After 108 years of the longest championship darkness in American sport’s history, the billy goat is dead. Our Chicago Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians in the incredible 10-inning stretch during the World Series and we couldn’t be more proud. In honor of this win, we’re celebrating with $108 rates! Click here for more info.
The Curse of the Billy Goat
The curse began in 1945, when William “Billy Goat” Sianis — then the owner of the tavern, which is separately famous as the inspiration for the beloved “cheeburger, cheeburger, no Coke, Pepsi” skit on “Saturday Night Live” — bought two tickets to Game 4 of the Cubs’ World Series game against the Detroit Tigers: one for himself, and one for Murphy, the tavern’s billy goat mascot.
But — so goes the legend — Murphy smelled so bad that other fans complained, leading to the eviction of Billy Goat and his billy goat. Sianis, incensed, is reputed to have declared on his way out: “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more!”
(According to “Chronicles of Old Chicago,” a 2014 book by Chicago historian and author Adam Selzer, Sianis went so far as to send Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley a telegram after the game — which the Cubs lost, along with the series — promising: “You are never going to win a World Series again because you insulted my goat.”)
Many attempts were made over the decades to lift the curse, which Sianis, himself, rescinded before his death in 1970. And his nephew Sam, the tavern’s current owner, has shown up at Wrigley Field with a goat on Opening Day several times to show that there were no hard feelings. In 2009, a Greek Orthodox priest blessed the Cubs’ dugout with holy water. Then, in 2012, five Cubs fans calling themselves Crack the Curse walked more than 1,700 miles — with a goat named Wrigley — from the team’s spring training camp in Mesa, Arizona, to Wrigley Field.
So what finally worked? Sound management.
Theo Epstein was hired as the Cubs’ president of baseball operations after the 2011 season, when the team finished last in its division. Four years later, the Cubs were in the playoffs. A year later, they’re champions.