Billy Goat and the Cubs



My owner, a gentleman by the name of Mr. William Sianis, was a kind enough soul, albeit an opportunist. Never one to miss the spotlight, he was flamboyant and prone to anger. He valued me above all else, for I was a novelty, a curiosity and of course a money maker.

“A goat?” Mr. Sianis would say. “A goat gives milk. A goat gives cheese. A goat is a friend!  What is not to like in a goat?”

He was in fact so fond of me that he named his establishment after my species: The Billy Goat Tavern. It was quite a catchy name and drew in much business, especially since he often propped me upon a bar stool and fed me beer.


In those days, you see, we had no such organizations as PETA nor the ASPCA. Animals were mere servants to humankind. If occasionally we rebelled, who could blame us?

My owner was obsessed with me to an unnatural degree. He had his beard trimmed in a goatee to match mine. He changed his name from William to ‘Billy Goat’ Sianis.  He took me with him on various sojourns around the town.  It was not unusual for me to be seen on my leash at the grocery store or the distillery. He took me upon cable cars and to the occasional social event.  And so I suppose he did not think it peculiar in the least when he chose to bring me to a baseball game.


The city of Chicago was enmeshed with stockyards back then, the slaughterhouses of my dear sister cows and brethren pigs.  The stench of dead animals was commonplace. Though not desirable, all had grown somewhat accustomed to it.  And so, on that fateful day of October 6, 1945, when my owner saw fit to bring me to Wrigley Field for the World Series game, he had no inkling that his fellow attendees would complain about my smell.

Yet complain they did. We had barely entered the park and taken our seats at the bleachers when some spectator took it upon himself to shout:  “That goat smells baaa-aahhd! Take it out!”

Humankind, I suppose, are amused by their own crude puns.  As for myself I had no interest in being there.  I am hardly what one would call a ‘baseball fan’. The bleachers are most  uncomfortable seats for a fellow like me. I would vastly prefer a barn with some fresh bales of hay or tin cans to munch on.  And so when I was ordered to leave I would gladly have gone peaceably. If nothing else, it would end the ridiculous charade.

My owner, you see, was merely using me as a prop. I provided free advertizing for the Billy Goat Tavern.  (In later years the advertizing would go nation wide when a man named Belushi would immortalize the the tastiest meal on the menu: ‘Cheezeborger’.)

However, on that day, upon hearing the comment, Mr. Sianis became most offended. He had paid my way after all. I had a ticket just like any other customer.  William refused to remove me.  In fact he became so belligerent that the Field owner, one Mr. P.K. Wrigley, appeared in person to formally order us out.

Poor Mr. Sianis was highly insulted. So much so that he laid a curse upon the ball team. “The Cubs!” he shouted. “They ain’t never gonna win no World Series no more!”

And they never have. At least not yet.

Seventy one years has passed since that day. It has been chiefly for my own amusement that I have kept the curse active.  You may doubt my power, but I bid you not forget my long standing association with the ancient Dark Lord.


It has been grand entertainment to observe  the past century, as this team  has periodically come so close to winning, only to be thwarted by some small mistake. My favorite stunt was in  1969 when I sent a black cat to cross their path  in the dugout.


That year the Cubs lost the World Series pathetically to the New York Mets.

For many seasons the beloved but ever-losing Cubs have suffered defeat.  But now, in 2016 I am growing rather weary of this prank. If any debt was due me it certainly has been paid.

It occurs to me that my owner is long dead.  Mr. P.K. Wrigley is also long dead. Players have been changed and traded and interspersed so many times, the Cubs are scarcely the same team anymore. And so. From where I stand I believe I’d like to see the Northsiders finally take their long deserved win.

With all due apologies, I officially deem this curse lifted. It was only ever artificial  to begin with. There is but one remaining question:

Chicago Cubs, wouldst’ thou like to live deliciously?


**NOTE**   Folks living outside of Chicago might not know that this story is actually true!  Read more here.

The late, great John Belushi created a hilarious skit on Saturday Night Live to spoof the real Billy Goat Tavern.



62 comments on “Billy Goat and the Cubs

  1. John W. Leys says:

    Very timely! And I’m sure I’ve never heard that story from the goat’s POV!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was awesome! As a Red Sox fan, nothing was grander than when the “Curse of the Bambino” finally went by the wayside in 2004! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. animar64 says:

    Keep the nightmare alive, that’s what I say 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. toutparmoi says:

    What a great story!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Vicky V says:

    This is awesome! I had to google this as I have never heard about this goat curse. I love the black cat incident!! Fascinating stuff and brilliantly told through the goat’s eyes. Love the images 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice, especially considering their recent success in making it to the World Series again. ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

  7. lifegoeson292 says:

    I love this story. As a Cardinals fan I’ll be rootin’ for the cubbies. (Even tho they had to steal a couple of players from us to make it to the WS). You know who: Lackey, Heyward. I hope Billy’s not just playin’ y’all.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. theword36 says:

    Didn’t realize they were in the series or that it had started . It was a good one last year , I watched every game. I went to Hooter’s a lot last year lol so I kept seeing what was on tv. Gonna have to tune into this now , I’m aggravated I missed the first game just last night!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m not a sports fan but very nice use of goat imagery–and as you can imagine I loved that recent movie “The Witch.” Loved when Satan was like “if you join me you can have butter–and a dress.” And she’s like “you had me at butter.”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Reblogged this on A Chicago Housewifey and commented:
    I ain’t afraid of no goat! Fly the W!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. hocuspocus13 says:

    Reblogged this on hocuspocus13 and commented:

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Saw this on the national news, but I like your telling better. : )


    Liked by 1 person

  13. Raj Krishna says:

    a great read..thanks for sharing..( bleat!bleat!)


  14. Is this true? Wow. In Ireland the County Mayo were cursed in around 52 or something, the last time there won the All Ireland Football Mayo as they carried on celebrating when the priest from a gyspy wedding asked them to show respect. Apparently it will only be lifted when every last player from that team has passed away. Great interesting post.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. … and then there was GAME SEVEN …

    Liked by 1 person

  16. We won! We won! We won!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. […] Murphy the Goat made a promise.  Read full story here. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  18. […] Now, a goat such as myself may possess a good deal of deceptive qualities. But one thing I guarantee is my sincerity!  A promise is a promise and I, Murphy the Billy Goat, namesake of the Billy Goat Tavern and former pet of Mr. William Sianis, am as good as my word. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  19. […] Source: Billy Goat and the Cubs […]

    Liked by 1 person

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