Is this billy goat the Cubs' savior?

May 28, 2012 3:04:29 PM PDT
Is this year's Chicago Cubs team the worst in franchise history? The North Siders are on pace to finish the season with that distinction.

However, help could be here. A goat named Wrigley is in town, but can it reverse the curse and more than a century of losing?

The Cubs ended their losing streak Monday, but the goat does not get to Wrigley Field until Tuesday.

The five men and their billy goat named 'Wrigley' walked and walked and walked. They have been on foot since February. The Cubs fans began in Mesa, Arizona on Ron Santo's birthday, en route to their destination: Wrigley Field.

The goat, which they bought off of Craigslist, is hands down the star of the trip.

The five hikers and their four-legged companion stopped by ABC7 to chat Monday morning after reaching the city's North Side Sunday night, mere blocks from Wrigley.

The five friends say the goal is to crack the Cubs curse. But for Matt Gregory the most important purpose of their cross country 2000 mile trek is to raise money for a Seattle cancer center that took care of Gregory's late mother.

"We're raising money for a good cause, so that could affect people, could touch their heart if they've been affected by cancer," said Matt Gregory. "Kind of a wacky twist - not a lot of people see goats every day."

"Great responses from everybody. I mean, we were in St. Louis, and we got a great response there, people in St. Louis were great - even though they're Cardinals fans, everybody's been really great to us," said Blake Ferrell, one of the companions of the goat.

Wrigley the goat will be at Wrigley Field Tuesday along with the five men. They have raised about $20,000, and the goal is to raise about $100,000. The Cubs organization will make a donation on Tuesday.


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 28.

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 it arrives in Chicago. As for the goat, its 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 Ferrell, 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.

ll but Fisher, who roots 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. 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 take his goat and 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 ould 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 pack on his back and a goat."

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