I was flicking through the channels as you do when you are waiting for something else to begin, when I stopped on ESPN America. They must have had some time to spare before a baseball playoff game I presume, because it said live baseball playoffs on the Electronic TV guide. Now normally I probably would have switched over, not because I don’t like baseball mind, I occasionally watch the highlights, but as with live NFL, there are too many ad breaks, it seems like they stop every two minutes for a break, it’s really tedious and annoying and makes the sport unwatchable. American sports are far better seen in highlights.
Anyway they were showing a documentary about some bloke from the Boston Red Sox, World Series in 86, (sorry I don’t pay too much attention to baseball), which I missed, and the Chicago Cubs 2003 playoff game and whether they had a curse over them for whatever reason.
The incident in question was a playoff game when a foul ball was hit towards the stands, and as the catcher went to catch the ball, this bloke out of the crowd put his hand in the way of the ball, and it was dropped and the Cubs did not win through to the World Series.
At the time when I was watching I was amazed by all of this, wow it seemed like something out of a film. Since I had not watched the whole documentary, to me it seemed that on the last play of the last game, Chicago was ahead, and if this catch was caught they won, and if it was dropped they lost.
It turned out to not be as important as it was made out, and that although the Cubs may have won through to the World Series, had the catch been caught, it was not certain. Plus I have read afterwards that the catcher involved has now admitted he may not have caught it anyway, so in a way, less than five seconds of collective lunacy, has caused massive consternation throughout a city and ruined one mans life.
I wondered about the whole situation, the way the crowd reacted to the poor man, I will not name him, there seems no point as I presume everyone in America knows who the poor unfortunate is, why rub more salt into a gaping wound. I wondered about sport in general and how much it means to people, I thought about my own football team, who are very reminiscent of the Chicago Cubs in that they seem cursed at times and how our fans would have reacted if a similar situation had happened over here. The sad thing is, they would have probably reacted in exactly the same way.
I wondered about the man himself and how he felt, I read his apology and he seemed so overwhelmed with remorse and guilt, for something that happened in the blink of an eye. Then now as I think about it further, I think of all the other tiny little incidents that happen constantly to everyone, everyday, yet most don’t happen in such crucial or important situations. The consequences of such actions, can snow ball to such an effect as to cause wars in the past, luckily this was only a baseball game.
I believe the poor man has gone into hiding and now many years later (I don’t know when the doc was made) the city of Chicago, the Cubs and the fans seem to feel rather guilty for how they reacted and what they did. Supposedly the guy had to be escorted away by police and had to change his identity, his life is forever ruined because of one tiny moment. Terrible isn’t it?
I wonder what we can learn from a situation like that, we all do them, whether we like to admit it or not, we all make silly mistakes but most don’t do it on live TV, in front of a fanatic crowd. Yet still we all do them all the time, and sometimes when we do them, we get away with it, and sometimes like on that fateful day in Chicago we don’t.