Some baseball team won last night. How do I know? I heard the explosions intermixed with what I am sure was gun fire. At midnight. The most boring game bringing a city to its knees in prayer.
I used to go to games, once or twice a year, only to leave by the 7th inning. When I was a kid I had the complete line up of ’69 cubbies in baseball cards. They would wind up pinned to the forks of my spider bike to slap the spokes as we rode through our kingdom. Listening to the games on the radio was comforting, dreamlike, with visions of playing for the majors when I got big.
Then life happened and I became less and less interested in the cubs. Sometimes they won, but mostly they lost. And I guess that is what I liked most of all. They marched on, moments of baseball glory peppered throughout. Kerry Wood and Sammy Sosa to name two.
And then Bartman.
I watched that game…at least I think I did. Memory is fuzzy. I am pretty sure I did because I remember the team falling apart, giving up bases and runs after the incident. And I remember feeling sorry for the guy. Wrong place, wrong time. Didn’t matter. The cubs sucked and nearly everyone, including players, took it out on this fan.
I stopped caring from that point. It wasn’t that the cubs were at fault. They just played crappy baseball. It was the fans, who, within shot of winning, came up with any scapegoat they could. A sap sitting on the 3rd base line. Wind. A curse and an actual fucking goat.
Are all cub fans bad? That’s a stupid question. Should I base my liking of a team on the fans? Probably, but it doesn’t really matter. In truth baseball is boring. And if you are excited to see some millionaires in pajamas doing better in a park than other millionaires in different pajamas, then that’s good. Sports are important in society, and you are in a vital role.
Sometimes that role lifts all to higher plane.
…and sometimes not.