The Curse of the Billy Goat

Fun Fact of the Day: After last night’s win, Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona is 9-0 all-time in World Series games—that’s the most wins without a loss by a manager in the World Series.


Today’s Rundown

MLB

World Series Game 1: Advantage Cleveland. The Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago Cubs 6-0 thanks to a historic performance by Indians ace Corey Kluber. He struck out 8 batters in the first 3 innings—something that no pitcher has ever done before in the World Series. But he wasn’t the only one on top of his game for the Indians: catcher Roberto Perez hit 2 home runs, relief pitcher Andrew Miller escaped a bases loaded situation in the 7th inning, and short stop Francisco Lindor was the biggest hero of them all by stealing a base to win everyone in America a free Doritos Locos Taco on November 2nd. Yes, you read that right. FREE TACOS.

 

NBA 

Somewhere Russell Westbrook is laughing… Last night was supposed to be the highly anticipated debut of the Golden State Warriors Superteam. Instead, they got completely blown out by the San Antonio Spurs (129-100). Sound the hot-take alarm!!!!  Even though the Warriors’ newest addition Kevin Durant put up a team-best 27-point performance, everyone you know will be talking about how adding Durant to the team may have destroyed that winning chemistry. After all, last season (without Durant) the Warriors won 24 straight games before losing their first game… Who didn’t disappoint on NBA opening day?  The defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers took care of business, blowing out the New York Knicks 117-88.

 

NHL 

The Kid is back.  After suffering a concussion earlier this month, Pittsburgh Penguins captain and reigning Conn Smythe winner (MVP of the playoffs), Sidney Crosby returned to the ice. He was back in peak form and even scored a goal in the Penguins’ 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers.


Seen and Heard

NFL 

Brown and out. After lots of waffling, the New York Giants finally dumped kicker Josh Brown. The Giants had plenty of chances to take a hard stance on domestic violence but they failed every time. First, they signed Brown to a 2-year $4M contract, despite allegations that he beat his ex-wife on 20+ occasions. Then last week, when police released Brown’s journal entries in which he admitted to abusing his wife, the Giants coach and owner said they wouldn’t “turn [their] backs on Josh.” Finally, after lots of public outcry, they’ve got their priorities straight and said their earlier decisions were “misguided.” Understatement, much?


Spotlight on the Curse of the Billy Goat

By now, you’ve heard a lot about how the Cubs haven’t made a World Series appearance since 1945 or won the championship since 1908. But do you know why? Here’s your cheatsheet on the Cubs’ terrible Billy Goat Curse:

BYOG.  Back in 1945, a Greek immigrant named William Sianis owned the nearby Billy Goat Tavern. He decided to bring his eponymous pet goat to Game 4 of the World Series, because—I guess, that’s what people did back in 1945. Despite having tickets for both himself and his goat, Ushers kicked them out of the stadium because other fans were complaining about the smell. As he was forced out, Sianis raised a crooked finger (I assume) and shouted “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more.” Despite being up 2-1 in the series at the time, the Cubs went on to lose in 7 games, and the Curse of the Billy Goat was born.

The Curse rears its ugly head. Obviously, the Cubs have a long history of losing, but the most quintessential curse moment came in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS with the Bartman incident. In that game, the Cubs were up 3-2 in the series and were just 5 outs away from moving on to the World Series. In the 8th inning, they were up 3-0, when a fan named Steve Bartman tried to catch a foul ball, deflecting it away from Cubs left fielder Moises Alou. After missing that would-be out, the momentum of the series completely shifted and the Marlins rallied to win Games 6 and 7. In the aftermath, Bartman became the most hated man in Chicago and even had to have police camped out on his block for the next couple of weeks.

Breaking the curse. Cubs fans have tried basically everything to lift the curse, including inviting William Sianis’s nephew Sam and a descendant of the original goat to the stadium in 1998, getting a Greek Orthodox priest to bless the dugout with holy water in 2008, and holding a 40-lb goat-meat eating contest in 2015. Some people even want Bartman to come back and throw out the first pitch at one of the World Series games. In the meantime, Cleveland is taking advantage of the curse, so you should expect lots of goat cameos.


Hot Read

MLB 

World Series Game 2: Chicago Cubs (0-1) @ Cleveland Indians (1-0). And we’re back for more baseball! This time around the Cubs will start ace Jake Arrieta, while the Indians start Trevor Bauer, who is making his first appearance since leaving ALCS Game 3 with a disgusting bloody finger. 7pm ET on FOX.