I’m not a baseball fan, I barely know the game, but I have heard about the Cubs’ ‘Billy Goat Curse’ and the Red Sox ‘Curse of the Bambino’ among others. These curses are/were blamed for title droughts for their respective teams (stretching to 107 years for the Cubs.) Could the refusal to allow a goat into the field be the reason for a 71 year title drought? What’s the reason for the previous 36 years of failure?
A curse is defined as “a solemn utterance intended to invoke a supernatural power to inflict harm or punishment on someone or something.” Now, just to explain, I BELIEVE in curses. I come from a society where a bird pooping on you has a much deeper meaning than just saying you were standing under it. There are set guidelines and rituals that need to be performed to eradicate a curse. They vary among different communities and are bizarre in varying degrees but the bottom line is that I believe curses are real.
The question then arises, how much does a ‘curse’ cover up our own deficiencies and incompetence. As I said earlier, I do not know much about baseball and am therefore not referring to the Cubs or the Red Sox. However, fans of many teams use the excuse of a curse to cover up their teams’ failures. Sometimes it is the only reason one has to continue supporting a team and to continue defending it (Tottenham F.C, Cleveland Browns, 76ers e.t.c.) It also gives journalists and outsiders a reason to explain their performance or lack thereof; http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2637615-10-sports-teams-that-just-might-be-cursed
Considering my background, it is hard for me to proclaim that curses are not real. As a rational and mature adult however, I have to look at the evidence put in front of me and say an organization may be unlucky, sometimes there is no spell hovering over that team that prevents the club from ascending to the mountaintop of its sport. It will not be easy to convince a LA Clippers or Tottenham Hotspurs fan, they always seem to be on the verge of glory only to fall at the last hurdles, but most times a team’s inability can be rationally explained; they are not that good.
Often times we tend to look to the supernatural to explain what is natural, what is in front of our very eyes; maybe because we are not pleased with what we see or maybe its because we are afraid of the alternative explanations. Either way this inability allows us to have a false sense of inability to change and therefore we maintain the status quo. Insanity has been described as doing the same thing, the same way over again hoping for different results; in sports we call it a curse on our team. Teams need to change how they operate if they hope to break their cycles, they need to adapt to the needs and challenges of their leagues if they hope to succeed.
The Red Sox, Cavaliers, Leicester all are examples of ‘curses’ being broken just by people doing things differently, the Cubs or the Indians are on the verge of breaking their own curse; all the best to them!
Sidenote: I watched a 111 year old lady joyous and celebrating that the Cubs had qualified for the World Series, that it has made me hop on their band wagon, Go Cubs!!