Come on Chicago, show a little class

By The Columbia Chronicle

Rob Steva

Sports Editor

We all know that the Cubs’ season ended a month too soon. And we all know that the team improved itself and moved up a notch in terms of talent, yet there is work to be done. So like most other Cub fans, something is still bothering me and I feel the need to talk about next year now.

It’s almost certain that somewhere along the way while you were young, you participated in some type of youth sport. Over time you may have developed a passion and respect for the game and learned to appreciate the fans and players. However, if you grew up in New York, where the word ‘respect’ holds about the same amount of truth as Patrick Ewing’s annual preseason guarantees.

What I’m talking about is that Chicagoans, Cub fans in particular, are of a distinct breed who are knowledgeable, faithful and respectful to the game. However, several weeks back I attended what would be the final regular season game for the Cubs. You remember, the one game playoff for the wild card spot against the San Francisco Giants. The game included several thrilling moments which left almost every fan at the edge of their seat. Still there were those who felt it necessary to rebel against the favorable traditions of Chicago and Wrigley Field.

Following a dramatic Gary Gaetti home run, a group of drunken “bleacher bums” littered the field with garbage (which is becoming a new tradition at Wrigley) and delayed the game much to the dismay of baseball and Chicago. As innings passed and beer flowed, they decided to destroy a tribute-like balloon of Harry Caray, which surfaced just above the outfield wall. Finally, near the conclusion of the game, one of the “rebels” hopped the outfield fence and proceeded to run across the field only to be tackled to the ground by stadium security. What makes this even more painful is the fact that the game was televised nationally. It’s tough to figure out why they acted this way. Perhaps it was for nothing more than attention. Well, they got my attention.

“It’s the most fun I’ve ever had in my life,” said Mark Grace. Yes, we all had fun. The Cubs gave us so much to be proud of this season and what do we do? Embarrass them, and ourselves, in front of the entire country. In this city there is no such thing as a “Bronx cheer,” or fans booing legends such as Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris — never has, never will be. So why stoop to that level of unprofessionalism? Can you imagine booing Michael Jordan or Walter Payton?

Chicago has created a desirable image that other major sporting cities could only dream of. Our reputation and history of fan support goes far beyond that of any other city, which is exactly why there is still work to be done. The Chicago Cubs organization needs to realize the significance of this city’s reputation and beef up security in the bleachers by either ejecting or arresting anyone with such disruptive behavior. It’s certain that this method of consequence will restore the wholesome image that once was the “Friendly Confine” of Wrigley Field.