year of the goat

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March 23, 2004 | The Curse of the Billy Goat, Part Two
Cubs Fans
Cubs fans line the top of the Cubs dugout at Spring Trainging at Ho Ho Kam park in Mesa, Arizona. When asked, most Cubs fans said that don't believe in the Curse of the Billy Goat, and some said that they even like goats.
In February we visited the famous Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago to research the Curse of the Billy Goat that has plagued the Chicago Cubs since 1945. Some people point to the curse as the reason the Cubs have not been to a World Series for almost 60 years. Others are not so sure. We decided to take the question to the people who have the biggest stake in the curse... the fans. On a beautiful day at Ho Ho Kam Park in Mesa, Arizona, the Cubs' spring training headquarters, we asked the Chicago faithful what they think about the curse, and how they feel about goats.

The Martins from Chicago; Cubs fans for 77 and 54 years
YOTG: What do you think about the Curse of the Billy Goat?
Mr. Martin: We've been subject to a number of curses, but whether that specific one is valid or not, I don't know.
YOTG: Is it possible for a goat to curse a baseball team?
Mr. Martin: The Cubs? Yes. [laughter]
Mrs. Martin: [Laughing] It is not. We shoot ourselves in the foot very nicely without the help of a goat.
Sarah from Tempe (sitting next to them): My sister keeps goats. Goats are very nice.
YOTG: Are you a Cubs fan?
Sarah: I'm a Capricorn.
YOTG: You're a Cubs fan and you like goats?
Sarah: Absolutely.

Phil Booker, Wisconsin; Cubs Fan for 70-some years
YOTG: What do you think about the Curse of the Billy Goat?
Phil: It's a joke.
YOTG: You don't believe it's true?
Phil: No.
YOTG: What do you think about goats?
Phil: They stink. They all smell.

David Pitstick, Fowler, Indiana
Don Pitstick, Fowler, Indiana
Paul Jackson, Fowler, Indiana
Cubs fans: As long as they can remember
YOTG: What do you think of the Curse of the Billy Goat?
David: Oh, I don't know... it's part of the Cubs lore, but I don't put any belief into it.
Don: There are a lot of teams that haven't won in a long time... they just didn't have an animal in their ballpark. If they had someone who had brought in a snake, there would have been the curse of the snake for that team, but that hasn't happened.
YOTG: Have you ever met a goat?
Paul: I used to own one.
YOTG: What kind of goat was it?
Paul: I guess you call it a billy goat... I don't know. My wife had a horse, and the horse needed a companion, so we bought a goat.
YOTG: Did you feel any conflict of interest being a Cubs fan and owning a goat?
Paul: No, not at all. There's no curse.

Chuck, from outside of Chicago; Cubs fan for 20 years
YOTG: What do you think of the Curse of the Billy Goat?
Chuck: I don't put a lot of stock into those kinds of curses. It depends on the players themselves, and how much they want to win. I think that's what really determines that.
YOTG: Have you ever met a real goat?
Chuck: Met a real goat? [Laughing] I have.
YOTG: What do you think of goats?
Chuck: They're ok. I have nothing against goats.

Greg, Lorraine, and Dylan, 4 years, from Chicago; "big time" Cubs fans
YOTG: What do you think about the Curse of the Billy Goat?
Lorraine: [Laughing] It's over. It ended last year. They won the first round of the playoffs so it's over now.
Greg: Especially with the blowing up of the ball. It's gotta be over.
YOTG: Have you ever met a goat?
Dylan: [eats popcorn]
Greg: We're getting tired of hearing about it.
Lorraine: It should just be about the missed play at second and not the Curse of the Billy Goat or some guy in the stands.
Greg: Plus I'm getting tired of seeing that greek guy on TV [Laughing].

Ian, Colin, and Devon Lebeau, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; have always been Cubs fans because their dad was born in Chicago
YOTG: What do you think about the Curse of the Billy Goat?
Ian: I don't really know much about it.
YOTG: What do you think about goats?
Colin: They're pretty cool.
Ian & Devon: Yeah.
Ian: They're mean.
Colin: They'll eat anything.

John, Washington, Iowa
YOTG: Are you a Cubs Fan?
John: Big Time... ever since I can remember... my grandfather used to sit on the porch swing when he was blind and we said we don't care who wins as long as it's the Cubs.
YOTG: What do you think about the Curse of the Billy Goat?
John: I don't pay any attention to that. [Laughing] Not at all.
YOTG: Have you ever met a goat in person?
John: Well, sure, we've got lots of goats in Iowa. [Laughing]
YOTG: What do you think about goats?
John: Goats are fine, but I don't drink the milk and I don't eat the meat.
YOTG: But you don't hold any grudges against goats?
John: No. [Laughing] It's not the goat's fault. We'll win it this year. This is the year we break it. Go Cubs!

Dom Sr. and Dom Jr. from Chicago
YOTG: How long have you been Cubs Fans?
Dom, Sr.:It's part of our family tradition so I've been one since I was about 4-5 years old.
YOTG: What do you think of the Curse of the Billy Goat?
[Both laughing]
Dom, Jr.: Arrr, the curse!
Dom, Sr.: I don't believe in it that much. I think the Cubs have had some bad luck over the years, but I don't think it's the Curse of the Billy Goat that does it.
Dom, Jr.: I think it's typical of a Cubs fan to find some other excuse... you need to come up with some reason why your team hasn't won a World Series since 1908. [Laughter]
YOTG: But you don't think it's the goat's fault?
Dom, Sr.: No, it's not the goat's fault, and I think that the original goat is probably dead now anyway so if there was a curse, it probably died with that goat.
YOTG: Have you ever met a goat in person?
Dom, Jr.: I have met a goat... they're very nice. They're good people.
Dom, Sr.: One of the ones I met had a Cubs jersey on. As long as they're Cubs fans then they're ok.

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The Year of the Goat

The Year of the Goat: 40,000 Miles and the Quest for the Perfect Cheese
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In 2004 we made 4 appearances on the now sadly off the air, but then nationally syndicated PRI show, The Next Big Thing
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