I’m only going to write this once. So for everyone who doesn’t frequent Wrigley to cheer a team that hasn’t done shit for a century listen closely. For everyone who doesn’t care what Mike Fontenot does on a daily basis, for those people who don’t know who Josh Vitters is and all you other jamokes who can’t tell the difference between Jake Fox and Chad Fox — this post’s for you.
Recently, there’s been a story in the news about something ESPN is doing, specifically a documentary about Steve Bartman. You can read ESPN’s take on it here. If you don’t know who Steve Bartman is, you can get out. This is no place for you, and I’m not even going to dignify you with 10 words to bring you up to speed. Figure it out on your own. Anyway, if this were film or television show, this is where I would have the camera zoom on my face as I look directly into it and say, “Go fuck yourselves ESPN.” And the reason isn’t as cut and dry as you would believe.
See, the funny thing about the whole Bartman, well, thing is this. It’s a vicious cycle, one that involves three entities: Cubs’ fans, non-Cubs’ fans and media outlets, especially ESPN. Remember that, three sides.
When Cubs’ fans and non-Cubs’ fans talk about baseball, eventually the non-Cubs’ fan always brings Stevie’s name up. 2003, the curse of the Billy Goat, Moises Alou, blah blah blah. Then, in an effort to prove that the non-Cubs’ fan is a real student of the game — and some sort of authority figure on baseball — they bring up this stale point: “I’m so tired of hearing Cubs’ fans piss and moan about Bartman. Any real Cubs’ fan knows it wasn’t Steve Bartman’s fault. Alex Gonzalez made an error in that at-bat that led to the 5-run inning.”
But what all non-Cubs’ fans fail to realize, because they aren’t Cubs’ fans, is that 99% of fanbase not only knows Bartman isn’t to blame, they don’t even talk about Bartman vs. Alou, Gonzalez’s error or even the 2003 NLCS in general. It was in 2003, it’s a moot point, it’s over. We, as a fanbase, are over it. It happened, it sucked, but we aren’t the first fanbase to experience tragedy, and we sure as hell won’t be the last.
In fact, as perfectly explained by ESPN’s irrelevant, inane Steve Bartman documentary, the only people that talk about Steve Bartman are not Cubs’ fans, but non-Cubs’ fans and the media. Cubs’ fans spend far, far more time talking about Bartman because non-Cubs’ bring it up than Cubs’ fans spend time talking about Bartman of our own volition.
Then, in some magically fucked up happenstance, the two sides that keep bringing up Bartman continue to tell Cubs’ fans — the only people not bringing it up — to stop bringing it up. Holy fuck, my head hurts just writing that. Read that sentence a few times just to make sure you understand it. Cubs’ fans are scolded for discussing a subject that they not only don’t discuss, but is only discussed by the people doing the scolding in the first place.
So when I shake my magic 8 Ball and ask, “What will come of ESPN’s Bartman documentary?” I can already see the triangled answer peeking through the squid ink or whatever they fill those plastic spheres with:
“Ignorant people will tell you to stop talking about a subject you don’t even talk about in the first place.”
So thank you very much ESPN for the shitstorm I have to deal with now. Thank you for, again, picking at a scab on my body that I had stopped picking at long ago. Thank you for whoring out a long dead controversy for ratings, thank you for continuing to ruin sports at a pace that would make Usain Bolt jealous. And most of all, thank you for continuing to pit non-Cubs’ fans against Cubs’ fans over a topic that has not been relevant for six years. You truly are a four-letter.