Home » Reasonably true » History’s lesson: competing curses must be lifted slowly and one at a time

History’s lesson: competing curses must be lifted slowly and one at a time

Not that many years ago, there were two major curses in baseball, one in Boston and the other in Chicago.

The Boston Red Sox, who had not won a World Series since 1918, were under the Curse of the Bambino, so called because the beginning of their drought came after they traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees. The Chicago Cubs had a World Series winless streak from 1908. Their curse was sometimes called the Billy Goat Curse, but this only dated to 1945. Either way, these competing curses were fabled in American sports mythology, discussed, dissected, and compared, to the dubious delight of fans.

I used to imagine the ending something like this: The Cubs and the Sox finally break their competing curses partially, and meet each other in the world series. After six games, they are tied, three games apiece. The seventh game is a gem, and ends up tied 3-3 at the end of the ninth.

Just at that moment, a giant fireball descends from the sky, obliterating Earth and all of its inhabitants, the universe being unable to withstand such a momentous eventuality.

Of course, the Sox spoiled that scenario in 2004, sweeping their opponents, the St. Louis Cardinals and not the Cubs, in the World series. Damned Boston, no sense of drama!

And if you live in the United States, and have been even marginally conscious over the last week, you know that the Cubs finally broke their curse as well. It was a great series, and came down to a tie in the ninth, but, since it was Cleveland, who had only a minor drought of 68 years, there was no fireball, and the fateful 10th inning went on to history.

I have to admit that I like that ending better than an apocalyptic fireball.

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