(CNN) — A dreaded curse that has nagged Chicago’s Wrigley Field for decades may have triggered a grotesque prank Wednesday, when an unidentified man in an unmarked truck dropped off a package containing a severed goat’s head at the stadium.
The gruesome parcel was addressed to the club’s owner, Tom Ricketts, CNN affiliate WBBM reported. While the delivery — confirmed by the Cubs and caught on surveillance footage — was certainly offensive, it’s nothing new.
Local media have reported shenanigans with dead goats in the past. They may have been efforts to reverse the curse.
Billy goats have struck mortal fear deep in the heart of an inveterate Cubs fan since 1945, after Chicago tavern owner Bill “Billy Goat” Sianis pronounced a curse on the club on October 6 of that year — just a month after the end of World War II.
Sianis went to Wrigley Field to support the Cubs as they battled the Detroit Tigers in the World Series, according to his tavern’s website, which dedicates a page to the legend of the Billy Goat curse.
For Game 4, he purchased a ticket for himself and one for his goat “Murphy,” who he thought would bring the Cubs good luck.
But ushers stopped Sianis from entering the stadium with Murphy, according to the Billy Goat Tavern. Sianis appealed directly to then club owner P.K. Wrigley, asking him why he couldn’t take his beloved pet and personal mascot to the game.
“Because the goat stinks,” Wrigley is said to have replied.
So Sianis placed a curse on the team. “The Cubs ain’t gonna win no more!” he cried. So goes the legend.
When the team lost the game that day, Sianis sent a telegram, the website says, to Wrigley proclaiming: “Who stinks now?”
The team’s record hasn’t been the same since. And it has garnered the nickname “the Lovable Losers.”
Fans have made many attempts over the years to put an end to the curse, according to the Cubs’ website.
A Chicago charity, Reverse The Curse, was founded in 2011 and donates goats to impoverished communities around the world in the name of stopping it.
Last May, a group of five Cubs fans took a goat named “Wrigley” on a trek across the country in an attempt to lift the curse.
It didn’t work.
The Chicago team finished the 2012 season with 61 wins and 101 losses.
This article was written by CNN’s Ben Brumfield. CNN’s Joseph S. Miller contributed to this report. TM & © 2012 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.