For 104 years, these words have been muttered by Chicago Cubs fans. That’s because for Cubs fans every year is another year that their beloved team would watch someone else win the World Series.
See, the Cubs haven’t won a World Series since 1908. They played in seven others up until their last appearance in 1945 – losing all of them.
There are many theories about why the Northsiders haven’t won the World since 1908, but many point to a man and his goat.
In 1934, William Sianis, a Greek immigrant and tavern owner in Chicago, adopted a goat that fell from a passing truck. Eventually, his establishment came to be known as the famous Billy Goat Tavern that was the inspiration for a Saturday Night Live skit and should be on every tailgater’s bucket list of must-see destinations.
Sianis was a Cubs fan who frequently attended games. Everything changeed, however, in 1945. That year marked the last time the Cubs reached the World Series, and many say that Sianis is the reason they haven’t been back since.
This Norman Rockwell painting pokes fun at the dismayed Cubs and their disgruntled fans after the Cubs lost the 1945 World Series to the Detroit Tigers.
The Cubs were beating the Detroit Tigers 2 games to 1, and headed back to Wrigley Field needing only two more wins to capture the championship that had eluded them for 37 years. Sianis wanted to be there. He bought two tickets to the first of the home games – one for him and one for Murphy, his goat, which he considered good luck. However, Wrigley Field staff at the time disagreed, and denied Murphy admission to the game. Sianis argued his point unsuccessfully, appealing to Cubs owner and chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, who said Sianis was welcome at the game, but Murphy was not. When asked why the goat couldn’t come in, local legend has it that Wrigley replied: “Because the goat stinks.”
According to the story, Sianis threw up his arms and declared “The Cubs ain’t gonna win no more. The Cubs will never win a World Series so long as this goat is not allowed in.” He and the goat left and the Cubs frittered away the World Series to Hank Greenberg and the Tigers.
After the series, a telegram would arrive to Wrigley’s office, addressed from Sianis stating: “Who stinks now?”
Since then, the answer has decidedly been the Chicago Cubs. In the years following the curse bestowed upon the Cubs by Sianis, the team has had only four playoff appearances, and few winning seasons.
Is the curse true? It is if you’re a Cubs fan.