Let me get this out of the way early…I didn’t watch the ESPN “Catching Hell” doc that was delayed like it was a James Cameron movie. You read that right, you are reading a review of a film that I had no interest in watching. What was the point of reliving the worst sports moment of my life? I was there, I didn’t need to get depressed again over an event that still stings like a Floyd Mayweather sucker punch.
I’ll never forget walking up Southport the day of game 6 on the ’03 NLCS. My friends knew guys from college who helped run a bar along Clark St. and that’s where we would watch what I was sure to be the clinching game of that series. Mark Prior was on the mound. That was enough for me. This was thee night, and I would be there to celebrate something that I never thought was possible.
Walking up towards the park a few hours before the game was something I have never felt before in my life. There was an electricity in the air that you couldn’t explain. My friends and I all looked at each other when we approached Landmine Field and just smiled. This was it.
When the Cubs took a 3-0 lead, I remember ordering enough drinks for the table so we wouldn’t have to try and get some once the celebration started, and making sure I used the bathroom. Who wants to pee in the middle of baseball heaven?
Then it happened.
I don’t need to go into detail because unless you were on a lot of drugs at the time, or suffer from dementia, you remember everything. Just know that I was never mad at Bartman. I would have done the same damn thing because that is your human instincts taking over. You see dope fans all the time reaching for a ball as it approaches them in foul territory. Anyone who says “he should have known better. You can’t do that in that moment of a game” can blow me. You would have done the same damn thing. This poor bastard has had to turn his life into that of a spy because of idiot Cub fans who need a life.
I’ve always blamed Alex Gonzalez for pissing down his leg on the double play grounder. I’ve also blamed Dusty Baker for not going out to settle Prior down after Moises Alou freaked out like the insane fool he was. Oh, and Baker also deserves blame for leaving Prior in too long in game 2 of that series even though the Cubs were up 37-2 late in that game.
Anyway, where was I? Leaving the bar that night was eerie feeling. We made the same walk to our car (yes, our driver didn’t drink), but it was like a movie in how the whole Wrigleyville area had just suffered a tornado. Nobody talked. All that I remember was being in shock the entire ride home.
So, no, I didn’t need to relive this moment. I don’t care how well this film was produced, or how acclaimed it will be. I won’t watch it to again feel sorry for a normal guy having his life turned upside down by making an honest mistake. So I hope you enjoyed it. I don’t know if Bartman watched it, but like Bill Buckner, Steve will be off the hook once the Cubs do the impossible and win the world series. Then, those same moronic Cub dopes will celebrate him like a cult hero. They are the real losers in this whole debacle. They’re the ones who embarrassed themselves that night, not Steve Bartman.