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My Husband's Hat Helped The Cubs Win The World Series

NPR's Nina Totenberg says a Red Sox hat like this one helped the Chicago Cubs win the 2016 World Series.
Michael Dwyer AP
NPR's Nina Totenberg says a Red Sox hat like this one helped the Chicago Cubs win the 2016 World Series.

When you root for a cursed sports team, you learn heartbreak — and superstition.

I am a Bostonian and therefore spent most of my youth and middle age rooting with futility for the Red Sox, and pining for the day when the Curse of the Bambino would finally be purged.

Most of my most acute memories of rooting for the Sox involve not disappointment, but decimation.


I watched from an airport en route home from an assignment during what may have been the worst of these awful moments, the sixth game of the 1986 World Series against the Mets. I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach in the ninth inning (cursed-team fans always have these feelings) when we were one strikeout from victory. Then the Sox blew the lead, only to face ignominy in the 10th after Bill Buckner let an easy grounder escape through his legs. Poor Buckner is now in witness protection.

In 2004 when the Sox were down three games to none in the American League playoff with the Yankees, my husband, David, got so mad at the end of the third game that he threw his Red Sox hat downstairs, and it fell on the landing. The Sox then won four straight against the Yanks, and went on to win the Series and break the curse — yes, there is a God and she is a Red Sox fan!

Soooooo ... when the Chicago Cubs were down three games to one last week, I said to David, "Throw your hat on the landing." He did, and, well, you know the rest. The Cubs went on to win the Series in a historic comeback.

So — along with the Cubs' president for baseball operations, Theo Epstein, who helped the Sox break their curse before he worked that magic in Chicago — I am taking credit for breaking the Cubs' Billy Goat Curse.

I am sure there are thousands of other superstitious baseball fans who are doing the same.


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