Breaking the curse of the billy goat

The long wait is finally over for the Cubs.

On Nov. 2, the Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in game seven of the World Series, securing their first championship since 1908 and effectively ending their 108-year World Series drought.

Some called the drought a curse…the curse of the goat to be exact. As the legend has it, in 1945, a Chicago man named Bill “Billy Goat” Sianis bought two tickets to the World Series, one for him and one for his pet goat, Murphy, believing that the pet would bring the team good luck. However, after Cubs management refused to let the goat in, Sianis cursed the organization, declaring that they would never win a world series again. The Cubs ended up losing the 1945 World Series to the Detroit Tigers, and the curse began.

However, where the Cubs ended their curse the Indians’ curse continued. The Indians’ last championship victory came in 1948, which was 68 years ago and counting. This makes the Indians the new record-holders for longest World Series drought. Unfortunately, the Indians had a chance to end the World Series early once they gained a 3-1 lead over Chicago, but instead let the Cubs catch up and eventually claim the championship.

Either way, no one could have expected either of these two teams to make it as far as they did this season. Everyone who watched this year’s World Series witnessed history in the making, and there’s a possibility that we may never again see a game like this—with the incredible meaning that it had—in our lifetime. This game was a dream come true, not only for the Cubs, but for every sports fan watching.

“I feel very privileged and very thankful [to have watched the Cubs’ win], because it’s moments like these that captivate us,” junior journalism major Toph Buzzard said. “The reason why people love sports is because they want to be part of something bigger, and that game was.”

Buzzard wanted the Cubs to win because he has visited Wrigley Field before and completely loved the environment and atmosphere. He also has a few very close friends who are Cubs fans, and he wanted the team to win for them.

First-year graduate student and English major Jeremy Byrum wanted the Indians to win the World Series because he’s an L.A. Dodgers fan, and the Cubs eliminated the Dodgers in the postseason on their way to the World Series.

“I’m biased because I’m a Dodgers fan, but I have nothing against either team. I did want to see the Indians win because not many people were talking about them this year. The Cubs had a good team the entire season,” Byrum said. “It was probably one of the most intense and epic games I have ever seen in my life. In a game like this, after 108 years since their last championship, there is no better way to win.”

Just like Byrum, I am also an L.A. Dodgers fan who was disappointed when they lost to Chicago. However, I found myself rooting for Chicago in the World Series simply because I wanted them to break the longest championship drought in sports history. I have no hard feelings against Chicago; they beat the Dodgers fairly, and they won because they outplayed the Dodgers in the playoffs.

Due to the historic nature of the event, game seven of this year’s World Series was the highest-watched Major League Baseball game in the past 25 years. Game seven was also the highest-watched program on TV since the Super Bowl, aside from the recent presidential debates. Part of the reason why so many people tuned in wasn’t only because of the historic factor, but because of Chicago’s comeback.

“To witness that as one of the best games ever, it’s definitely fitting for all baseball fans,” Byrum said. “I’m sure it’s disappointing for Cleveland fans, but I think the Cubs wanted it more. They believed in themselves, and for me, it’s not about the Indians blowing a 3-1 lead—it’s about the Cubs coming back from a 1-3 deficit.”

Unfortunately for the Cleveland Indians, no one knows how much longer their curse will continue. Returning to the World Series won’t be an easy task.

“I feel bad for them. Cleveland has been through a lot as a city, and as a sports town, [it] has had a lot of bad luck,” Buzzard said. “Especially because baseball is so different [of a sport], it’s so hard to get back [to the World Series].”

Just like Buzzard and Byrum said, it truly was an honor to watch game seven between these two teams. Games like this cannot be made up or simply imagined; the fact that all fans never know what will happen in sports is what makes games like these so exciting. Events like this are so powerful because they find a way to temporarily unify all sports fans—and all Americans in general—which is I believe is more important than ever during this time in our country.

Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs, the 2016 World Champions—your long wait is finally over.

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