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Who, Us Bloodthirsty?
Posted on Jan 31, 2011
By Mark Heisler
Deion Sanders, former Dallas et al. great:
“Folks i never question a players injury but i do question a players heart.”
Derrick Brooks, former Tampa Bay linebacker:
“HEY there is no medicine for a guy with no guts and heart.”
Arizona lineman Darnell Dockett:
“If I’m on chicago team jay cutler has to wait till me and the team shower get dressed and leave before he comes in the locker room! #FACT.”
Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew:
“Hey I think the urban meyer rule is effect right now… When the going gets tough….....QUIT.”
Of course, Twitter is one of the foremost ways we have of telling that things aren’t the way they used to be.
What’s the problem with posting a 140-character text on your cellie?
Oh, you mean everyone in the world might see it?
“I never attacked him, called him soft or a sore loser,” Jones-Drew explained lamely.
“I never questioned his toughness. I think people took my joke out of context. I was taking a shot at Florida fans.”
Eschewing technology, some Bear fans burned Cutler jerseys. If they all can’t be blamed for this one, most of them will dog Cutler until he shows he’s a winner, not just by making the playoffs but winning a Super Bowl—or, in other words, the rest of his (presumably brief) time in Chicago.
Not that Chicago has a loser complex, but devouring its own is a local instinct that was taken to new heights, or depths, when Bartman, a fan like they were, not an athlete making millions to reap abuse, was demonized for wrecking the Cubs’ last chance.
Reaching up for Luis Castillo’s foul ball, Bartman got in the way of left fielder Moises Alou when the Cubs, leading the Florida Marlins three games to two, were just a few outs from winning the 2003 NLCS.
The Cubs then lost the game and ultimately the series.
The next time you see a replay, since they’ve never stopped showing it, you can see other fans around Bartman standing and reaching up too, a natural response to a baseball dropping out of the sky over your head.
Bartman just happened to be the one it actually dropped on.
After that, of course, they hounded him out of sight.
The ball was sold at auction for $113,824.16, presented to Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group and publicly detonated by a special effects expert.
The remains were then soaked in Budweiser (Cubs sponsor), boiled and the steam captured, distilled and added to a pasta sauce.
The remains of the ball now are in the sports museum in Harry Caray’s Tavern on Navy Pier, a carnival site in the Loop.
Bartman, himself, went into hiding, at least from the press, protected by his neighbors and co-workers. [Editor’s note: Minor factual corrections concerning the Bartman incident were made in this article after it first appeared in Truthdig on Thursday.]
If he has been largely forgiven, it’s only because fresh meat is served daily.
In an age challenged by separating real life from reality programming or the absurdly heightened reality that comes from merely being on TV, no one seems to want to err on the side of compassion.
Instead, the ability to broadcast and publish worldwide seems to lead to a joy in piling on, as if they envied the William Randolph Hearsts and Rupert Murdochs who got to do it all those years.
Two days before the game, Amy Turek (Twitter handle: thebearschick) defended Cutler against media critics in her blog on Huffington Post.
After the game Turek defended Bears fans burning Cutler’s jersey.
As to this game…
Green Bay has one of the best young quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers; the new hot hunk, linebacker Clay Matthews; and a great defense, but runs the ball sporadically.
Pittsburgh has its own rock-ribbed defense, a better running game and an experienced, high-level quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger’s season started with a suspension for conduct unbecoming to an NFL player, which was better than starting in jail.
Fortunately for him, Wilkinson County didn’t file criminal charges after a Georgia State coed said he sexually assaulted her in a bar while two bodyguards—both off-duty police officers from the Pittsburgh area—refused to let her friends go to her aid.
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