George Santayana famously said “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.
For the fans of the Chicago Cubs though, the past is not something they are usually too keen to look back on. After all, after going 105 years without winning a World Championship, and 68 years without even making the Championship game, the past is not all too impressive.
Sure, there have been some great players that have made seasons fun; such as Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, Fergie Jenkins and Hack Wilson, but the lack of Championships tends to overshadow the players fans love to hold on to.
How does a team go 105 years without winning a championship? This long of a stretch completely defies the odds. Going that long without a World Series title is almost impossible, but yet the Cubs have done so. The question is why.
The obvious answer is not having players who are good enough to get the job done. After all, they are the ones on the field dictating the outcome of the games. The players will win you games, and they will lose you games.
However, other fans would take the players off the hook and say that poor management is the cause. After all, just looking at the 1969 Cubs team you would have a hard time saying that they were not talented enough. Having four Hall of Fame players on that team, they were stacked. So what caused them to collapse? The Manager of that team had to be what brought that team down, and caused them to miss out on what appeared to be a sure thing.
Then there is the ownership, what many fans would call the root cause of team’s failing to be successful enough to win. There are many instances throughout Cubs history fans can point to as to ownership standing in the way of a team having great success.
But, there is another avenue Cub fans like to go down.
One of the most famous myths in sports, and in general culture revolves around the Cubs, one which fans tend to latch onto as the reason why they have gone so long without winning the World Series. Of course, I am talking about the legendary “Curse of the Billy Goat”. This alleged curse was placed on the team back in 1945, and has been hanging over the heads of the team and their fans for the past 68 years. But what about the previous 37 years without a World Series title?
Going back through time to 1908 when the Cubs won their last title, there are many odd quirky stories surrounding the ball club which superstitious fans could point to as to the key reason the Cubs have not been able to enjoy post season glory.
Even though I do not believe in curses, jinxes, hexes or voodoo spells, these stories are all very interesting. Whether you believe in curses or not, I think you will enjoy these stories for what they are; a mass collection of unique stories which could only happen to the Cubs.
Over the next several weeks, I will introduce you to all these reasons, leading up to the most famous one of all, “The Billy Goat Curse”. Hopefully you find them as entertaining and interesting as I do.