Damned by their own fan. Or at least in the eyes of many, he is the scapegoat, the sacrificial lamb.
I feel tremendous pity for Steve Bartman. He did nothing wrong, yet the hatred of an entire city is focused on him. If I was in his place, I would have done the exact same thing.
Things got pretty ugly for the guy pretty quick. He was escorted out of the stadium with a coat over his head, while irate fans pelted him with beer and murderous threats. The crowd outside Wrigley Field was pretty ugly and all riled up.
Then the Chicago Sun-Times ran the poor guy’s name and personal information. He is Steve Bartman, 26. A resident of Chicago’s North Side and a Notre Dame graduate, Bartman actually coaches little league ball and is a devout Cubs fan. Suffice to say he was disconsolate at his hand in bringing about the Cub’s downfall. He was under police guard during Game 7 yesterday, and his home phone number has been disconnected.
But let’s face it. Chicago loves the Cubs because they are a hard-luck team. They are sultans of despair. They blew the NLCS in colossal style, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. And Chicagoland loves ’em for it. They are the lovable losers, with a century of hard luck behind them. It takes determination to be Cubs fan, to revel in the pain it brings. Reminds me of that song Waiting In Vain: Like Bob Marley, Cubs fans are more in love with the waiting than the girl (or the team).