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94 Year Itch

By Derek Fisher


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    As summer turns to fall each year, there are some things that you can
always count on.  For example, if you enjoy watching television, you know
that the new season of sitcoms is about to start.  If you enjoy doing yard
work, you can rest assured that there will be plenty of multicolored leaves
in your yard to rake up.  And if you are a Chicago Cubs baseball fan like
myself, there is but one constant in the fall months -- the Cubs will not be in the World Series.

    Yes that's right, I am a Cubs fan.  I am both proud and, well, a little
embarrassed to say it.  If you are not a baseball fan, you might ask why I
would be embarrassed.  Well it certainly is not because I'm the only one.  Oh
no, there are many of us out there.  It's just that we haven't had much to
cheer about in the last century or so. 

    Legend has it the Cubs' losing ways really began during the 1945 World
Series.  The story goes that the son of a local pub owner by the name of Sam
Sianis tried to bring his pet billy goat into one of the games.  The usher of
course turned him away, saying that he stunk.  In retaliation, Sam placed a
curse on the Cubs.  He vowed they would never win another World Series, or another World Series game.  Of course the Cubs lost the rest of the games in the Series, and ultimately the Series itself.  Thus began the Curse of the
Billy Goat.

    From that very day in 1945, the Curse has held true.  The Cubs have not
been to another World Series, and this is the 94th year since they have won
one (1908).  Some Cubs teams have come close, like the '69 team and the '84
squad; but alas, no World Series appearance.  And the drought hasn't been
due to a lack of talent.  Names like Billy Williams, Ernie Banks, Greg
Maddux, Andre Dawson and Ryne Sandberg have all appeared on Cubs' rosters through the years, not to mention that of Sammy Sosa nowadays.  But for every Maddux or Sosa, there is an Ivan DeJesus (who?) or Tuffy Rhodes, and the years pass still lacking a Championship ring.

    At the time of this writing, this year's promising version of the Chicago
Cubs have been out of the race for more than a month, and appear to be heading for another bottom-of-the-standings finish.  It looks like the Curse of the Billy Goat will keep the Cubs an outsider looking in on the World Series for another year.  Like I said, there are some things you can always count on.



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