Walk through area aims to break 'curse' of Cubs
BY KEVIN CANFIELD World Staff Writer
Monday, April 23, 2012
4/23/12 at 7:38 PM
SAPULPA — Five men and a goat arrived in town Monday afternoon in their quest to do the seemingly impossible: bring the Chicago Cubs their first World Series championship since 1908.
The “Crack the Curse” walk has taken the men nearly 1,300 miles since they left Mesa, Ariz. on Feb. 25 — the birth date of Cubs’ legend Ron Santo. They have been walking 20 to 25 miles a day since and hope to reach Wrigley Field in Chicago on May 28th.
The walk’s larger purpose is to raise funds for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, which provided care to one of the walker’s mothers.
So far, the group has raised more than $6,000 and hopes to reach $100,000 by the time they arrive in Chicago.
As for the goat, it’s name is Wrigley, of course, and was purchased off Craigslist.
The animal walks about five to 10 miles a day and is pushed the rest of the way in an animal carriage.
The walkers said they started their trip carrying food for the animal but found that it preferred the roadside grass.
The walkers are Kyle Townsend, 28, and Blake Farrell, 30, of Marcellus, Mich.; Matt Gregory, 33, of Coos Bay, Ore.; P.J. Fisher, 25, of Prescott, Ariz.; and Philip, Aldrich, 26, of Memphis, Tenn.
All but Fisher, who roots first and foremost for the Arizona Diamondbacks, are big Cubs fans. The men came up with the idea last year when they were working in a resort at Denali National Park in Alaska.
“It’s just nice to see there is good in the world,” said Townsend. “We meet people every day that give us money or buy food.”
According to baseball lore, the “Curse of the Billy Goat” refers to an incident that occurred during the Cubs’ last appearance in the World Series in 1945.
The tale goes that Billy Sianis, owner of the Billy Goat Tavern, was asked to leave a game against the Detroit Tigers because the animal’s odor was troubling fans.
Sianis is said to have responded: “Them Cubs, they aren’t gonna win no more,” which has been interpreted by beleaguered Cubs fans to mean their team would never win another World Series game at Wrigley Field.
The walkers spent Monday night in Broken Arrow with Caleb Hill, who grew up in Michigan with Townsend and Farrell.
Hill couldn’t help poking a little fun at his pals.
“(Townsend) is just the biggest sloth of a kid I’ve ever known,” he said. “I just can’t imagine him walking all day with a 25-pound back on his back and a goat.”
To learn more about the Crack the Curse walk, or to make a donation, go to tulsaworld.com/curse.
With their goat Wrigley in tow, the five members of the Cubs Curse Walk (from left) Blake Ferrell, Matt Gregory, Phillip Aldrich, P.J. Fisher and Kyle Townsend trek north on Route 66 north of Sapulpa on Monday. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World
With their goat Wrigley in tow, the five members of the Cubs Curse Walk (from left) Blake Ferrell, Phillip Aldrich, Matt Gregory, P.J. Fisher and Kyle Townsend trek north on Route 66 north of Sapulpa on Monday. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World
With their goat Wrigley, the five members of the Cubs Curse Walk (from left) Blake Ferrell, Phillip Aldrich, Matt Gregory, Kyle Townsend and P.J. Fisher walk past a buffalo statue on Route 66 just north of Sapulpa on Monday. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World