On Wednesday night, the Chicago Cubs won their first playoff game in a dozen years, and the Friendly Confines faithful are losing their minds. While the team's 97-65 regular season record – third best in baseball – served notice that something special was brewing on the North Side, their Wild Card victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates all but solidified it. And suggested that Takeru Kobayashi might actually be a hero.
Either that, or Back to the Future Part II really was on to something.
In the hopes of breaking the infamous "Curse of the Billy Goat" that has vexed the Cubs for nearly 70 years, Kobayashi and some of his friends put their reputations on the line last month by devouring a 40-pound goat. Now, fans like Stephen Colbert – who lived in Chicago for 11 years – are convinced the curse has been lifted and believe the team is destined for the World Series.
"It looks like the days of the curse are behind my Cubs," Colbert said on Thursday's edition of The Late Show. "Sure, technically they still need to win 11 more games over the course of three more best-of series. But I think I can safely say, without any fear of jinxing it, they're going all the way! The Cubs are going to win the World Series! I guarantee it."
No longer scared of the "knuckle-kneed sheep wannabes," Colbert went on to threaten goats around the world, damning their cheese and making fun of their facial hair. He then produced a Cubs "World Series Champions" T-shirt, and in an act of hubris, kicked an actual goat out of the studio for not sharing his enthusiasm.
"Oh, that burn's gotta feel pretty baah-d," he shamelessly punned.
Was Colbert tempting fate? We'll find out tonight, when the Cubbies, take on their hated rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals, in Game 1 of the National League Division Series.