Thoughts & Views: A curse? No kidding

William ‘Billy Goat’ Sianis and Murphy, back in the day.
William ‘Billy Goat’ Sianis and Murphy, back in the day.

As readers of this column know, I number the Jersey Devil among my close friends and prime news sources. A couple of weeks ago, he made headlines again when a South Jersey man claimed to have encountered the creature flying along Rt. 9 in Galloway Township and snapped a few photos, which, of course, were posted online.

Social media being what it is, the pix were soon “trending” and the story made news internationally. The ultimate consensus was that the photos were faked. I could have told you that without even viewing them.

First of all, the Devil is notoriously camera-shy. Secondly, if he indeed were on Rt. 9, he would have been driving his Lamborghini, not flapping his wings over the highway.

Soon after the story broke, he called and we had a good laugh about it. Since I hadn’t seen my buddy in some time, we arranged to meet last weekend at one of his favorite watering holes in the depths of the Pine Barrens. And by “watering hole,” I do not mean a pond.

When I walked into the place, there was the Devil. But wasn’t alone. Sitting next to him at the bar was a visitor from Chicago, Murphy the Goat, and the two of them were toasting the N.Y. Mets.

For the uninitiated, Murphy the Goat (along with Daniel, no relation, Murphy) is the reason the Cubs got skunked in the playoffs.

Back in 1945, Murphy the Goat was the pet of Chicago tavern owner William “Billy Goat” Sianis, who brought him to a World Series game at Wrigley Field.

Murphy even had his own ticket. But apparently, he smelled bad. And Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley had both Murphy and Sianis ejected. The outraged Sianis then cursed the Cubs, saying that they would never win another World Series. And they haven’t. Of course, we asked Murphy about this.

Observer: Is the curse real?

Goat: That’s for the fans to decide. However, I would like to clarify something.

People refer to the Curse of the Billy Goat, but it was my owner, not me, who set this all in motion.

O.: Still, you must have agreed with him.

Goat: Wouldn’t you? Who wants to be told they stink? In fact, Wrigley didn’t smell too good himself.

O.: Presuming the curse is real, how did it specifically affect the Cubs this year?

Goat: Well, let’s look at that other Murphy. He hit homeruns in six consecutive playoff games, including of course all four games against the Cubs. First time in the history of major league baseball that anyone has accomplished such a feat. I read a quote from him. He said, “I can’t explain why the balls keep going out of the ballpark, but they do.” Well, I can explain it.

O.: Considering your own record over the years, have the Cubs ever tried to lure you back to Wrigley Field?

Goat: Sure. Why do you think they planted all that ivy? They don’t know that I prefer pizza.

O.: Chicago deep-dish? Goat: Yuck! That’s not real pizza. Real pizza is one of the reasons I visit Jersey.

O.: So you still live in the Windy City?

Goat: I’ve got a penthouse on Lake Shore Drive. Sianis (may he rest in peace) and I won big bucks in our discrimination lawsuit against Wrigley.

O.: I never knew you filed one.

Goat: You haven’t heard of any more goats being ejected, have you?

O.: Will you be attending any of the Series games?

Goat: No. Even though I’m happy for the Mets, I’m a Yankees fan, like you and the Devil. [Editor’s note: The Devil was even wearing the Jeter jersey I gave him last year.]

O. Will you be staying in N.J. here for awhile?

Goat: Not too long. The Devil is really busy around Halloween, but we do plan to take in a hockey game. At this point, the Devil interrupted.

Devil: Yes. We’ll be going up to the Rock to see my namesakes.

O. That’s close to Kearny. Why not visit our town?

Devil: As a matter of fact, in the interest of good sportsmanship, we are planning a congratulatory visit to the mayor. We hear he is a huge Mets fan. The Goat wants to assure him that curse affects no team but the Cubs.

O. Will you let me know the time and place?

Devil: Sorry. We’re going to surprise him.

O. But I’d like to take some pictures for the paper.


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