Growing up in Indiana you are either a Cubs fan, or a Reds fan. I hated the Cubs. Having been to Wrigley Field, I understand their cult following and their fan base - it's one of the great places to see a sporting event in the world - but I'm not a Cubs fan.
That said, I felt nothing but genuine sympathy for Steve Bartman. This is the Cubs fan who kinda got in the way of Moises Alou's attempt to catch a ball in the Cubs' series against the Marlins in Game 6 of the 2003 ALCS. Every time I see the replay I really don't see how Bartman was at fault. It looked as if the ball was falling directly towards the wall between his seat and the stands. Either reaching, or avoiding, the ball is a logical reaction.
The hell this guy caught in Chicago, and around Cub Nation, for getting in the way was embarrassing. He didn't lose that series. The Cubs could have won Game 6. They could have won Game 7.
Tonight at 7 p.m., ESPN returns to one of the best series it has ever produced, 30 for 30, with "Catching Hell" a documentary about the Bartman ordeal. Here is a story about the whole scenario from the Chicago Sun Times. From the sounds of it, the documentary focuses on the intense media coverage of the event; not sure if Bartman is in this piece or not. My gut tells me probably not.
ESPN's 30 For 30 series aired last year documented so many wonderful moments in sports over the last 30 years, and every one of them focused on willing participants from Reggie Miller to Craig James and the Pony Express right down to Marcus Dupree's fall from fame. The key is they all agreed to be a part of the story from inception.
ESPN has a tremendous need for programming, but no where on an MLB ticket stub is there a waiver about agreeing to invade your life/privacy if you attend a baseball game.
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