CHICAGO — We are now 18 games into the 2008 Major League Baseball season, and already the Cubs are expecting big things.

 

Why?

 

Apparently a 10-6 record in April is cause for celebration and clubbing of cursing billy goats. Go ahead Cubs fans. Celebrate wins over Pittsburgh and Houston, and have your hearts broken in July when another Steve Bartman comes to the Friendly Confines to destroy your dreams. Blame goats and curses and whatever you want. But do all of us a favor and carry a bit of dignity with the “Loveable Loser” moniker.

 

Chicago area fans are in an uproar over comments made by Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman. Brennaman called out the hometown fans on Wednesday when they disgraced their own claim to fame of regurgitating an opposing team’s home run ball back onto the field by being overly generous in returning the gift. The display not only forced umpires to halt action to clean up the mess, but made everyone wearing a blue and red “C” look bad in the process.

 

Brennaman obviously isn’t a Cubs fan and was simply waiting for his opportunity to bash the opposition. And the Cubs faithful hand delivered the Hall of Fame broadcaster’s invitation following an Adam Dunn home run.

 

“[They are] far and away the most obnoxious fans in baseball in this league,” Brennaman said in his broadcast following the incident that fueled his fire. “This is what makes you want to see this Chicago Cubs team lose. Throwing 15 or 18 balls on the field, there’s absolutely no excuse for that and that is so typical of Chicago Cub fans. It’s unbelievable.”

 

He went on to say:

“You simply root against them. I’ve said all winter, people talk about this team winning the division, and my comment is they won’t win it because at the end of the day, they’re still the Chicago Cubs and they will figure out a way to screw this whole thing up.”

 

Fans and Cubs skipper Lou Piniella defended themselves on Comcast SportsNet saying they were just passionate fans and he had no reason for his comments.

 

Brennaman expectedly fired back.

 

“If they can’t understand what happened Wednesday night was completely over the top, then I’m sorry. [Compared to Cubs fans] Cardinals fans are hands down the best in baseball. They respect the game. They don’t do stupid stuff. The Cubs have some great baseball fans. But the ones who act like idiots [ruin] it for people like me.”

 

It gets worse. A Bleacher Bum reportedly attempted to pour his beer on a Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder during Friday’s afternoon game. He must have been trying to out do the Opening Day fan who fell into the outfield basket. If those two incidents weren’t enough to drive the more civil die-hards crazy, the Cubs front office inbox was flooded with emails expressing disgust over a racist t-shirt being sold outside of Wrigley Field. The shirt features a slant-eyed version of the signature cartoon bear face with oversized Harry Caray-style glasses, and the words “Horry Kow!” attached in a stereotypical “Japanese” font. The back of the shirt dons the name and number of the Cubs most recent addition, Kosuke Fukudome. While fans were quick to grab the club’s hottest selling shirt, Fukudome didn’t think the issue was a laughing matter.

 

“I don’t know what the creator of the shirt meant this to be, but they should make it right,” Fukudome told the Chicago Sun Times. “Maybe the creator created it because he thought it was funny, or maybe he made it to condescend the race. I don’t know.”

 

“I knew I was coming to a different country,” he continued, “so I expected something like this. Maybe not necessarily racial, but that anybody could take any context of my words and degrade me if they wanted to. But if I make a big deal out of it, it’s not going to benefit me, so I’m not going to make a big deal of it.”

 

Way to go Cubs fans. It’s one thing to make yourselves look bad by acting like drunken preschoolers. Acquiring Fukudome was a good decision. But degrading arguably your best and highest paid player is not. Waiting 100 years for a championship is frustrating, I’m sure. But don’t ruin the experience for your true die-hard fans and give people like myself another reason to root against a Chicago sports franchise. 

 

 

 

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Comments
  1. Carcar says:

    First of all, I’ll give you props for being an impressive writer.
    Secondly — I’ll say this…
    I’m proud to be a Cubs fan. I’m happy we’re doing this well so far, and as always, I’m cautiously optimistic.
    I will note, however, that it is indeed difficult being a Cubs fan and a civilized person.
    Those of us whose hearts are in it are the same ones who can’t afford to attend the ball games and when we do go are embarrassed by the people sitting next to us wearing offensive tees, pouring beer doing everything but watching the men on the field in their fabulous pinstripe uniforms.

    Thanks for not generalizing everyone.

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