Posts by tag: 30 for 30

3 years ago

Review of ESPNFILM’S 30 on 30: “The Real Rocky”

chuck wepnerIn 1976, a film about a small time boxer from the streets of Philadelphia named Rocky Balboa who gets a shot at the World Heavyweight Title by the champion named Apollo Creed was released. The film starred and was written by a fairly unknown actor named Sylvester Stallone, and went on to become one of the largest grossing films, and won the 1976 Academy Award for Best Picture. The film I am talking about is, of course, “Rocky.” The film went on to have several sequels, and went on to become one of the most successful movie franchises.

This past Tuesday, ESPN FILM’s 30 on 30 series presented, “The Real Rocky,” by Jeff Feuerzeig. The film discusses the life and career of boxer Chuck Wepner. During Wepner’s career, he was nicknamed “The Bayonne Bleeder” because during a fight between himself and Sonny Liston, he got his nose broken and was bleeding profusely. Wepner is interviewed, and he was saying how he was hoping that in the famous “Rumble in the Jungle” match between then Heavyweight Champion George Foreman, and challenger Muhammad Ali, he was pulling for Foreman because he knew he would get a title shot.

Well, as most people know, Ali won that fight, and became the new Champion by knocking out Foreman. However, a couple of months later, Ali gave the Title shot to Chuck Wepner. Wepner then describes the build up for the fight.which included Ali telling him to call him (Ali) the “n” word right before both appeared on the Mike Douglas show. Wepner said he couldn’t do it, and would not do it as he had African American friends, and his sparring partners were also African American. Well, on the Douglas show, Ali claimed that Wepner called him an “n” word, and Wepner and Ali got into it. As for the fight itself, it was a very good bout. Ali won in the 15th round when Wepner could not go anymore, and the referee stopped the fight. Wepner said that he felt good about the fight as he felt that at least he was able to go 15 rounds with the champ

Now, what does this story of Wepner’s life and boxing career have to do with the movie, “Rocky?” Well, according to the documentary, Wepner’s lawers who took depositions from Stallone were talking about how Stallone got all defensive when certain aspects of Wepner’s life were used in the film. Stallone tried to say that the film was based on Rocky Marciano, but in interviews, he mentions Wepner over and over. According to the docutmentary, it was quite evident that Stallone used the Ali vs Wepner fight as inspiration for the movie. In fact, when Wepner attended a showing of “Rocky,” people gave him a standing ovation as a lot of them felt the film reflected many aspects of his life.

In the original “Rocky” film, there is that famous scene where Rocky runs up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum during training. According to Wepner, as part of his training, he would run up the main library steps. During the documentary, Wepner talks about meeting and fighting a worked match with the late WWE (then WWF) star Andre the Giant. Vince McMahon is interviewed briefly. Wepner said that near the end of the match, Andre would throw him over the top rope into the crowd.. In the 3rd sequel, “Rocky III,” there is a scene where Rocky fights wrestler Thunderlips played by current TNA wrestler, Hulk Hogan. Thunderlips throws Rocky over the tope into the crowd. Also in the original film, Rocky Balboa is a debt collector for a loan shark. Wepner also had worked in a similar line of work.

Wepner felt slighted by Stallone. He went to prison for cocaine charges, and Stallone was doing a movie at the prison he was in, and Stallone just asked how he was. Wepner felt that Stallone didn’t give him (Wepner) any credit even though Wepner felt it was obvious that his life was the basis for the “Rocky” movies. He felt he should have gotten something. It was the filming of the movie “Cop Land,” that really frustrated him, and he then decided to sue. On the DVDs for the “Rocky” movies, Stallone mentions Wepner, so it is rather strange that during his depositions, he got agitated when asked by Wepner’s lawyers about whether the Ali fight was the inspiration for the film. Vince McMahon says that he advised Stallone to settle, which is exactly what happened.

I thought the film was very well done. It was a very interesting documentary. Sad to see that Wepner is still working as a liquor salesman. It was also disappointing to see that Stallone didn’t give Wepner any credit. I mean, from watching the documentary, it was just too obvious to me that the Ali/Wepner fight was the inspiration for the film, and that Chuck Wepner was the inspiration for Rocky. There was way too many similarities between events in Wepner’s life, and the “Rocky” movies. I definitely recommend the documentary.

Follow Chuck Wepner on You Tube on The Chuck Wepner channel.

Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/missedgehead

Muhammad Ali vs Chuck Wepner DVD

EA Sports Fight Night Champion Video Game

An Unforgiving Sport: An Inside Look at Another Year in Boxing

Boxing Is . . .: Reflections on the Sweet Science

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3 years ago

A Review of ESPN Films’ 30 For 30 “Charismatic”

charismaticIn my past blogs, I have written about a couple of my favorite spectator sports, the NFL, and professional wrestling. I have even blogged about my favorite rock band, KISS. I love the action, the excitement, and even the drama.

Trust me. The off the field stuff in the NFL rivals what the so called Creative Team in WWE puts out on both Raw and Smackdown. Drama over the QB controversies, trades, trash talking by players and coaches, and even post game handshakes just give me enough entertainment to enjoy that I almost don’t even NEED to turn on Raw, and put up with Johnny Laryngitis. Trust me. I had more fun watch Gene Simmons and his girlfriend of 28 years, Shannon Tweed getting married, then I did watching poor Jim Ross getting humiliated for the 1000th time.

All this being said, I have yet to blog about my all time favorite sport. It is the sport known as the “Sport of Kings.” I am talking about thoroughbred racing. I am a horse lover. I have been a fan of the sport since I was about 8. The first sports hero, or any hero I ever had was a racehorse named Seattle Slew who won horse racing’s Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont Stakes) in 1977, and was undefeated to boot. Just loved him as he was bought for 17,000 by this couple and their partners from Seattle. Back then, 17 grand was very small for a yearling. Seattle Slew went on to be one of the greatest horses ever, both on the track, and at stud.. My all time favorite racehorse is a horse that came along as a three year old the following year in 1978, a horse named Alydar. Unfortunately for him, a horse named Affirmed was born in the same year (1975), and the two met 10 times between their two year old and three year old campaigns, including all three Triple Crown races. Affirmed won 7 , including the Triple Crown, and Alydar won 3. Alydar became the first and only horse, so far, to have finished 2nd in all 3 Triple Crown races. Their head and head battle in the 1978 Belmont is legendary. Since 1978, no horse since Affirmed has yet won horse racing’s Triple Crown.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apBIGFWMFr0

This leads me to the subject of this blog. Yesterday, ESPN FILMS debuted their new film, an hour long documentary called “Charismatic, ” directed by Steve Michaels. Michaels is the son of sportscaster Al Michaels (known famously for the “Do you believe in miracles??” “Yes!” lines at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics when the US Hockey Team beat Russia.). The story covers the comeback of the late jockey, Chris Antley who spent 1998 in drug rehab, and a horse named Charismatic, who despite being trained by one of the best trainers in the business, D. Wayne Lukas, and owned by the late Bob and Beverly Lukas who were two of the most prominent owners in racing at that time was described as fat and lazy. The horse was so mediocre on the track, that a couple of months before the 1999 Derby, he was put in claiming races. Former Jockey great and friend Gary Stevens, and two of Lukas’ assistants at the time, and Antley’s dad, and his then agent tell the story of the unlikely pairing of jockey and horse, and how Antley and Charismatic took the racing world by storm and won the 1999 Kentucky Derby and Preakness, only to lose the Belmont where Charismatic broke down, and Antley saved the horse’s life.

I thought the documentary was very well done, and very touching. I nearly cried a few times. It starts where former jockey Gary Stevens talks about Chris Antley’s demons getting to him as he became a very successful jockey. A narrator also highlights some of Chris Antley’s big races, one being his first Derby win on Strike the Gold in 1991 (my personal favorite Derby). The pressures of being in the racing business is brought up, and it is very tough for a young jockey like Antley who showed brilliance as a rider. Unfortunately, according to his parents, and Stevens, Antley caved into his demons. First Antley was suspended, but then folks didn’t trust him, and he wound up in rehab. His mom said he wanted to stay there as he felt he wasn’t being judged.

His dad discusses how when Antley came out that Antley’s weight ballooned to 147 pounds. Despite his mom’s trepidation, Antley lost the weight, and went back to races. In the meantime, the documentary covers Charismatic’s issues. The film goes into how good a horseman Wayne Lukas was via interviews with his assistants. The films goes into how the horse was fat and lazy and didn’t show much, until Charismatic ran in claiming races. Charismatic’s run in the Santa Anita is shown, and his win in the Lexington is show with the great Jerry Bailey up. The film then discusses how a lot of people thought the horse was a fluke, and how he had different riders on him, and only won 3 of 14 starts. The documentary revealed that people didn’t think Lukas could get a top jockey like Chris McCarron to commit to the horse.

In the meantime, Chris Antley was building up his business. He was getting former clients to trust him again, and his former clients were trusting that he would show up for his mounts. The film talks about his desire to be in the Kentucky as he said that in his last experience, he was “messed up.” Antley was approached to ride Charismatic and jumped at the chance. Gary Stevens reveals that Antley took the red eye from California to ride in the Derby. Antley told Stevens he was going to win. Stevens said “Yeah right. Good luck.”

Well, when the gates opened on that first Saturday in May of 1999, and the horses got to the top of that long stretch at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY, Charismatic made his one big move from mid pack, and had a slight neck and neck battle with Cat Thief (also trained by Lukas), and wound up (holding off a hard charging Menefee) with the blanket of roses. Charismatic’s odds were 30-1. Two weeks later in the Preakness, there were still non believers as Charismatic went off at odds of 8-1. Well, the horse won the Preakness even easier than he won the Derby. The horse and his jockey had developed a following,and it was on to the Belmont.

The document did a good job covering the high pressure atmosphere that Antley faced going into the Belmont Stakes. The race is run at Belmont Park, in Elmont, NY out on Long Island. New York is a very tough place as far as being a celebrity, or being an athlete. If you ask a fan of any of the teams who play in that area be it the NY Yankees, the Mets, the Jets, the Giants, the NY Islanders, the Rangers, etc. If any of those teams LOSE, boy do the NY Media go bananas. Imagine how it must be for a jockey like Chris Antley who just came out of drug rehab the year prior who is going to ride a horse going for the Triple Crown. The three weeks of pressure had to be hard on him. Chris’ psyche was a concern for trainer Wayne Lukas who was concerned that Antley was not focused. Lukas was thinking of a jockey change, and asked the Lewises who owned Charismatic about the idea of a jockey change. Bob Lewis, ever the standup guy, wanted to stick with Antley. There was news going around that Antley was missing appearances, and may have relapsed. Antley denied he had relapsed and said he was sick and was taking cough syrup. Gary Stevens and Antley’s agent were thinking that it was possible that Antley had relapsed. Lukas got a report that the night before, Chris Antley had been partying. It was a concern to Lukas, but he didn’t make the jockey change.

Well, now we are at the Belmont Stakes. Champion trainer Bob Baffert had entered the top 3 year old filly that year, Silverbulletday in the race. When the gates opened, surprisingly, Silverbulletday went to the front, and took the lead. What was even more surprising, and to the dismay of Wayne Lukas, and his assistants, Chris Antley took up the chase. Charismatic’s usual style of running was settling around mid pack or so, and then he would make a huge run at the end. The pace got really fast, and in mid stretch, Charismatic took the lead for a brief moment, but two horses went by him, Lemon Drop Kid, and Vision and Verse. Lemon Drop Kid would wind up being the winner by a head over the long shot “Verse,” and Charismatic’s dream of a Triple Crown went down the tubes.

However, that was not the end. Charismatic had broken down around the 8th pole, and after the race, Chris Antley pulled him up right away. Dr. Larry Bramlage, a top veterinarian said that Antley had saved the horse. If Antley had not pulled the horse up when he did, the horse would have had to have been euthanized as a lot of times, the bone would have pierced the skin, and the vets would not have been able to get antibiotics to the area due to lack of circulation. However, according to the documentary, there were some, according to Lukas’ assistants who felt it was the way Antley rode the horse that caused Charismatic’s injury. Wayne Lukas to this day feels that Antley’s ride caused the horse to break down. The theory behind this is that instead of riding the horse the way the horse usually runs (stalking the pace and then making the big run at the end), Antley got the horse in a speed duel with Silverbulletday, and that caused the breakdown. After the race, Antley was very distraught. Eventually, he would continue to ride top horses such as River Keen per the documentary.

However, due to a knee injury, and his desire to be married and have a family, and some hard feelings about Charismatic, Chris Antley retired in March 2000. He and his wife (she appears in the documentary) have a daughter together. Sadly, according to his wife, his demons seem to take over. Tragically, on December 2, 2000, Chris Antley is found all bloodied up. The firemen tried to revive him, but it is no use. Antley was dead. At first, police thought it was a homicide, but further investigation revealed it was a drug overdose. Gary Stevens then talks about how he still misses him.

My thoughts: I thought this was a very well done documentary. Watching all the footage brought back a lot of memories, and a lot of sadness. I hate seeing a talented guy like Chris Antley throw his life away due to drugs. From watching the film, it is quite obvious that he was a young man who effected a lot of people. He seemed to be a fun guy. I guess the trappings of fame hits people differently. I know fellow horse fans who love Charismatic. From watching the documentary, one can see why. For me, this triple crown series is a bit more sad for me when I think about it. Eight days after Charismatic’s Preakness triumph, WWE wrestler Owen Hart died tragically in that accident at Over the Edge.

As for why Charismatic broke down, let me start with Wayne Lukas. I could write a blog about my disdain for Lukas. In a nutshell, I admit he is an awesome trainer. The guy has had a lot of success as a trainer. As the documentary said, he trained ten winners of Triple Crown races. He has trained a ton of champions. However, the guy is just one of the most arrogant people in the sport. I find him to be callous. He treats horse racing like a business. Quite a few of his horses break down on him. Let’s put it this way. If you look at his track record, there is a reason he rarely had a horse that he started training as a 2 year old, that raced past 3. I mean, for Wayne Lukas to put the blame for Charismatic’s breakdown on Antley is just ludicrous. I mean, the horse took a bad step. Period. The break down was going to happen. Should Chris have ridden the horse like the horse normally runs? Yes. However, Chris’ ignoring instructions had nothing to do with the break down. You should be thanking Chris, and not condemning the guy.

Overall, I totally recommend this documentary. Jockeys, heck, everyone who works in the racing industry, are under incredible stress and strain to perform at their best. They are very much like top NFL players, NBA players, etc in that they have to answer to tough bosses, and have to constantly perform at a high level. The film shows the ups and downs of the sport of racing. However, and this is what is at the heart of the film, the film shows that what is so wonderful about the Sport of Kings is that even the underdog can triumph, and touch people’s hearts.

Chris Antley aboard Strike the Gold in the 1991 Kentucky Derby (Pink silks)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATgn_HEGVq0&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLC829330486A2A22B

Chris Antley aboard Charismatic in the 1999 Kentucky Derby (Green and Yellow Silks)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=LnD5jN03s40

Chris Antley aboard Charismatic in the 1999 Preakness Derby (Green and Yellow Silks) (at 6:45 mark)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJ1qY3nEuLc&feature=related

Chris Antley aboard Charismatic in the 1999 Belmont Stakes (Green and Yellow Silks)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlB_N1DrwoI

Dr. Larry Bramlage and Chris Antley discussing the Belmont Aftermath

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ddAvRGfm4Q&feature=related

Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/missedgehead

ESPN Films 30 For 30: Charismatic DVD

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3 years ago

ESPN Catching Hell Review & My Thoughts On The “Bartman Play”

Steve BartmanOn Tuesday, September 27th, ESPN Films debuted director Alex Gibney’s documentary, “Catching Hell” as part of their excellent “30 for 30″ film series. Before I continue with this blog, I want to say that I have lots of beefs with ESPN in general, but this “30 for 30″ series of documentaries is one thing they do very well, producing great films about such subjects as The University of Miami and their controversial reputation, Southern Methodist University getting the Death Penalty from the NCAA and the aftermath, and about Ricky Williams, and many others. “30 for 30″ is a great film series I do admit.

That being said, “Catching Hell” is about one of the most infamous scapegoats of all of sports, a young Cubs fan named Steve Bartman who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was Game Six in the 2003 NLCS at Wrigley Field between the visiting Florida Marlins and the Chicago Cubs. Now, before I go further, the Chicago Cubs had not won the World Series since 1908, and were considered “cursed,” when in 1945, Chicago tavern owner Billy Sianiswas was asked to leave a World Series game at Wrigley Field between the Cubs and the Tigers because he had his Billy goat with him, and Sianiswas said because of that, he cursed the Cubs and the Cubs would never win the World Series ever, which they haven’t.

The 2003 season for the Cubs, was a magical season, and fans were very excited to see their “lovable losers” on the precipice of a World Series appearance. Pitchers Mark Prior and Kerry Wood were having great seasons. Sammy Sosa hit for 40 homers that regular season. The Cubs had a great post season, and here they were, on the brink of an appearance in the World Series, and the following occurs: As I said previously, it was Game Six in the 2003 NLCS at Wrigley Field, the Florida Marlins are down 3-0 to the Cubs, and down 3 games to 2 in the Series, and were five outs away from going back to Florida for their off season. Marlins’ second baseman Luis Castillo comes to the plate, and eventually hits one of the most notorious foul balls in MLB history.

As most people know, several fans reached out for the ball as Moises Alou coming in from right field tried to make the catch, but could not because the ball was deflected by a fan. Alou then had a Fred Sanford like hissy fit, and was very irate. Pitcher Mark Prior was upset, and the Cubs wanted “Fan interference” called. The umpires refused because they ruled that the ball crossed the plane and was not in the field of play. Thanks to the TV producers replaying the incident over and over, it was eventually revealed that the fan who deflected the ball was a Cubs fan named Steve Bartman.

I think everyone knows by now what happened next. I have seen collapses in sports (Dolphins/Jets on Monday Night Football in 2000 comes to mind), but this one was crazy. Mark Pryor walks Castillo on a wild pitch. Ivan Rodriquez hits an RBI single, and the score is now 3-1. What happens next is very baffling. Cubs SS Alex Gonzalez misfields a ball , which would have been a sure fire double play which would have gotten the Cubs out of the inning. Derek Lee doubled, and Pryor was done for the night. I won’t go through everything, but a total of 8 runs scored, and even Sammy Sosa screwed up on a defensive play as well during this fiasco. Cubs eventually lost Game 7 even though they lead 5-3 at one point. Marlins went on to beat the Yankees 4 games to 2.

As for Steve Bartman, a lifelong Cubs fan, his life was destroyed. Fans outside the stadium eventually found out who he was thanks to a guy with a TV on his head , and the TV producers repeatedly showing the incident over and over. They started chanted ***hole, and then the chant permeated through the stadium. He had to be removed from his seat, and put in a room to be shown what he did, as he was sitting there all game with earphones listening to the broadcast. The media put out his home and work address, and he is now pretty much a recluse, all because he did what MOST FANS would do.

The movie itself was pretty well done. The director Alex Gibney, who is from Boston, tries to use two incidents of scapegoating, and try to show some correlation. At least, that is how I saw it. The large majority of the piece did discuss the Bart incident, but he tried to also tie in the infamous Bill Buckner incident also. As most sports fans know, in the 1986 World Series, Bill Buckner was the scapegoat for Boston fans when he mishandled a ground ball hit by Mookie Wilson of the Mets. I think he did get his point across somewhat. The Unitarian Minister’s explanation was very good when she talked about how back in Biblical times, the Priest would have a goat, and the people would put their sins on the goat, and then the goat would be taken away, or in some cases, the goat would be thrown off the cliff.

As fans, and by the way, fan is short for fanatic, we sometimes get so into our love for our team, athlete, wrestler, etc, that sometimes we get blinded, and rational thinking goes out the window. I think Gibney’s bringing up Buckner is that Boston fans wanted that Curse of the Bambino off their backs so badly , and that they were so mad that the Sox lost (especially to a New York team at that), that they could not think straight, and that someone had to take the blame, and that someone was Buckner. They didn’t care that before the play , the pitcher had given up some singles, and I think a run came in. They didn’t care that Buckner had bad knees and the manager should have known better than to keep him in there. They didn’t care there was a game 7 and the Red Sox should have tried to win that. All they could think of is that their Sox lost and it was Buckner’s fault.

Gibney tries to tie Buckner’s story and Bartman’s story together. Both have a lot in common, I admit. Both incidents involved “cursed” franchises. Both incidents happened late in game sixes of series. Both guys were blamed so badly that they had to put themselves in exile. Bill Buckner and his family moved out of Massachusetts.Steve Bartman continues to live in seclusion in the Chicago area. Buckner played for both franchises. The ACLS, and the NCLS of 2003 featured both “cursed” franchises, Boston Red Sox and Cubs. In both of those series, the Red Sox would lose to the dreaded New York Yankees on a home run in an infamous game where star pitcher Pedro Martinez may have been left in too long, and reliever Tim Wakefield gave up the winning home run to Aaron Boone of the Yankees, and once again be haunted by the Yankees, and the Cubs would also be haunted by the Marlins in the aforementioned Bartman incident game.

I thought though that it seemed like it was a bit too much like a documentary. The director was in it too much. I thought someone else should have narrated it. I understood why he brought up Buckner , and the Red Sox, and I know the guy was from Boston, but if Mr. Gibney was going to make a documentary about Bartman, he should keep it about Bartman. He could mention Buckner in passing as another example, but I really didn’t need about 30 minutes of the film dedicated to Buckner. The lack of an interview with Steve Bartman, although considering the circumstances it is understandable, hurt the product. I certainly understand though.

What I DID like was that the director talked to people who were sitting in the surrounding seats, and get the Bartman story from their perspective. I liked hearing their side of the story how they were also going for the ball. The director also showed different footage from other video cameras of the incident from different angles. You also saw his seat. They show from a different angle how the ***hole chant got into the stadium, and the whole scene became a lynch mob. The TV producers did confess that they may have shown it too much.

They felt that it was such an important play. The director also pointed out that they didn’t repeatedly show Alex Gonzalez’ screw up over and over. The movie also went into how Cubs fans are so used to the team losing that they were waiting for something to go wrong, as that night they were very tense. When Bernie Mac sang “Take me out to the ball game, ” he sang “Root root root for the Champions” or something like that…..that is when , according to the documentary, that fans started thinking that they were doomed. I enjoyed how they got different perspectives on what Bartman did. I loved how they showed his little league team who stood up for him. Overall though, I think it was a good study on human behavior, and well worth watching the repeats on ESPN or any of the ESPN affiliates

I am going to end this by giving my opinion on the Steve Bartman incident. I remember when it happened, and watching the documentary just reinforced my beliefs, so here it goes:

I thought the whole Steve Bartman incident, and especially the overreaction to it was ridiculous, and “Catching Hell” did nothing to change my mind. In fact, all the film did was reinforce my beliefs. I mean this guy’s life was destroyed. The Chicago papers put his name and his home and work addresses out in public. The guy got death threats. When he was being escorted down the hallways, some idiot bully took his sweatjacket off his head, and said that he wanted everyone to know who the person was who cost the Cubs a trip to the World Series. My beliefs then as they are now is that I was embarrassed as an MLB fan and as an American.

How can people treat a human being like this? I mean, over a baseball game? Good Lord. People better get their priorities straight. There was no excuse to ruin the guy’s life. Bob Costas really irked me on the film saying Bartman made “a mistake.” What mistake? Going for a ball like some of the OTHER FANS were doing? The TV producers should be ashamed. That “play” wasn’t so important as they thought. The Alex Gonzalez play was much more important. It was a shame that Bartman had to apologize when it should be that then idiot Governor Blogavich who said “If Steve Bartman commits a crime , he won’t get a pardon from this governor.” and those idiot Chicago Cubs fans who should apologize to Bartman. Funny that Blogavich is learning about what a bitch Karma can be. I just thought Bartman didn’t deserve that horrible treatment he got, and still don’t.

As ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd says, “Let’s take the emotion out of it, and calm down.” Let’s examine what actually happened in the game after the incident, and even during the incident, and maybe get this guy off the hook, shall we?

1. The wind, other fans going after the ball, and Moises Alou.

One thing the movie brought up was that as Castillo’s foul ball was going towards the stands and headed down into the stands was that the wind was blowing the ball back towards the infield. The movie also brought up that Alou was not the greatest fielder on the planet. If you watch the Incident, you can see quite a few other fans going for the ball. People who blame the loss solely on Bartman evidently ignore the other fans going for the ball. There was a part in the movie were several circles were drawn around people going for that ball. Moises Alou wasn’t all that as a fielder that I remember. The wind could have blown the ball past Alou’s glove, even IF Bartman had pulled back. Let’s supposed that Bartman pulled back, and Alou does NOT catch the ball. I just what happened next was going to happen. No one told Alou to lose his temper. Can’t blame Bartman. I wonder why the other fans weren’t blamed in this as well. Can’t blame one and not the others. I mean, Bartman can’t be blamed for the wind. He can’t be blamed for the others going after the ball. It is easy to act like God Almighty and tell a fan what they are supposed to do. Until you are in that situation, you do not know what you would do.

2. Mark Prior’s meltdown.

After the incident, Mark Prior started a meltdown which led to him walking Castillo with a wild pitch, and a couple of batters later, giving up a double to Derek Lee which got him out of the game. Well, I would like to know how could Bartman be blamed for that? Prior got THAT distracted by Alou’s hissy fit, or whatever that he could not control his pitches? I don’t see how Bartman can be blamed for that.

3. Alex Gonzalez’ misfielding the ball.

If ANYONE should the so called “Goat” in this game, it should be Gonzalez. Let’s see, he gets a routine grounder that he messes up, that would have been a sure fire double play that would have gotten the Cubs out of the inning? Wow. Instead of THIS error being replayed ad nauseum, it is this poor Bartman guy’s going for a ball. Steve Bartman is the cause of this, how?

4. The 8 run explosion in totality.

The Florida Marlins eventually scored 8 runs after the Bartman incident. The Marlins were there to win the game (and the Series). They kept on hitting, and kept on trying, and took advantage of mistakes made by the Cubs. I just think that the Cubs can’t be that mentally weak that they let some fan in the stands distract them that much. If they are that weak, then they deserve to lose. In other words, the CUBS made the mental mistakes, and such, not Steve Bartman.

Therefore, to paraphrase Vincent Kennedy McMahon, circa 1997, “Steve Bartman didn’t screw the Cubs. The Cubs screwed the Cubs.”

Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/missedgehead

ESPN: Catching Hell DVD

Philadelphia Phillies 2011 NL Eastern Division Champs “5-In-a-Row” Adjustable Cap

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