I don't usually recommend watching much television (outside of live sports coverage)--but there is a can't miss documentary on ESPN tonight. "Catching Hell" tells the story of a real-life American Hero: Steve Bartman. For those of you who vaguely remember the name--but can't quite place where you've heard of Steve Bartman before, maybe this will help.........
I call Bartman an American Hero because he spared us an interminable amount of bragging from insufferable Cubs fans by starting in motion a string of events that derailed what appeared to be the first Chicago appearance in the World Series since the end of World War Two. Unfortunately, for his heroic actions--which probably prevented the Apocalypse that would have been unleashed by a Cubs World Series Championship--Bartman was subjected to the type of derision and hatred that would have been more suitable for one of the 9/11 hijackers if they had somehow survived the plane crashes.
And that is the basis of "Catching Hell"--the over-the-top reaction from Cubs fans, the national media and the late night comedians--which made life nearly impossible for a guy who only did what any other fan in any other stadium would have done if thrown into the same situation. To his credit, Bartman has not lashed out at the buffoons who blamed him for what Cubs teams have been doing for more than 100-years now--choking in the biggest moments. He continues to go to work, he hasn't written a book--he even refused to take part in tonight's documentary.
In a way, it's too bad Bartman hasn't tried to capitalize on his "infamy". I'm guessing there would be a lot more pats on the back and high-fives than there would be death threats. Of course, he'd probably be 500-pounds and an alcoholic from all the free lunches and free drinks all of us Cub Haters would still be buying him.