That's Not Entertainment


The wild Cubs-Marlins game last night demonstrated yet again why sport is not mere entertainment. The most skilled writer would never dare pen the Cubs' late inning collapse, it would be just too over-the-top.

Sport remains the original and authentic reality TV, revealing more about human strength and frailty than a million seasons of the latest mean-spirited abomination possibly could.

NEXT: A Dope Decision

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  1. Look – let’s not deny the obvious: that would have been a critical out for the Cubs. If there had been two outs instead of just one, Gonzalez could’ve just tossed the ball to second insouciantly to end the inning – no rally and the Cubs win; instead he had to set his body for a quick throw to second to get two and he muffed the ball as a result – bases loaded and the rally is on. Yes, Baker made an error by leaving Prior in too long, but that fan made a critical mistake by grabbing for the ball, and it cost the Cubs big. And frankly, I can’t believe that so many people are making excuses for him – I would’ve none known better than to interfere with a fielder in that situation (that is, if the fielder was playing for my team), and he should’ve too. He’s a goat.

  2. As a previous resident of Wrigleyville, my favorite part was when that fan batted in 5 additional runs for the Marlins. Oh, wait. He didn’t do that? Are you suggesting that the Cubs don’t need help being looosers?

  3. I guess I’ll be the one guy who pops up in here and says that the fan who deflected the ball SUCKS.

    I’m not a Cubs fan; I’m not even a big baseball fan. But I hate when goofballs ruin things for everybody else. He reminds me of that asshole who rushed through security at the Atlanta airport a couple of years ago and forced the whole place to be evacuated — all because HE was running late for a flight. Or the idiots on the highway who cut all the way up to the front of a merging zone — all because THEY don’t feel like waiting.

    This guy did something selfish, and he deserves to be ostracized for it.

  4. “his picture is all over the papers, his name is known, he is toast. ”

    He’d be the toast of the south side if Bill Veeck still owned the Sox.

  5. If sports fan spent as much time arguing about anything else as they do about sports, people would think they were crazier than a roomful of literary critics arguing about queer theory.

    I personally might find sports more interesting if they had to make up a different game every time they played. As it is it’s like driving in rush hour traffic every day, i.e., same road, different a-hole trying to run you off of it.


  6. Calvinball! Calvinball!

  7. Bullshit, I say. Baseball, like many sports, and like many things in life, is subject to the whims of fate — the ball hooks foul at the last minute and turns a double into a strike, the ump blows a call, turning a strikeout into a walk. Some days the other team can catch the breaks but you can still win the game. You suck it up and make the best of whatever situation you are in.

    Complaining about the fan that didn’t let you catch the foul ball one row into the stands is PATHETIC. Going from one out, runner on 2nd, 3-2 count on the hitter with a 3 run lead to giving up an 8-spot because one little thing beyond your control didn’t go your way is PATHETIC. This was like watching the pilot crash the plane because he encountered a little turbulence. If any of my coworkers ever laid down such pathetic excuses any time shit happened, I’d be pissed.

  8. Role of luck in professional sports, from greatest to least:

    1. baseball
    2. NFL football
    3. Hockey
    4. Basketball

    Does that seem right?

  9. I’m just rooting for either the Cubs or the Red Sox to lose prior to the World Series. Otherwise there are only 2 possible outcomes:

    1. The series would no doubt go to game seven where the 2 teams would be locked into 1200 innings or so of tied baseball – at which point the commissioner would call the game.

    or 2. The universe collapses in on itself.

    1. would be fantastic, (fantastic enough to actually make me watch baseball) but the significant likelihood that 2. would come to pass makes the whole thing too risky.

    Go Yanks and/or Marlins!

  10. If the Cubs play the Red Sox in the World Series, would both teams somehow find a way to blow it? Maybe they could just declare it a draw. Agree totally with the charge of “bullshit” against those blaming one fan for an 8-spot. Speaking of blame, Buckner was unfairly singled out in ’86. Anybody remember a reliever named Bob Stanley who came into the game and instantly wild pitched in the tying run?

  11. Yes, and while Buckner made a major contribution to even getting into the series, Stanley stunk all year.

  12. I hope those fans have been put on suicide watch.

  13. fans go for the ball. no interference. no problem. it really, really, REALLY SUCKS!!! but no way should any fan blame that fan. it’s not like how that little kid glared at don mattingly that time when good ol’ don took some popcorn.

    seriously, nobody here (lincoln square/ ravenswood neighborhood) would have believed a year ago, two months ago that the cubbies would have a chance to win the pennant with kerry wood on the hill. game seven or no. this has been and continues to be one of the greatest seasons in cubbies history… i hope it continues and will cheer to the end, but this has been amazing, no matter the result tonight! and the cubbies still have more wins in october than the bears. go figure!



  14. drf, that may be well and good for you…. but I had 2 kegs of Old Style waiting at the liquor store to celebrate a Cubs victory. They’ll have to wait until tonight, now.

    Of course, this is SIU… “win or lose, we always booze!”

  15. hey SC!

    didn’t they cancel the SIU halloween party? a friend of mine was there when they still had it…

    hey — we’re still sitting better this year than any other year, at least, in my lifetime, and in many others’ too.

    i’ll raise a glass to you this evening after the win. and i’ll still be a fan tomorrow, no matter what happens… it’s the cubbies, after all!

    still… what was your old style pledge? mine was to drink quality beer…

    “malt does more than milton can/ to justify god’s ways to man”


  16. The Halloween party’s been dead since 1999 or 2000… for a while they had the neat setup where there was a week of no classes, but the bars/liquor stores stayed open. Of course, that was a total disaster. For my 21st birthday, though, both class AND the liquor stores were closed, leaving me to drive to Laclede’s Landing to celebrate in style. Not that I would have wanted to spend my 21st getting Maced on the strip anyway…

  17. david f –

    I am a wrigleyville citizen and agree with you 100%. The Cubs have given us a great season, and hopefully Wood will go out and dominate tonight and they’ll give us more.

    In a perfect world, the fan would have backed away and let Moises catch that ball, but when a ball is whizzing at you, you stick your hands up and try to catch it.

    Still, it hurt like hell watching it.

  18. “The most skilled writer would never dare pen the Cubs’ late inning collapse, it would be just too over-the-top.”

    While certainly not the most skilled writer, when the announcer said something like “the Cubs are cruising to a victory” I responded with “I have a bad feeling.”

  19. Losing is a part of the identity of Red Sox fans. I’m sure they’d love winning a World Series, but on some level I think they’d miss the loss of their losing streak.

  20. “but when a ball is whizzing at you, you stick your hands up and try to catch it. ”

    That guy might have come in handy at shortstop on the next play.

  21. Ah, finally Reason steps into the great candy store of life. Cubs vs. Sox in the final. Cubs in six.

  22. Solo Wacker:

    Zackly. When Prior was being annointed and sent to Cooperstown I thought, “This is gonna get interesting.”

  23. nm156, couldn’t you have waited 15 minutes before climbing out on that limb?*

    I don’t care what any of you guys say — Steve “Dr. Agility” Bartman is a big reason the Cubs are not in the World Series. What a goofus. I hope he’s sitting around feeling like the idiot he is. “Hey, I’m a-gonna catch me one of them there baseballs!” Kaplunk.

    * For those browsing this thread years later in the Reason archives, the Chicago Cubs lost the National League championship game about 15 minutes after nm156 made his big prediction.

  24. but when a ball is whizzing at you, you stick your hands up and try to catch it.

    And, like many thoughtless actions, this one had negative consequences. I am confident that the Cubs will lose game 7 – you could see all the life drain out of them in the 8th inning, just like everyone knew in ’86 that the Red Sox had no chance of winning game 7 after Buckner booted the grounder.

    This shmucks’s life in Chicago will become a living hell – his picture is all over the papers, his name is known, he is toast.

  25. So many cubs fans on this thread…all I have to say as a braves fan is GO MARLINS!

    Oh and that “mean spirited” new joe millionaire show looks hilarious….

  26. Cubs lose, crazy Cubs fan knocks in 9 more runs for Marlins.

    Jeb Bush actually sent word that this man is welcome to hide out in FL and some resident has offered up his beach house for three months. Apparently the guy is in hiding right now (his brother read a statement to the press). After this loss, I’m guessing he won’t be coming out anytime soon.

    The worst of it is the beating this guy will give himself for the rest of his life. Apparently he was a big enough Cubs fan that he travelled to AZ to watch a preseason game. He also was wearing his “look at me I’m a nutjob fan” headphones. I feel bad for the guy. This may be forgiven, but it won’t be forgotten.

  27. R.C.,

    Alex Gonzalez’s error was at least as bad as the fan’s deflection, and your contention that there’s no way the Sox could have won game 7 after Buckner is hogwash…Dusty should have yanked Prior 2 batters earlier than he did, that was a poor tactical decision. Perhaps he was

    Among the dumbasses of the world this guy will join Buckner among those looking for scapegoats, I agree with you about that.

  28. Oh come on now. The Marlins just had a great inning. When Juan Pierre reaches second base with fewer than two outs, the Marlins are gauranteed at lease one run. Same with Lofton. They’re the best leadoff guys in the game and Pierre outhit Lofton last night. It’s a shame to see that Dusty is blaming it on the fan as well. Credit belongs to Pierre.

  29. Of course it hurt to watch, Alou was obviously going to catch that ball. But, unlike the Buckner incident, the ball was foul. Not catching that ball didn’t score anyone or put anyone on base.

    Hate the schmuck for costing them an out, but don’t blame him for losing the game. The Cubs did that just fine by themselves.

  30. “Sport remains the original and authentic reality TV…”

    This is an odd thing to say given that professional and collegiate American sports pre-date the television by a half-century or more.

  31. and the sun came up. and i’ve got my cubbies hat on. dammit. but it was a great season.
    congrats to the marlins. the better team won.

    hey — the game last night prevented about 8 million hangovers in chicagoland. and the cubbies have won more games in october than either the bears or notre dame. that’s gotta count for something.

    and now my bro in law from new england can giggle a bit more at his rube-ish midwestern inlaws.
    (at least the Fire won the US Open Cup.)

    happy thursday all!


  32. “Losing is a part of the identity of Red Sox fans. I’m sure they’d love winning a World Series, but on some level I think they’d miss the loss of their losing streak.”

    Yankees fan have an Ideology of Victory. Very fascist.

    Red Sox fans have an Ideology of Struggle and Noble Defeat. Very Romantic. Goes along well with the Irish connection.

  33. Oops. Okay, lets put the fix in and say Yankees in 7.

  34. ‘This may be forgiven, but it won’t be forgotten.’

    Um, we’re talking about Chicago. A town dominated by brain-dead union apes who have convinced themselves that this vague entity called “Management” is the source of their life’s woes, among other things.

    It will not be forgiven.

  35. EMAIL:
    DATE: 01/20/2004 05:39:07
    Nature is not anthropomorphic.

  36. EMAIL:
    DATE: 05/20/2004 05:06:44
    There is no end to the adventures we can have if we seek them with our eyes wide open.

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