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So I guess it's been ten years today, huh.


the admiral

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Where were you, what was life like?

It was my senior year of high school. Junior year was the meat-grinder year for academics and extracurriculars such that even with like four APs senior year, the whole thing felt like a victory lap. In tearing down the homecoming floats, I somehow got kids to push me around the halls in a shopping cart. I was getting deep into Good Music in that way that 16-year-olds do, which basically just means classic rock on the radio and some entry-level indie, and with dial-up, every 128 kb/s Zeppelin song you downloaded was kind of treasured, not like today where I can nab the entire Uncle Tupelo back catalogue in FLAC and in less time than it takes for me to think of which way I want to call someone here stupid. Anyway, I was just really happy! I was feeling so good about life and school that I had willingly gone to another high school's football game just to be social. I remember coming home from that and flipping between Game 3 and the classic rock station, which at some point was playing "American Pie" with the lyrics about the marching band refusing to yield, which I thought was timely.

So a few days later, I was at the house of a friend I was falling deeply in love with. Turned to her and said "they're just making a big deal out of nothing." Right after that was the E6, at which point it became a something. I paced a lot. She said "oh, I don't like that Farnsworth guy." Turned out to be perceptive. Long trip back home. She and I aren't on speaking terms anymore, not that this was why, even though it would have made for a better anecdote if for some reason I wanted to present myself as someone who contains no multitudes and is nothing more than a function of sports outcomes.

Team somehow sucks more now than it did in the aftermath of the 2003-2004 construction, it doesn't look like it's going to get any better any time soon, and they're covering the park in ugly advertisements so that even if they did win it all, which they won't, they had to sell their soul to do it. But they won't, so who cares! Under Armour Toyota Bud Light Culver's Luna Carpet it's all great baseball has no soul anyway you sentimental jerkoff.

It would have been so fun, you know?

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My dad, mom, brother and myself were all watching in separate rooms. My dad absconded to the garage so as not to have to listen to my mom, who muttered various criticisms of the game as it happened. I isolated myself in the basement.

Every big play or so that was in the Cubs favor we would congregate in the den to celebrate/yell at one another. However after that foul ball it was like something died in all of us. The house grew eerily quiet; the usual ambiance of pacing footsteps mingled with paranoid muttering had ceased. An improvised and late dinner was an unspoken affair. Dad said little, offering no smiles or comfort. We retreated to our posts to think over where we went wrong in our offerings to the baseball gods.

Days later, with the audio from game 7 aftermath poisoning my soul, I took my Cubs shirt and home jersey and gently hung them in my closet, tears streaming down my face. It has been and will likely remain the only time I ever cry over sports.

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So that's why ESPN Classic was playing "Catching Hell" so often these days...

As a non-Cubs fan, I don't have much to add, except to say that "Catching Hell" was a pretty impressive doc. It found fans sitting near the incident, shots from fan cameras (before video phones were common?), and had interesting inside-type stories (like the security guard that sneaked the fan to her house). A lot of fans looked like jackasses in that footage and one even allowed himself to be interviewed and seems not to have changed. I don't think I'd ever really grasped just how bad it was in the immediate aftermath until I saw it. The fan (who has yet to be named in this thread...) has shown more class than most others involved...he could probably be rich by now. I appreciated Eric Karros's input as well.

I will always feel that to whatever extent the meltdown was connected with that play, it would not have happened if Alou hadn't flipped out. That's what allowed the entire building to say "here we go again..."

I know I watched it live, but I don't particularly remember doing so (was I at home? Working out...where I often watch games??). The biggest one-moment memory I have of that series is Kerry Wood's homer the next day (I was on the elliptical). I thought it was over right there. I thought they'd exorcised those demons. I was wrong.

I wonder whether this game will take on a trait of the Miracle On Ice...many think the US won the gold that night. And I wonder how many people by now think this was Game 7.

Where was I? A full-fledged adult, married just less than one month. Man I'm old.

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I remember rooting for the Marlins to win it all in order to make Selig look as bad as possible for essentially rigging the wildcard race that year to expedite the Expos' move to Washington, so in that regard, I was happy with the result (sorry, Cubs fans).

But the combination of Selig not catching nearly enough heat for screwing the Expos over and the Marlins being sold to that scumbag Loria makes me wish I hadn't.

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My older brother and I were cleaning his room when the game was occurring. With all the talk on TV about the curses in Boston and Chicago, I was heavily interested in seeing this series; as for him, there was nothing else on TV to see, so he just happened to put the game on.

I remember that the two of us tried to open a drawer in his cabinet that was stuck, but couldn't. After a couple of minutes of trying, we decided to take a breather. When the 8th inning began, he decided to use the toilet because the Cubs had a comfortable lead. Tired of waiting for him, I opted to try opening the drawer myself, and succeeded (turns out a ruler was jamming the sliding process).

Then the most eerie coincidence occurred; about five seconds after getting the drawer unstuck, the Bartman play happened. At that point, I'm thinking to myself, "this could be big." What unfolded, however, was probably the most torturous half-inning of baseball I've ever seen. I didn't think the play would be that big of a deal. But my God was I wrong.

Needless to say, my brother came back from his toilet break just in time to see the Alex Gonzalez error, which further kept the inning alive. When we both saw the Marlins post 8 runs in that 8th inning, he blamed Gonzalez. He didn't see the Bartman play until the next morning, when all the TV shows were making a huge deal about it.

And that's what happened to me on October 14, 2003. Oddly enough, I still use that same cabinet and drawer today.

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That was a strange time for me as a baseball fan. It was the first year after the Giants had that terrible collapse in the World Series vs the Angels, so I was on sorta shaky terms with baseball as it was. The Giants winning 100 games during the 2003 season definitely helped ease the pain, but when they blew it vs the Marlins I wanted ANYONE to beat them. Add the fact that it was vs the Cubs and I was on that bandwagon pretty hard. After the Bartman game I actually burned the Marlins cap I had from Pony League the year before. That ended up being the only year I didn't watch a single second of the World Series. I remember coming home from my grandmothers house and turning on SportsCenter to Jack Mackeon smoking a cigar and soaked in champagne and actually being shocked I had unintentionally avoided the entire series.

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Where was I? That day, I was in kindergarten :) I will be watching the clip on YouTube here in a minute. I only saw a few seconds of that moment through commercials of the 30 for 30 film.

EDIT: Just watched parts 4 & 5/10 of 30 for 30's Catching Hell. Dang. Poor guy.

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So you wanted to stick it to Bud Selig over the Expos deal...by rooting for the primary beneficiary of the Expos deal?

Well, at the time, I was hoping that the beneficiary of said screwjob winning it all would actually get the media to do their jobs and criticize Selig for it. After all, a champion was crowned that probably wouldn't even have gotten to play for it without blatant meddling from the commissioner. That's a pretty big deal and one that has flown under the radar in puzzling fashion. Sure, there were a couple articles at the time when Selig banned the Expos from making call-ups about how it was a conflict of interest, but it's been nowhere near the permanent stain on his legacy that it should be.

I mean, David Stern has been perenially ripped to shreds for the mere perception of his league being rigged, and even he hasn't stooped as low as Selig did with the Expos!

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I'm neither a Cubs fan or a Marlins fan, and this was still something to behold. Flowery prose ahoy!

My dad had been an Expos fan for as long as the team had been around, being a Jewish Anglophone growing up in Montreal. His father, my grandfather, even owned a very small percentage of the team at the beginning. My grandfather sold his tiny share in the Expos long before I was born, and I grew up in southern Ontario, so I had no real attachment to the team. Still they were my dad's team. And he loved baseball almost as much as hockey.

My dad, through the 90s and early 2000s, would always brush aside rumours that the team was moving. Yet this was the year that he finally broke. It was clear the Expos were a dead franchise walking, and he just stopped caring about baseball that season.

As for me? I was just starting grade 10. I had AP history that year, and was more then a bit terrified that it would end up consuming my life. I even quit hockey and baseball for the year to focus. Still, I found it less all-consuming then I thought it would be. As I emerged from that haze of dread I began paying attention to the MLB postseason. And the two LCS were very interesting. This was a year before the Red Sox would break their World Series drought, so the thought of them playing the Cubs in the World Series seemed immensely cool to me. My dad even bought into that hype, despite the Expos' assured move to Washington. The pre-2004 Red Sox vs the Cubs in the World Series? You'd have to hate the mythology of baseball to root against that. The fact that the Cubs were playing the Marlins of all teams probably helped my dad get invested.

And then it happened. I remember my dad saying "well that's that" after the game. He knew that the Cubs were done. Instead of a Cubs/Red Sox Series that would have probably gone down as one of the greatest of all time we got to see a 1990s expansion team benefiting from the systematic dismantling of a civic institution in Montreal play the G-ddamn Yankees in a series that most people just couldn't give a crap about.

The Marlins would go on to win it all that year, and my dad wrote off baseball for good.

Congratulations Jeffrey Loriam Bud Selig, Steve Bartman, and the Florida/Miami Marlins. You killed my dad's love for baseball.

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So you wanted to stick it to Bud Selig over the Expos deal...by rooting for the primary beneficiary of the Expos deal?

Well, at the time, I was hoping that the beneficiary of said screwjob winning it all would actually get the media to do their jobs and criticize Selig for it. After all, a champion was crowned that probably wouldn't even have gotten to play for it without blatant meddling from the commissioner. That's a pretty big deal and one that has flown under the radar in puzzling fashion. Sure, there were a couple articles at the time when Selig banned the Expos from making call-ups about how it was a conflict of interest, but it's been nowhere near the permanent stain on his legacy that it should be.

I mean, David Stern has been perenially ripped to shreds for the mere perception of his league being rigged, and even he hasn't stooped as low as Selig did with the Expos!

The whole "Selig sabotaged teh Expos!!" thing is one of the most ridiculous arguments ever. On the morning of September 1, 2003, the Marlins had a record of 73-63 and were in the lead for the Wildcard. They were three whole games ahead of the Expos, who were in FIFTH PLACE. You act as if the Expos had a 10 game lead, and collapsed because they were so exhausted by not being allowed to send in AAers to pinch run. C'mon. What Selig did was maybe sleazy, but it had no influence at all on the outcome of that season. The Marlins won the wilcard with a record of 91-71, and the Expos finished 8 games behind. To top the Marlins, the Expos would have had to ride those all-important September call-ups to a 22-3 record.

As for my story, I was always a White Sox fan, but at the time I was a dreaded "Chicago fan" who followed and rooted for both teams. I was away at college, and was working 5-10 that night. We weren't busy, so I got to go home early, at 8:30, I believe. As I drove back to my dorm, I turned on the radio to hear consternation. I had just missed the Bartman play. The announcer was talking about what happened, and from what I remember, made it sound like it was a pretty easy catch by Alou. A few hits later, I'm thinking "just get out of the inning", and then the Alex Gonzalez play happens. Of course, Santo was being Santo, but Pat Hughes, who is normally professional, let it get the best of him. There was definitely a sense of "oh my God, it's happening again. We'll be talking about this for years" in his broadcasting. Anyway, I parked my car and walked the 10 minutes back to my dorm, only to see that the Marlins had put up an 8 spot that inning. The next day, although I was still positive, pretty much everybody felt defeated, as if that was game 7. I think the game 7 loss came as a shock to nobody.

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I remember watching the game and laughing after the Cubs blew it (I was rooting for the Marlins since Jack McKeon was awesome). But then I felt guilty when they lost Game 7 since one of my friends I just got back in touch with was a Cubs fan. I sent him an email after the series ended and he took it all in stride: "That's just what the Cubs do."

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*Cue obligatory Cubs' fan Bartman thread post* :grin:

My story doesn't differ much from some of the stories told here already, but my dad's story is pretty unbelievable. The events of his story are 100% true.

So my dad has been a Cubs' fan since early adulthood. He's watched dozens upon dozens of Cubs' games from the Wrigley Field bleachers, and he's stayed true to his Cubbies through thick and thin. A true diehard, and as you're about to find out a remarkably unlucky individual.

He'd had a history with weird Cubs related incidents in the past. There was the time he was away from his apartment during the NLCS of 1984. He listened to the Cubs lose a decisive Game 5 to the Padres on the radio during the car ride home, only to find the formerly live and growing Wrigley Field ivy he'd plucked from the outfield wall earlier in the season shriveled up and dead behind the TV it had previously been growing atop of as a result of a party his roommate had thrown while he was gone.

Now flashing forward to the dawn of October 14, 2003. My father, an avid runner since his teenage years, was on one of hundreds of pre-work runs through our suburban Maryland neighborhood. He's undoubtably thinking about the game tonight as he runs; as a man who has sat through as many Cubs games as he has and has never seen his team in the World Series, the thought of a World Series berth is simply unbelievable. Just then, he notices a black cat crossing the road in front of him. He considers turning around, so as not to cross the cat's path, but the following thought goes through his head: "things that happen to fans do not affect the outcome of Major League Baseball games." He crosses the cat's path and keeps running. And, as we all know, later that same night, something that happens to a fan does affect the outcome of a Major League Baseball game, the Cubs lose Game 6 and Game 7 the next night, and the Marlins advance to the World Series.

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At that time, we had the treadmill towards the back of the living room at my parents place, so I was watching it unfold. I mean, you kind of can't, considering the lure of a sports team pretty damn close to getting to the championship for the first time in 48 years. However, watching the dismantling afterwards was pretty enjoyable for me, a Sox fan, mainly because I was going to be envious as hell that not only would the Cubs break their drought first, but I'd have to put up with the moronic fans rubbing it in my face.

Who would've predicted though that the Cubs could've won '03, Boston gets '04 and the White Sox get '05? I mean, you just can't write :censored: like that.

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So that's why ESPN Classic was playing "Catching Hell" so often these days...

As a non-Cubs fan, I don't have much to add, except to say that "Catching Hell" was a pretty impressive doc. It found fans sitting near the incident, shots from fan cameras (before video phones were common?), and had interesting inside-type stories (like the security guard that sneaked the fan to her house). A lot of fans looked like jackasses in that footage and one even allowed himself to be interviewed and seems not to have changed. I don't think I'd ever really grasped just how bad it was in the immediate aftermath until I saw it. The fan (who has yet to be named in this thread...) has shown more class than most others involved...he could probably be rich by now. I appreciated Eric Karros's input as well.

I will always feel that to whatever extent the meltdown was connected with that play, it would not have happened if Alou hadn't flipped out. That's what allowed the entire building to say "here we go again..."

I know I watched it live, but I don't particularly remember doing so (was I at home? Working out...where I often watch games??). The biggest one-moment memory I have of that series is Kerry Wood's homer the next day (I was on the elliptical). I thought it was over right there. I thought they'd exorcised those demons. I was wrong.

I wonder whether this game will take on a trait of the Miracle On Ice...many think the US won the gold that night. And I wonder how many people by now think this was Game 7.

Where was I? A full-fledged adult, married just less than one month. Man I'm old.

I remember watching Miracle. If you're old, I'm Methuselah.

Do Cubs fans still view that series with such...angst?

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Congratulations Jeffrey Loriam Bud Selig, Alex Gonzales/Moisés Alou, and the Florida/Miami Marlins. You killed my dad's love for baseball.

Fixed it for ya.

It still sickens me the amount of pure hate Bartman had to endure when he was doing what every other fan would have done (and every fan around him was doing). And hell yes Moisés deserves part of the blame. Whether he would have caught it or not is irrelevant. But if he hadn't thrown such a temper tantrum, I don't think the play would have gotten the scrutiny it did. Even reading about it ten years later makes me think those "fans" who flew off the handle deserve another 100+ year drought. Apologies to most Cubs fans who don't deserve that.

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I was an unbelievably awkward high school sophomore who cared far too much about sports living with my parents and I wanted nothing more than to see the Cubs and Red Sox face each other in the World Series. I was glued to every pitch of the LCS's that October. I haven't watched the baseball playoffs that intently before or since. The Yankees-Marlins world series matchup was so unappealing I only watched the last two innings of game 6 and that was only because I walked past a TV that had the game on.

My uncle has lived in Chicago for my entire life so my family was pulling hard for the Cubs. I remember the Bartman play, and thinking it was no big deal but I remember best was seeing replay after replay and then they kept cutting back to Bartman as things got worse and worse. I felt horrible for the guy as it was happening, but I honestly thought Gonzalez was going to become the infamous Leon Durham goat in the wake of that game. I can't believe he doesn't get more of the wrath than he does. I guess the story of a simple fan like you or me with the doofustacular name of Steve Bartman f***ing things up was just too juicy, too operatic to pass up and so our collective conscience almost immediately pointed straight at the dork in the green turtleneck.

After the 8 run inning my uncle called my dad and said, "this city is going to implode. There's no way they win tomorrow night."

Game 7 was like watching a car accident that you knew was going to happen.

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The Lt. Colonel said: Where were you, what was life like?

It was my senior year of high school. Junior year was the meat-grinder year for academics and extracurriculars such that even with like four APs senior year, the whole thing felt like a victory lap. In tearing down the homecoming floats, I somehow got kids to push me around the halls in a shopping cart. I was getting deep into Good Music in that way that 16-year-olds do, which basically just means classic rock on the radio and some entry-level indie, and with dial-up, every 128 kb/s Zeppelin song you downloaded was kind of treasured, not like today where I can nab the entire Uncle Tupelo back catalogue in FLAC and in less time than it takes for me to think of which way I want to call someone here stupid. Anyway, I was just really happy! I was feeling so good about life and school that I had willingly gone to another high school's football game just to be social. I remember coming home from that and flipping between Game 3 and the classic rock station, which at some point was playing "American Pie" with the lyrics about the marching band refusing to yield, which I thought was timely.

So a few days later, I was at the house of a friend I was falling deeply in love with. Turned to her and said "they're just making a big deal out of nothing." Right after that was the E6, at which point it became a something. I paced a lot. She said "oh, I don't like that Farnsworth guy." Turned out to be perceptive. Long trip back home. She and I aren't on speaking terms anymore, not that this was why, even though it would have made for a better anecdote if for some reason I wanted to present myself as someone who contains no multitudes and is nothing more than a function of sports outcomes.

Team somehow sucks more now than it did in the aftermath of the 2003-2004 construction, it doesn't look like it's going to get any better any time soon, and they're covering the park in ugly advertisements so that even if they did win it all, which they won't, they had to sell their soul to do it. But they won't, so who cares! Under Armour Toyota Bud Light Culver's Luna Carpet it's all great baseball has no soul anyway you sentimental jerkoff.

It would have been so fun, you know?

You are one spectacularly strange cat - and I mean that in the best possible way. I love it. B)

Anyway, I actually believed the Cubs would move past it all and win game seven. I really did.

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