So what city has the worst baseball fans? Coming up with a Top 5 (in alphabetical order) is easy: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia (damn, we’re a bunch of scumbags on the east coast). But picking a number 1? That gets a little tougher. Each city could lay claim to that title, but The Machine gives you the real answer, after analyzing it through our exclusive Teabag-ometer® :
|Longest World Series Drought||Worst Accent||Most Likely to Get Killed in Stadium||Belief in the Supernatural|
|Chicago||Boston||Los Angeles (really all of California)||Chicago|
|Los Angeles||New York||Chicago||Boston|
|New York||Philadelphia||Boston||New York|
|Boston||Los Angeles||New York||Los Angeles|
Yes, loyal Machine readers. Chicago, and in particular Cubs fans, are the Worst. Fans. Ever. Sure, your chances of getting killed at a Dodgers game are pretty high, but that’s only if you root for the other team. In Chicago, they turn on their own.
Monday marked the 10th anniversary of the Steve Bartmann fiasco. Sidebar: that was ten years ago??? Damn, we’re old. Anyway, we all remember the scene, but let’s give a quick recap:
Game 6, Cubs v. Marlins. Cubs are ahead in the series 3-2. Top of the 8th, Cubs leading 3-0 and are 5 outs away from going to their first World Series in 58 (now 68) years. The Wrigley faithful are electric. This is our year…and then it happens.
Foul ball down the left field line. Moises Alou jumps into the stands to try and catch the ball amidst a crowd of people, including Bartman (and others). He doesn’t catch the ball, but instead throws a temper tantrum at Bartman, who (unknowingly) has just become the most hated person in all of Chicago.
The Marlins score 8 runs in that inning, Cubs lose, and Bartman (for his own safety) gets escorted out of his seat and has to leave Wrigley in a disguise. Obviously, the Cubs lose Game 7, haven’t been back to the playoffs since, and it’s all because of Steve Motherfucking Bartman.*
Anyone who really believes that Steve Bartman (a lifelong Cubs fan) caused the Cubs to lose is 100% bat shit crazy. Let’s look at some things that Cubs fans aren’t familiar with: facts. First, there’s no way Alou catches that ball. ESPN can write all
the compelling documentaries they want, but look at this photo. Enough said. Second, this would probably have been a non-issue but for Moises’ childish hissy fit, which really set things in motion. Third, it was Game 6, there was still an entirely different game to play, at home, in a Bartman-free Wrigley. Fourth, if you really want to blame someone (aren’t we all looking for someone to blame for our failures?), blame Alex Motherfucking Gonzalez*, who botched an easy (inning ending) double play.
Yes, there are a ton of reasons why Bartman is not to blame. However, in the ensuing 10 years, he’s had to live a life of relative obscurity. Surprisingly, he still lives in Chicago, but hasn’t been back to Wrigley, and refuses to do any interviews or make any public appearances, despite ESPN’s desperate attempts to get him on camera.
You’d think that people would be able to move on. Reasonable sports fans would. But, then again, we’re talking about people who actually believe their team was cursed by a billy goat in 1945. So, really, when you take that to its logical conclusion, it can’t be Bartman’s fault because it’s Billy Motherfucking Goat’s* fault.
In 2004, the owner of Harry Caray’s restaurant purchased the Bartman baseball for just over $113,000. They asked people for suggestions on what they should do with the ball. They received over 20,000 suggestions (hello, crazy). Ultimately, they decided to blow it up in front of a live nationally televised audience. Stay classy, Chicago.
Hey, Cubbies, listen up: Let. It. Go. It’s been 10 years and your team sucks. And it’s not Bartman’s fault. It never was. Trying to blame others for your teams failures is a move normally reserved to suburban helicopter parents. The Cubs, by sitting silent through all this, have assisted in irretrievably screwing up this guy’s life. If I’m the Cubs, I’d invite Bartman back to throw the first pitch and sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame, and formally apologize on behalf of your (neurotic/sociopathic/manic-depressive/alcoholic) fan base. However, such a move, according to notable Chicago sports journalists, would be unthinkable.
Says Michael Wilbon, “What does the organization stand to gain by that? I’ll tell you: Nothing.” The fact that reputable journalists discredit the idea of a Bartman reunion is ridiculous. The man’s life has been ruined, he’s been in hiding for 10 years and has an entire City (still) blaming him for losing the World Series, excuse me, for losing Game 6 of the NLCS which would have gotten them to the World Series, and they’re concerned with what impact it would have on the Cubbies.
I don’t care how many “wicked retahdes” or “fugethabboutits” I have to sit through in Fenway or Yankee Stadium, respectively, it’s certainly more enjoyable to know that at least I’ll be surrounded by people who only hate the other team and their fans.
Enjoy your Teabag.
*unconfirmed middle name