Let’s go back to this goat’s head thing for a minute. One day last week a car pulled up to Wrigley Field on a Chicago Cubs off day, someone got out, and left a package on the sidewalk near Gate K and then drove off. Upon investigation, otherwise known as unwrapping the package, a severed goat’s head was found that was supposed to be delivered to team owner Tom Ricketts.
The so-called “Billy Goat Curse” was a hex put on the Cubs in 1945 and as far as everyone knows is still in effect. This may have been the renewal, though not by the same perp.
One of the best-known watering holes in Chicago is the Billy Goat Tavern, which is famed not only for its alcohol, but its cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger as introduced to the nation in a “Saturday Night Live” skit long ago. In 1945, the last time the Cubs reached the World Series, for some reason that I have never been able to fathom, Billy Sianis then-owner of the Billy Goat Tavern, showed up for a game accompanied by his pet goat.
Who brings their favorite four-legged pet to a baseball game?
Whether Sianis was using the animal for free advertising or just what, those in charge at Wrigley turned the both of them away from the ballpark. Incensed, Sianis put a curse on the Cubs in retaliation, saying the team would never win again because of this disservice to the goat population.
For all we really know, he was kidding. But it worked. As we all know, the Cubs never have won again. Never mind a World Series, but even a National League pennant. The Series drought, of course, dates back to 1908 so the goat curse may have superseded a previously-placed, less-publicized curse.
Judging from the way the 2013 season has begun, and reviewing the talent on the roster, it is highly unlikely that the Cubs will be winning any pennants or World Series this season, either. Goat 105, Cubs 0.
The goat’s head delivered to the park was not greeted with a sense of humor. The police got involved and issued a statement indicating “we’re investigating it as an intimidating package.” Bear in mind that this occurred many days before the bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
It could be that someone got drunk and watched a “Godfather” movie festival and was inspired by the horse-head-in-the-bed scene to cut off a goat head and send it the Cubs’ way. It could be that someone who realized less than two weeks into the season that this campaign was going to be as hopeless for the Cubs as many recent ones and sought to perpetuate the goat curse. It could even be someone who lives in the neighborhood who despises the being-debated idea of playing more night games. It could be someone who is just flat-out looney tunes.
This is all speculation. No telling what is going through the mind of someone who shows up on the doorstep with a severed goat’s head. So whatever statement was being made it remains on the murky side.
Ricketts and his family are the latest in the line of owners that inherited the curse. They are determined to remodel and spruce up century-old Wrigley and just recently said the Cubs will win a World Series in the refurbished park.
That is still to come–both things. One thing seems certain, though. This goat, as much as the 1945 goat, will have nothing to do with helping the Cubs play better.