Talking Baseball: Will the Cubs finally end the ‘curse of the Billy Goat’?

billygoatI was hesitant to post about this, so as not to curse the Chicago Cubs, but then it occurred to me that there is nothing I could do that the cursed Billy Goat has not already done to the Cubs.

There are some similarities between this year’s Chicago Cubs and the 2004 Boston Red Sox, who ended their World Series “curse of the Bambino.”

The Red Sox were a wild card team that year, and had to face their longtime rivals and nemesis, the New York Yankees. The Red Sox went down 3 games to one in the ALCS, and were trailing in the ninth inning of game 4, before they rallied for the win. The Sox went on to win three straight and go to the World Series. In the World Series, the Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series in one of the most improbable post season runs in baseball history.

Since then, the Boston Red Sox have won two more World Series, in 2007 and 2013. The “curse of the Bambino” is no more.

This year’s Chicago Cubs are also a wild card team, and had to face their longtime rivals and nemesis, the St. Louis Cardinals, winners of 11 World Series titles, in the NLDS. After dropping game one, the  Cubs went on to win three straight and move on to the NLCS. They will face another New York team, the Mets. Longtime Cubs fans would like nothing better than to avenge the collapse of the Cubs in 1969 — who were in 1st place in late August — that led to the “Miracle Mets” winning the World Series.

cubswin1280_b68uqhfs_f7bc8247OK, so the similarities are not exactly the same, but close enough.

And then there is this weird omen.  The 1989 film Back to the Future II had a brief scene in which Marty McFly sees a hologram-like news report announcing a Cubs World Series sweep over Miami (OK, so the Miami Marlins are in the National League with the Cubs).

Bob Gale, the screenwriter of Back to the Future II, recently talked to ESPN.  ‘Back to the Future’ writer, a Cardinals fan, discusses prediction of Cubs winning 2015 World Series:

If the Chicago Cubs end their 107-year championship drought this season, they might owe some of the credit to a fan of their biggest rival.

That’s because the 1989 movie “Back to the Future Part II” predicted the Cubs would win the 2015 World Series, and the man who wrote the screenplay and imagined this unlikely scenario is Bob Gale, a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan. In a sport where players and fans believe in curses, jinxes and superstitions, maybe it’s not so crazy to think a movie has somehow spurred the Cubs to the brink of history.

Gale said the prediction grew out of the plotline in which primary character Marty McFly, famously played by Michael J. Fox, gets the idea from another character of going back in time to make money on sports betting.

“What better way to give him the idea than with a really outrageous scenario, which is the Cubs win the World Series?” Gale said by telephone Friday. “It’s a double joke because they win the World Series against Miami — which [didn’t have] major league baseball in 1989. … The second prediction, people don’t automatically realize when they watch the movie today, but we were predicting there would be a major league team in Miami.”

It all adds up to sweet marketing serendipity for Universal Pictures, which just happens to be releasing the Back to the Future 30th Anniversary Trilogy on Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday. “Back to the Future Part II” also returns to theaters Wednesday for one day to mark the 1989 movie’s flash forward to Oct. 21, 2015. Meantime, while the Cubs play host to the Mets in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series that night, Gale will attend a cast reunion at a screening in New York alongside actors Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson and soundtrack musician Huey Lewis.

harrycarraycopyWhat could possibly go wrong? Oh, long suffering Cubs fans can tell you in painful, excruciating detail.

C’mon Cubs! let’s end the curse of the Billy Goat in memory of Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, and Harry Carey, who will be broadcasting the game in Heaven.

It’s a beautiful day in Chicago! Let’s go Cubs!

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