Apparently, I am not the only one to question the audacity of Cubs fans.
In the wake of comments made by legendary Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Marty Brennamen, this article appeared in the Sun Times:
Apparently what was once considered cute and signs of being the most passionate fans in baseball is finally being realized for what it is: the fact that while Wrigley Field might hold about 40,000 people, and sell out each home game, there are likely never more than 20,000 fans in the stands. The rest are non-fans: people there for the beer, the ambiance ….. people who are there to be seen.
The most recent action involved several fans throwing baseballs on the field during a game against the Reds. The Reds broadcast team called the Cubs fans out:
TRANSCRIPT: “This is what makes you want to see this Chicago Cubs team lose. Among all baseball fans — I can’t attest to the Yankees and Red Sox because we don’t see them with any degree of regularity unless it’s interleague play — but far and away the most obnoxious fans in baseball in this league are those who follow this team right here. Throwing 15 or 18 balls on the field, there’s absolutely no excuse for that and that is so typical of Chicago Cub fans. It’s unbelievable.”
“Throwing the ball back, that’s great, that’s a Chicago Cub tradition that other teams have picked up on, and that’s fine.”
“It’s ridiculous, it really is … You simply root against them. I’ve said all winter, people talk about this team winning the division, and my comment is they won’t win it because at the end of the day, they’re still the Chicago Cubs and they will figure out a way to screw this whole thing up.
Brantley: “And then they’ll have no one to boo but themselves.
Brennaman: “Well, they never blame themselves.”
Brantley: “They’ll blame that old billy goat.”
He later appeared on Chicago Sportt sradio (ESPN AM-1000), and refused to back down:
“If they can’t understand what happened Wednesday night was completely over the top, then I’m sorry,” Brennaman said. “I said how tough it is to root for the Cubs. I think a lot of people feel the same way I do, but they won’t articulate it. I’m not afraid to say what I think.”
“[Compared to Cubs fans] Cardinals fans are hands down the best in baseball. They respect the game. They don’t go to the game to do stupid stuff.”
“The Cubs have some great baseball fans. But the ones who act like idiots (ruin) it for people like me.”
He is right: it is the idiots that screw it up for the real fans. The difference is: The Chicago Cubs have done everything to encourage this: they permit their fans to throw things on the field, but not other fans ….. they celebrate fans going to the bars before hand to get their buzz going in Wrigleyville before the game, so that they very easily get blasted during the game. I defy anyone to turn on a Cubs game and not see several people on their cell phones ….. do these people look like baseball fans? They look more like yuppie larvae who are making an appearance for the sake of putting in an apperance.
This may sound like the rantings of a rival sportscaster, but Brenneman is a legend. He is a Frick Award recipient which is the highest honor baseball affords to broadcasters. This is a guy who has been to every ball park in the nation in over thirty years of work. I say that makes him an expert, and I am finally glad that there are people who are seeing things for what they are.