Chicago's famous Billy Goat Curse is nothing: Try actually BEING the goat (and getting cursed at).
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
He will forever be known as "That Fan,"
short for "That Fan Who [Nearly/Totally (TBD)] Cost
The Cubs The World Series".
That Fan is an obvious (and worthy) scapegoat,
but let's spread the responsibility around: Dusty,
Gonzalez, the radio announcers, Prior, Farnsworth,
Derrek Lee, the headset manufacturer, Pudge, Beckett,
the masses on Waveland, Dick Jauron, Ernie Banks,
Andre Dawson, the fans sitting around That Fan, Paris
Hilton, Bernie Mac, Harry Carey's ghost, the media.
Whether the city has a complete meltdown
depends on how Game 7 plays out tonight (understanding
that Kerry Wood is as hot as they come right now, but
on the flip side, so was Prior):
If the Cubs win:
All is forgiven ...
If they lose:
Gonzalez: New Buckner?
Lost under the "That Fan" pile-on is Alex
Gonzalez's Bobble -- this generation's Leon Durham
moment, improbably from a shortstop who led the NL in
What irony in his trendy name-shortening:
"A-Gon." Because his error? Pure "AGony."
Rally-kindling instead of rally-killing: The
Bobble doesn't quite rise to the mythic level of
Buckner-esque proportions, but That Fan was merely
guilty of amateurish behavior; what's the pro's
ALCS: Almost Over
With success built on the contradiction of
SABR and sentimentality, the Red Sox believe they
can win when Tim Wakefield pitches. (Problem is, the
Yankees feel the same way about Game 6 starter Andy
Makes perfect sense, then, to start the
unreliable John Burkett. If Wakefield and his
indefatigable arm feel up to it, Boston has to
get him in the game (here's a hint: before
Burkett blows it).
||IF YOU DON'T HAVE TIME TO READ THE FULL QUICKIE
|TODAY'S THREE HOTTEST STORIES|
1 Cub fan participation leaves foul aftertaste in Chicago|
2 Remind the Red Sox: Cowboys are an endangered group
3 Only thing between Cubs and more Cursed living is Kerry
|THREE STORIES YOU SHOULD JUST LET GO|
1 Mike Mussina can't win big one: Doesn't seem to matter|
2 Big East lawsuits: While courting poaches of their own
3 Boston bullpen brouhaha: Possible charge? "Sore losers"
Check out this quote last night from Shaq
about healing his heel: "I want to be right for
Derek, Karl and Gary." That's what's known as a
glaring omission. Hmm: Kobe can't be a
distraction to the team if he's ignored completely.
Meanwhile: Kobe's D may or may not take another
attempt at last week's now-infamous "three-point
play" as his preliminary hearing resumes today.
Considering the backlash, the D would be wise to get this process over with as fast as
Coaches Who Care?
Any college hoops coach who doesn't attend
the mandatory all-hands "emergency" meeting in Chicago
today on the epidemic of ethical lapses will --
gasp! -- lose their Final Four tickets. First item on
the agenda: "Toothless Penalties."
Other agenda items:
* Will That Be Cash? Tax implications of
your sneaker-company payoff.
* Natty Light No-No: Partying at the
frats ...with class.
* Text This! Understanding new
technologies in illegal recruiting.
"New BCS" Ideas
The producers of "BCS!" will be also be in
Chicago today, hard at work ton "BCS II: Electric
Bugaloo." Debunking the various suggestions:
Playoff: Like "Voldemort"; don't even say
Title game after bowls: So last year Ohio State
Include more schools: Sure, when the check
Let fans decide: Aha, there's the best
Anna K's Retirement
Who actually has aspirations of being a
professional awards presenter? "And the
award for 'Widest Ratio Between Monumental Hype and
Actual Athletic Success' goes to ..."
Praised for being such an insightful manager of player personalities, where was he following the That Fan incident to settle his team down?
|Today on ESPN.com|
|P2: Ferris Bueller at Cubs game?|
|CFB: Power 16|
|NBA: Training Camp|
|Ranking Cubs heartbreak*|
(-- if lose Game 7)
|New depths of despair|
|Regular season meltdown|
|Curse that Durham!|
|Weren't winning anyway|
|Lights go on at Wrigley|
A Chicago Trib quote from a Chicagoan about That Fan:
"You could tell we're better than Boston or he'd be
dead already" ...|
That Fan offers up a great lesson: Leave the headset
at home; enjoy the ballpark atmosphere ...
Seriously, blame the radio guys for not yelling out
"Don't touch that ball!!" ...
In the end, you'd like to think That Fan feels worse
than anyone, but he reportedly wanted to wait for the
stadium to empty before leaving. Ever hear of mob
justice, dude? ...
How about this Obi Wan Kenobi notion: If the Cubs lose
now, their mystique will grow more powerful than