You may have wondered, as I often have, if there is a link between the Curse of the Billy Goat and Colonel Sanders. I am happy to report to you that, yes, there is, because apparently, Kentucky Fried Chicken is interested in corporately sponsoring the Cubs curse.
Of course, when one thinks of baseball and curses, one is naturally inclined to think of fried chicken, so it seems strange that such an obvious parallel has gone unnoticed before now.
According to the article in the Sun-Times:
"Fans of Japan's Hanshin Tigers blame their decades-old drought on a Colonel Sanders statue that was uprooted from outside a KFC in Osaka and tossed into the nearby Dotonbori River by overzealous fans after a Tigers title in 1985.
Fans thought the Colonel looked like Oklahoma-born slugger Randy Bass, who played for the Hanshin Tigers at the time."
First off... 1985? Really? Twenty-four years without a title constitutes a curse? I guess we can start talking about the Curse of the Super Bowl Shuffle or the Curse of Buddy Ryan afflicting the Bears. Better yet, Walter Payton never scored a touchdown in Super Bowl XX, so now, as punishment for giving the ball to The Fridge instead, the Bears are cursed! The Sweetness Curse! Start selling the t-shirts now (I want royalties).
Also, if twenty-four years equals a curse, then the list of cursed franchises in baseball alone include the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos, Pittsburgh Pirates, Milwaukee Brewers, Houston Astros, San Francisco Giants, and San Diego Padres. That is a truckload of hexes. The baseball gods are busier than I thought.
Finally, how is a statue that has nothing to do with your sport, team, or city capable of the kind of cosmic power necessary to inflict such a curse? Someone was really grasping at straws when they were trying to explain the Hanshin Tigers' incompetence on the field.
The statue of the Colonel had not been found until last Tuesday, and apparently this is a sign to the Hanshin faithful that their long suffering could come to an end. Seeing an opportunity to sell some unhealthy chicken products to baseball fans, KFC quickly has reached out to the Cubs to see if there is room on their curse-busting bandwagon.
"In a letter sent to the Cubs on Thursday, KFC inquired about bringing the statue to Opening Day at Wrigley Field.
'We -- at Kentucky Fried Chicken -- want to help,' the letter reads.
'We are working desperately with our Japanese colleagues to bring the curse-breaking Colonel Sanders statue to your field by Opening Day. While we can't promise the statue will snap curses of billy goats, black cats or even a foul-ball-interfering fan, we figure it can't hurt.'"
Keep in mind, the statue being recovered hasn't actually broken the "curse." The Tigers haven't won anything yet. If I were a baseball god, that kind of hubris would make me inclined to come up with some really nasty surprises in retribution, so I don't see how such a stunt could possibly be successful.
Thankfully, the Cubs (as of the writing of the piece in the Sun-Times) have not made any moves towards taking KFC up on their offer. Usually, the Cubs can't stay away from a marketing stunt involving the curse, so I can't be sure if they actually are in agreement that it is a ridiculous premise, or if it is just because they didn't think of it first.
Regardless of the reasoning, I applaud the restraint. I've said it before, and I'll continue to say it until I am blue in the face, the Cubs need to own the fact that they are cursed and welcome it as a necessary obstacle to overcome. Breaking the curse will only happen by actually winning the World Series in spite of the curse. Until then, any stupid attempts to lift the curse in order to win the World Series will be massive failures, and will serve only to strengthen the psychological grip that it already has on the team and its fans.
So, KFC, unless you want to have your corporate icon performing an obscene gesture and telling the baseball gods to suck it, you can just stay in the business of clogging our arteries and stay away from Cubs baseball.