Book Review: ‘Beyond Bartman, Curses & Goats: 104 Reasons Why It’s Been 104 Years’ by Chris Neitzel

*Written in 2014.

I’ve read a lot of books about the Chicago Cubs since the time I was old enough to read. The words “a lot” are probably an understatement actually. Considering that I’ve always read quite quickly and that I’ve been beyond loyal to the Cubs since the time I was potty trained. A lot of Cubs books have come into my hands in that time.

This book is rather unique. It legitimately lists 104 reasons why the Cubs have not won a World Series in 104 years (this year it’ll be 106). At first, I expected a brief rundown of every reason and probably a lot more opinion and speculation than facts. What I got was very well compiled statistics and comparisons that made each of the 104 reasons pretty much inarguable.

Neitzel’s book isn’t just a fan’s gripes about the most unsuccessful sports franchise over the last century, it is a stacked primer on specific reasons as to why the Cubbies have been mostly deplorable and always disappointing. There was so much to take in but as one did, a stark and precise conclusion was met.

It is actually pretty amazing that the Cubs have blundered like this for so long but now that I can clearly see why, throughout every era since the last one that saw them as world champions, I feel like their success at lack of success is an incredible feat on par with winning a World Series. Hell, it might be an even bigger feat. I mean, worst-case scenario, they should’ve won at least one on accident over the more than a century since their last big victory.

To all my Cubs fans out there, this book isn’t just a must read, it is a must own.

Rating: 9/10
Pairs well with: 100 Things Cubs Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die.

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