games and lost the series.

The Cubs haven’t played in the World Series since 1945. Many claim the curse is broken because Chicago won the National League.

Believers were only reinforced in the curse’s legitimcay with the infamous gaffe of a Cubs fan Steve Bartman. During game six  of the NLCS, Bartman attempted to catch a would-be foul ball by reaching over the edge of the stands.

In doing so, he knocked the ball away from Moises Alou, who was trying to grab the ball, and gave Miami its third out of the inning. Unsurprisingly, the Cubs lost the series.

Based on Chicago’s performance in game one, the spirits of Sianis and Murphy the goat are still present.

No amount of holy water sprinkled on the mound, priests blessing the field, not even the descendants of Sianis and Murphy attending games can reverse the curse.

To be fair, I was also a firm believer in the Curse of the Gambino until the Red Sox dispelled the myth in 2004. But to my dismay, along with other Chicago fans, the Cubs will be the Cubs forever. They do not have the longest championship drought because of chance.

Yes, they are a better team than Cleveland on paper. But no, they will not win the World Series in 2016, just as they will not win it in 2017, 2018 or 2097.

I want nothing more than the Cubs to win. But the thought of them being the first Chicago team I see win a championship sounds beyond impossible.

The Curse of the Billy Goat is real.

Brandon Hill can be reached atarg-sports@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @brandonmtnhill

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