For far too long, Cubs fans have feared goats, ghosts and Gatorade. Now that they’ve clinched the NL Central, it is time to acknowledge the architects who built the team, the players who have dominated the league, the faithful who bleed blue despite 108 years in the desert. Their fear hasn’t been unwarranted: Just as the Cubs are built on Wrigley and the ivy and the lovable losing, their identity is equally intertwined with bizarre tales of woe. The smelly goat whose eviction cursed the team in 1945. The black cat who crossed their paths in ’69. The Gatorade that spilled on Leon Durham’s glove in the ’84 NLCS. The guy in glasses—we dare not speak his name—who reached for a foul ball in 2003. No wonder some fans have been haunting Wrigley dressed as the 1908 Cubs, winners of the franchise’s last title. Nice idea, but if—when—Cubs fans do get to celebrate, it won’t be because Tinker and Evers and Chance reappeared. It’ll be because Russell and Zobrist and Rizzo granted their wish.
You are here: / / On Newsstands Friday: ESPN The Magazine’s Cubs Issue