Chicago Cubs tattoo hexed by St. Louis Cardinals inscription
By Diane Toroian Keaggy
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Friday, Oct. 31 2008
The Chicago Cubs' humiliating postseason collapse was not the result of shaky
pitching, nonexistent hitting or an infield as porous as Missouri limestone.
Rather, the club's demise was preordained at a Tennessee tattoo parlor some 600
miles from Wrigley Field. That's where lifelong fan Jimmy Burroughs got the
Cubs logo etched onto his right shoulder blade. But that's not all he got.
Carved ever-so-lightly within the Cubbie "C" he found the words, "Go Cards."
"I pretty much blame the tattoo for the Cubs losing," said Burroughs, 26, a
child therapist from Bloomington, Ind. "It kills me to have a tattoo that says
In July, the Cubbies were on track to win the National League Central and
Burroughs felt confident the team would go all the way. So during a family
vacation to Gatlinburg, Tenn., Burroughs stopped at American Rebel Tattoo
Studios in nearby Pigeon Forge. There, he and tattoo artist Deke Rivers engaged
in some good-humored ribbing about the Cubs' longtime rivalry with the St.
Louis Cardinals. Rivers says he is not a Cardinals fan, but wrote "Go Cards" on
the tattoo as a joke.
"We laughed about it," Burroughs recalled. "I told him, 'Color it in now.'"
Rivers filled in the "C" with red ink but as the tattoo dried, the message
resurfaced. Rivers was shocked.
"I lightly scratched it in there," said Rivers, who has been tattooing for six
years. "I wouldn't have messed with him. I take my job seriously."
Rivers refunded Burroughs' $190, but Burroughs decided not to fix his
flesh-and-blood endorsement of the Cards.
"This was the weird thing â€” after I got the tattoo, the Cardinals actually
started losing and the Cubs took off," Burroughs said.
Like the rest of Cubbie nation, Burroughs and his family believe secret forces
in the universe control the club's fate. Could the goat of 1945, the black cat
of 1969 and Steve Bartman of 2003 be shape-shifters sent here to test fan
"We are very superstitious," said Burroughs' sister, Amanda Burroughs, a Cubs
fan living in O'Fallon, Ill. "We're the kind of family where you have to sit in
the exact same spot you did last time the Cubs won. So when I heard about the
tattoo, I was like, 'Oh my gosh.' But then the Cardinals weren't doing so well,
so my family was fine with it. Well, we all know how that turned out."
Yes, we do. Three games against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League
Division Series; three losses. Sometime between the Dodgers' grand slam in Game
1 and the Cubs' four errors in Game 2, Burroughs decided maybe he should
retouch the tattoo. He plans to make an appointment any day now.
"It has faded. Unfortunately the only people who can see it are Cardinal fans,"
Burroughs said. firstname.lastname@example.org