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A Chicago Tavern: A Goat, a Curse, and the…
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A Chicago Tavern: A Goat, a Curse, and the American Dream.

by Rick Kogan

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This slim volume offers a number of fun anecdotes about Chicago's Billy Goat Tavern. This is the tavern made famous by the Saturday Night Live skit--Cheezbourga, Cheezbourga, no Fries, Chips--back in the 1970s. Of most interest to me were the stories about owner Bill Sianis's "Billy Goat Curse" on the Cubs when they refused to let him bring his goat to Wrigley Field during the 1945 World Series. I've read a lot of Chicago history but never knew that Sianis was ejected by Bill Veeck of the White Sox during the 1959 World Series, too. I also enjoyed the stories about legendary Chicago newspaper columnist, Mike Royko, a regular at "the Goat."

Despite the book's entertainment value, Kogan's use of the present tense is very off-putting, as is his total disregard of a chronological time line. This book was only so-so for me. ( )
1 vote lindapanzo | Jan 25, 2009 |
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In the summer of 1934, a baby goat fell off a truck, limped into a tavern owned by Greek immigrant William Sianis, and a Chicago icon was born. The Billy Goat Inn became a haven for newspaper reporters, policemen, politicians, and anyone else drawn to the hospitality and showmanship of hardworking "Billy Goat" Sianis and his often antic, uniquely comforting establishment. But did Billy jinx the Cubs? When he and one of his goats were barred from entering Wrigley Field during the 1945 World Series, the Cubs' eventual loss to Detroit fueled a legend as enduring as their fans' "Wait 'til next year" mantra.… (more)

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