Takeru Kobayashi and some friends tried to end the Curse of the Billy Goat ... by eating a goat
This one comes to us via the rich tapestry that is humanity's obsession with sports: Five competitive eaters in the Chicagoland area came together on Tuesday night to devour an entire goat as part of a ritual to exorcise the infamous "Curse of the Billy Goat" from Wrigley Field and the Cubs.
The Curse of the Billy Goat, for the uninitiated, refers to an incident at Wrigley Field in 1945, when Billy Goat Tavern proprietor Billy Sianis was asked to leave the historic ballpark during a World Series game due to the presence of his pet goat. So, the story goes, he put a curse on the team, saying, "Them Cubs, they ain't gonna win no more." While they have actually won a great many baseball games since then, they have yet to claim baseball's top prize.
Three of the goat-eating event's organizers, Alice Chiu and eaters Patrick Bertoletti and Tim Brown, are lifelong Chicagoans and local restaurateurs. Somehow, they connected the dots and realized that, lo, if the Cubs were ever to win the World Series, it would only happen after an entire goat was eaten at rapid pace within the city's bounds.
Lest you think this stunt was some amateurish attempt at curse-removal-via-competitive-eating-contest, the team brought in a few ringers to add some gravitas to the affair: Kevin Strahle, Bob Shoudt and former Coney Island hot dog champion Takeru Kobayashi.
If Kobayashi's name rings a bell, it's likely because of his former dominance in the competitive eating circuit, winning the Coney Island hot dog event every year from 2001-2006 before a contract dispute barred him from entry. That dispute paved the way for Joey Chestnut, America's preeminent hot dog eater, to rise to national acclaim.
So, the party that sat down to eat the goat in Chicago had its bona fides in order and was prepared to eat the animal ... from head to toe:
Thus, if the ceremony has truly worked, it'll be up to the North Side club itself to settle things on the field this October. The team currently sits in the second Wild Card spot in the National League and has postseason clinch odds of virtually 100 percent.
Bertoletti is keeping his hopes high, saying, "If it works, we're the smartest people in Chicago,"