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Curse— Chicago

The curse as described by Jim:  “The owner of the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago wanted to bring his goat to a Cubs game in 1945.  He wanted to bring the goat in, but the owner of the Cubs prohibited him.  So, he put a curse on the Cubs by saying that they were no longer going to win.  The Cubs have tried to get rid of the curse, but they haven’t been able to break it… because they haven’t been back to a world series since 1945.  There have been other occurrences proving that the curse is true.  For instance, the Cubs were five outs from going to the World Series in 2003.  Then, a foul ball was hit to left field.  A fan, the now infamous Steve Bartman, interfered with the fly ball which made left fielder Moises Alou angry.  Then, the Cubs lost the next two games.  That proves the curse is true.”

Jim told me that he believes wholeheartedly in this curse, as it’s his duty as a Cubs fan to stay loyal.  He explained that there’s no other explanation for why the Cubs haven’t been to the World Series since 1945.  He said that he believes the curse will one day be broken, but he’s not sure how that will be accomplished.

Jim said that he learned about the curse from his father when he was growing up.  His father was a huge Cubs fan, which influenced his team preference.  Jim also said that every Cubs fan should know about the curse.  He mentioned that it’s perpetuated by the media, who reference it after losing Cubs seasons.

At the simplest level, this curse is used as justification/an excuse for why the Cubs have not been to the World Series since 1945.  The team is known for its losing seasons, and this is an easy way for fans to justify their losses and feel better about the team.  For instance, when the aforementioned mishaps involving Steve Bartman occurred in 2003, it was easier to blame the curse than the actual players involved with losing the games leading up to the World Series.

The curse is also a way to shape the identities of Cubs fans.  Jim mentioned that all Cubs fans should know about the curse.  While most non-fans wouldn’t believe in the curse, true Cubs fans do… giving its fans a sense of community and camaraderie.

This curse is similar to other baseball curses like “The Curse of The Bambino,” which was supposedly placed on the Red Sox after the team traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1920.  However, the curse was “broken” in 2004 when the Red Sox finally won the World Series.

This curse is referenced in Issue #250 of the Hellblazer comic book series, in which main character John Constantine is hired to break the curse.