Friday, April 18, 2008

An Open Letter to Marty Brennaman

Dear Mr. Brennaman,

This letter is regarding your recent comments during a Cincinnati Reds radio telecast in which you asserted that Chicago Cubs fans are "the most obnoxious fans in baseball."

I cannot stand idly by while you carelessly hurl insults at me and my ilk. As a lifelong Cubs fan and a regular member of the Wrigley Field faithful, I take your comments personally and find them both offensive and illogical.

While I agree that the actions of the 15 fans who threw baseballs on the field to protest a Reds home run were regrettable, I can't believe that you would generalize the character of the entire Cubs Fan Nation on the basis of a handful of hooligans.

You said the behavior was "typical of Chicago Cubs fans." If this were typical, wouldn't Wrigley have major security problems every time 40,000 fans streamed through the gates? If memory serves, it was a different Chicago baseball club that famously and repeatedly had trouble keeping its fans in line. Throwing balls on to the field is unnecessary, but it's a far cry from the uncontrolled chaos of a Disco Demolition Night or a Ten Cent Beer Night (to cite an example from your team's home state).

It's true that Wrigley Field is routinely filled with a contingent of idiotic yuppies who gab on their cell phones while swigging their $8 beers. They get drunk, take off their shirts and pay attention to everything except the action on the field.

But these are not Cubs fans.

They might be wearing (or not wearing, depending on the inning) an Aramis Ramirez jersey, but they couldn't tell you that Ramirez was acquired in an exciting mid-season trade in 2003. They have no clue that your own son was once the play-by-play voice of the Cubs in the early 1990s. They have no history, and Cubs fans are uniquely defined by their thick-and-thin history with the team. These grown-up frat boys are sitting at Wrigley because it's the thing to do and there's a good chance that their friends might see them on TV. Every sporting event has this class of customer and the Cubs are unfortunately blessed with more than their share, thanks to the team's humunguous fanbase and national exposure. However, none of this changes the character of the true Cubs fan, who will root, root, root for the Cubbies regardless of the standings. How can you be so blindly judgmental?

Your self-righteous "apology" to true Cubs fans was immediately rendered null and void when it was followed by your assertion that Cardinals fans are "hands down the best fans in baseball." Are you consciously trying to raise the collective ire of everyone who bleeds Cubbie Blue? It's working. You've managed to momentarily take the heat off of previous Cublic Enemy Number One, Sam Zell.

I can't believe that you actually stand by the majority of the claims you made. They are ludicrous and baseless, as any random sampling of Friendly Confine fans would quickly prove. I hope you will soon come to your senses, fully apologize for the hateful aspects of your comments and stop raining on the possibilities of a postseason parade. Cubs fans aren't wishing ill fortune on the Reds. To use your words, the Reds can only "blame themselves" for that.

I must reiterate that you have taken on a formidable foe, as true Cubs fans are nothing if not indomitable. We have a 100-year history of dealing with criticism and responding to haters. You've got our attention, but you haven't gotten our goat. (And, no, real Cubs fans don't believe in that goat nonsense, either. At least we can agree on how "silly" that is.)

I'll save you a bleacher seat at the 2008 World Series at Wrigley. But if you catch a Cubs' home run ball, you better not throw it back.


A Real Cubs Fan

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perfect timing!