August 11, 2008
Two Cubs observations for the price of one ...
1. In the multitude of articles on the life of Bernie Mac, it's been interesting to note just how often his singing of Take Me Out To The Ball Game during Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS gets noted. As you might know, Mac was a noted White Sox fan and his premature trumpeting of the Cubs as champs as they were leading the Marlins sometimes serves as a minor scapegoat in the Cubs' '03 collapse.
... Bernie Mac. He's one of many people for whom Steve Bartman quietly suffers. Mac sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. He exuberantly referred to the Cubs as "champions" six outs too early. Not many franchises can shrug off that sort of karmic gaffe; the Cubs certainly couldn't.
Stupid? Sure ... But it still makes me happy to see Mac having such a great time playing up to a crowd, which was his great gift in life. His 'role' in the collapse has become a fun footnote, though I'm sure sad it tragically became a footnote to his life so soon.
2. You may have seen the news where a 104-year-old suburban Cubs fan is campaigning for the chance to throw out the first pitch before a Cubs' playoff game. Deadspin wants the Cubs to give him a shot while Fanhouse says the team "couldn't possibly deny him."
I guess I have no compelling evidence as to why Leo Hillebrand shouldn't be able to throw out a first pitch at a playoff game and I understand that campaigns start earlier and earlier these days. (By my count, Barack Obama started this run for president six months before I was born.)
But despite their dominance this season, we're talking about the Cubs here, why jinx them? More importantly, we're talking about a 104-year-old man making the demand, too. Why jinx his health?
File this one under something that needs to be revisited when the magic number is down to zero.