To Chicago’s infamous “grabby fan:” welcome to your fifteen minutes of fame.
Less than a week after an overly enthustiastic Cubs fan deflected a foul pop hit by Florida’s Luis Castillo, allowing the Marlins to come back and win the game (and eventually the playoff series), Revolution Studios (owned by 20th Century Fox, the same company that broadcasts major league baseball) has accepted a pitch for a movie based on the fan’s experiences according to cnn.com.
Chicago Cubs fans have been waiting for over fifty years for their team to return to the World Series (the Cubs haven’t won the Series since 1908), and because the fan deflected what might have been a key out, he has become Chicago’s latest villain. Several Chicago papers also released the fan’s name (when I first saw the fan’s last name, Bartman, I immediately thought of Bart Simpson’s alter ego, which somehow seems apt), forcing him to change his phone number and basically go into hiding.
As Jason points out, the collective frustration of Cubs fans has produced some strong reactions (including an elected official who’d like to see the “grabby fan” exiled to Alaska). To be honest, I’m apparently one of the few people outside of south Florida who was cheering for the Marlins, mostly because of my own sour grapes. But when I lived near Chicago during graduate school (in both Illinois and Indiana), I generally preferred the White Sox instead of the Cubs. I think it was their outsider status, the fact that the Cubs generally received a lot more press in the city’s newspapers.
Anyway, I hope “grabby fan” endures (“enjoys” might be too much to ask) his brief fame. After all, as Cubs fans know well, there’s always next year, and with their talented pitchers, I think the Cubs will be competitive for a long time.