How long is too long to wait for your team to win a title? Liverpool fans won’t need to be reminded of their ongoing 26 year wait for a top flight league honour. In those 26 years Man United managed 13 wins and even Man City have won two.
In Ireland, Mayo footballers know a thing or two about the agonising wait for glory. You have to go back to 1951 for the last time Mayo’s football faithful saw their team crowned All Ireland Champions. Despite near misses against Dublin in recent years the drought goes on for Mayo fans.
Liverpool and Mayo’s respective droughts look like a 10 minute wait for a bus when you compare them to the baron spells endured by this year’s World Series competitors.
You have to go back 71 years for the last time the Chicago Cubs even reached a World Series let alone won it. The Cubs last won the series in 1908, that’s over 4 times longer than Liverpool’s wait for league title.
Standing in Chicago’s way is the Cleveland Indians, who themselves are looking to end a 68 year World Series famine.
Breaking the curse
Americans love a bit of sports based superstition and both The Cubs and the Indians have been plagued by curses.
The Cubs curse, known as the curse of the Billy goat, stems from their last appearance at the World Series in 1945. Cubs fan Billy Sianis decided to bring his pet goat along to the game against the Detroit Tigers. Unfortunately for Sianis he was promptly asked to leave the Stadium as other fans found the goat’s odour unbearable. The Cubs went on to lose that series and thus the ‘curse of the Billy goat’ was born. In more recent times there have been reports of Cubs fans attempting to sacrifice goats for the good of the team.
Belief in this curse set the stage for Game 6 of the National League Championship in 2003. A cubs fan called Steve Bartman reached over the bleachers in an attempt to catch a stray ball only to deflect it away from the hands of an on rushing Cubs player. Bartman’s exploits later became the subject of an EPSN 30 for 30 documentary named ‘Catching Hell’.
No goats were harmed in the making of the Cleveland Indians curse which in comparison seems a lot more plausible. Long story short, the Indians traded popular right fielder Rocky Colavito, against his wishes, in 1960 in order to quell his salary demands. The Indians have not won a World Series since the famous trade.
Back to reality and a quick glance at the World Series betting odds show the Cubs go into the series as 20/41 favourites. They have been the most backed team with PP.com punters since the start of the MLB season and plenty will be hoping they can break their curse.
The Indians start the series with home advantage and could represent decent value as 17/10 underdogs having beaten the Blue Jays so convincingly last time out. A tight series is on the cards and we are 2/1 for the series to go all the way to game 7 in what will be a historic World Series, but for who?