Josh Meredith's Blog


Steve Bartmen, The Cubs, The Red Sox and random thoughts that I will write about to pass the time at work

Posted in My own by Joshua on the September 30, 2011

Okay, not really knowing where to start here, I am going to start by telling you that I don’t really know where to start other than it is 6:35, I am working here at the circulation desk in the library, and my Fundamentals of Journalism teacher just walked past the window with his wife and I assume his dog though I couldn’t see it. I make this assumption based on the fact that it looked like he had a plastic poop bag in his back pocket and a blue leash in his left hand (the kind that wind up like a tape measure).

Anyway, on Tuesday night I watched the ESPN 30 for 30 films documentary on Steve Bartman called Catching Hell. I watched, for the most part, the whole thing. For those of you who don’t know who Steve Bartman is…well you need to get a life that involves a little bit of sports…I mean come on. He is the most well known fan in the world. But, ill explain anyways that Bartman was a die hard Chicago Cubs fan. So die hard that he bought 3 tickets to Wrigley Field (one for him, one for his brother, and one for his brothers girlfriend) to the National League Championship Series (NLCS) game six. The Cubs were looking to wrap up their first trip to the World Series since 1945. I remember watching this game live because my dad is a Cubs fan. The Cubs were ahead of the Florida Marlins 3-0 in the top of the eighth inning and were just five outs away from victory with their Cy Young candidate pitcher, Mark Pryor on the mound, when Luis Castillo, second basemen for the Marlins, hit a fly ball down the line in left. If it were not for the wind blowing from left field to right field, the ball would have been well foul. Instead, the wind gave Mouses Alou, Cubs left fielder, a chance to make a play. (Quick side note: Wrigley Field has almost not foul ground territory. In other words the bleachers are right over the field.) Alou and about 10 fans all reached for the ball at the same time. Unfortunately, Bartman’s outreached hands were the first to touch the ball. The ball bounced away in the stands. Alou went crazy, throwing his arms around in a temper-tantrum like fury and yelling Spanish swear words at Bartman from the field below.

From that point on the Cubs fell apart. A walk, past ball, many Marlin hits, and a Cubs error later brought the score from 3-0 to 3-8. The fans, not wanting to believe what they were seeing, need a scapegoat for the collapse on the field. (Quick Side note #2: Wrigley Field also know as the Friendly Confines, was packed that night being that Cubs fans were starved for a World Series appereance. At least 42 thousand in the stands and an estimated 20 thousand standing on Waveland and Shefield Ave. ) So they turned their attention to Bartman and thus the Friendly Confines entered its darkest hour. The chant of ASSHOLE! ASSHOLE! ASSHOLE! and the pointing of fingers rained down on Bartman as he sat there. tens of thousands of voices rang out ASSHOLE! ASSHOLE!

Bartman was not the most intimidating man. In fact, he looked like a nerd sitting their in the stands. He was wearing the shirt of the Little League Team he coached, a green scarf, classes, a Cubs hat, and headphones, but not cool head phones like ear buds or Beats by Dre. More like the head phones from a 1985 Sony Walk-men.

As if the chants of ASSHOLE! ASSHOLE! and the pointing of fingers was not enough, the fans started throwing beer, pizza, popcorn, hotdogs, brats, pretzels, nachos, and pop at Barman. Videos that surfaced later picked up people from all over the stadium yelling things like, “Lets F*cking kill that guy!!” and “I hope you F*cking rot in hell!” and “Go stick a 12 gauge in your mouth and pull the trigger!”

Bartman had to be escorted out of the stadium by security before the game was over for his safety. He was taken to a security office in Wrigley where officers changed his identity so he could be sneaked out of the stadium. After the game in the streets below, fans held up signs reading, “Let’s kill that fan!”

That’s all he was to everybody was a fan. Nobody knew his name was Steve Bartman. The Cubs still had a game the following night where they could still clinch the series and go to the World Series. Then, one person idiotically released the identity of the mysterious man and Steve Bartman became the name above all other names that this generation of Cub fans will remember.

The Cubs went on to lose in game 7 in almost as dramatic of fashion, but the whole game was almost a side note to the Bartman story. Bartman could not go to work for weeks, as many as six police officers had to sit outside his house day and night to protect him. Many speculated that he changed his identity, others speculated that he moved out of Chicago or change his name. Neither of these things happened because no one would be able to recognize him if he wasn’t wearing a green scarf, Cubs hat, and head phones.

This sad story still continues today. Few people would be able to pick him out of a crowd if he was not wearing the outfit he was wearing that night. He has been able to go back to work but just wants to live his life in obscurity. He has to constantly change is phone number to avoid harassing calls. He has a lawyer team now which is crazy if you think about it. He has turned down hundreds of thousands (some people estimate millions) of dollars hat he has been offered to do interviews, commercials, and autograph signs. He is still a die hard Cubs fan.

Many Cubs fans still think they are cursed by the “Curse of the Billy Goat.” Google it if you want more information on it. In my opinion, the whole Cubs organization should reach out to Bartman and invite him into the Cubs family. Let him throw out an opening pitch, give him box seats for a whole season, and support him as a true, die hard Cubs fan in the media. Unfortunately, I don’t feel Cubs fans will let Bartman off the hook until the Cubs win the World Series, which they have been waiting for since 1908.

Where do the Red Sox come in to all this? Well, the Red Sox and the Cubs used to be compared to one another because because they were both lovable losers. The Red Sox had a streak with out a World Series crown that was only 10 years shorter than the Cubs. The Red Sox had their own Bartmen incident when Bill Buckner let a ball go right through his legs in game six the 1986 World Series when the New York Mets were down to their final out. Buckner and his family received death threats and other unfair treatment until the Red Sox finally won the World Series in 2004 and 2007.

Today, the Boston Red Sox are not looked at as lovable losers. Instead, they are looked at as an Evil Empire just like the New York Yankees. Evil Empire means they are a team that spends money with reckless abandon. Instead of developing talents, they buy talent. Yesterday, the Red Sox lost the wild card race to the Tampa Bay Rays. This should never happen because Sox payroll is 170 million more than the Rays. Since 2004, the Red Sox have gotten away from their core values, and today they are the laughing stock of Major League Baseball.

I want to end this long blog post with the end of columnist Ryan Rudnansky’s September 28, 2011 article “Steve Bartman: Have Sports Fans Learned from Wrigley Field Debacle?”

“After what happened in Wrigley Field, that day should have taught sports fans a lesson: again, that no fan should receive the kind of treatment and harassment Bartman did.

But you wonder if anyone got the message.

Bartman was pelted with drinks, peanuts and other debris and eventually had to be escorted from game from stadium security for his own protection—but later turned into a manhunt outside the stadium. Police were forced to sit and watch over his home following the death threats, and struggled mightily for a return to normalcy.

Remember Bill Buckner, the former Red Sox first baseman who let a ball go through his legs in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series? Sure, he was forgiven to an extent, but it only happened because the Red Sox were finally able to capture two championships since.

If they hadn’t, Buckner would still receive death threats to this day, let alone get to throw out a first pitch at Fenway Park.

Bartman? Not so much. He’s not off the hook yet; not until the Cubs win a World Series of their own. And it’s sad. His name will forever live in infamy for being an innocent fan who happened to get in the way.

San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow, a paramedic and father of two, has just started speaking after getting savagely beaten outside Dodgers Stadium on Opening Day.

Outside Candlestick Park in an NFL preseason game between the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders, two fans, a 24-year-old and a 20-year-old, were shot in separate incidents, and a 26-year-old man was beaten unconscious inside a stadium bathroom.

When will we learn, folks? When will we learn that sports aren’t life and death?

There have been so many sad moments because of overreaction to a simple game. We watch sports because they are our outlet from the stresses of the world. Since when have sports fans become so misguided?

There are plenty of lessons to be learned spanning sports history.

When will we begin to come around?

 

 

 

 

News Comment 5

Posted in News Comments by Joshua on the September 29, 2011

There is no better way for a city to make money than to fine people because they wear their pants to low. In places all over the United States, people, generally young males, like to wear their pants way below their waists. Some people find this to be a fashion statement, while other find it to be flat out disgusting. My brother told me a story once where he was in Iowa City at a Kentucky Fried Chicken eating a delicious meal of fried unhealthy food, when a man walked up to the counter to order. According to my brother, his whole bare ass was hanging out of his pants because he probably thought he looked cool.

Last November, the city of Albany, Georgia decided to do something about the young people who wear their “Saggy Pants” like this. They decided to fine first time offenders $25, and multiple time offenders $200 if their pants were worn “three inches below the top of the hips exposing skin or undergarments.” Albany officials have given out 187 citations and collected over $4000 since last November. Other cities are probably taking notice to see if Albany is successful with their new law. Skateboarders, ballers, and rappers beware, your dress habits may start to cost you.


www.indianasnewscenter.com/news/local/130791303.html

Scavenger Hunt: State Quarter

Posted in Uncategorized by Joshua on the September 29, 2011

I walked into the Morningside College Bookstore seeing no one in sight. From behind me, a meek voice asked, “Can I help you find something?” I turned around to see a fairly short, black haired girl wearing a green shirt and black sweat pants walk my way. With little hesitation knowing I have to get this done one way or another I asked, “Do you have a state quarter that I can trade you?”

“Ya, just a second.” was her only response as she turned around and headed towards an office. She asked a man in the office my question which he didn’t understand at first so I had to repeat it.

“Oh! a state quarter,” responded the grey haired, short man in a ah-ha sort of way. He continued to say, “I have been asked many questions but never this one.” He proceeded to the cash register and examined a quarter for a long time. He finally came to the conclusion that is was a state quarter and he looked up to say, “How bout Arizona?”

“That will work!” was my response. “Thank you.”

The trade was done with little effort and so in order to complete this assignment, I asked the two workers for their name. The girls name was Jasmine and the man happened to be a Duane.

Newt Gingrich (R)

Posted in Uncategorized by Joshua on the September 28, 2011

Newt Gingrich, republican presidential candidate and former speaker of the house visited Morningside College last Tuesday asking for voters “to be with me not for me.”

Walking away from the Yocky Room that day, I was impressed by how smart and charming Mr. Gingrich was. He knew his stuff, he has experience, he used catchy lines like “pay stubs vs pay checks”, and he added dashes of humor with comments like: “When I am elected president, I want to sell President Obama’s Canadian buses that are flown form city to city.”

All Gingrich wants is a chance to be the republican representative running against Mr. Obama come the elections next fall, which he feels he can win due to his self proclaimed ability to no doubt out debate the president. The funny thing for me was, by zoning out all the self confidence and just listening to his words, he sure sounded like he could take our president behind the woodshed in a debate. His talks of his early political years with Regan and writing a new 21st Century Contract and reducing the powers of Washington were music to the ears of the 100 or so people who sat in the Yocky Room. But that may be just the problem. He was, for the most part, preaching to the choir.

The people in the Yocky Room loved him. But that was to be expected since they were out of their own free will, taking time out off from work to be there. None the less, they ate up every word he spoke like it was grandma’s fine cooking on a Sunday after church. They laughed, they cheered, and they nodded their heads in agreement with every promising change he plans on bringing to Washington once elected president.

Yet, despite all the confidence he projected to the audience, there had to be a point for everyone there in the Yocky Room to think this same thought, “does this guy really even have the slightest chance or being the republican nominee.” He said himself that he is not going to be able to raise as much money for his campaign as other candidates in the republican party will. Also, in order to get to the White House he would also have to dodge minefields and pot holes for his past like a variety of affairs, giving his wife divorce papers while she was battling cancer, and missteps as speaker of the house.Yes, he won over a friendly, supportive crowd that wanted to be there. A crowd that one could guess was at least 95 percent republican, Gingrich supporters. But, could he win over a nation that in the last mock polling was giving him only ten percent of the republican vote (18% behind leading candidate Perry).

In spite of this less than idealistic past and his less than stellar chance of pulling off a huge upset and being elected as the republican parties nominee, Gingrich shined standing up there, and with many more performances across the county with promises like the ones he made on Tuesday, we may see this dark horse get his wish and debate President Obama for the right to be the president of this great country.

 

(Now I am going to base some opinions which I didn’t included in my article for different, probably obvious reasons.)

Though I have never nor ever will have the desire to vote for a very long time for a multitude of reasons, (reasons like the two party system has ruined politics. Everyone for the most part just votes for their party. Republicans will always vote for the republican candidate as democrats will do the same for their party. The candidates themselves can’t have a mind of their own, they have to believe what their party believes. On top of this, every politician is full of flip flops, lies. and empty promises. Anyone reading can help make this point for me by thinking back to all the promises Obama made in the last election about change and how he was going to turn the economy and this country around and how it has only gotten worse) I do believe Gingrich would make an excellent president for the United States of America, but not good enough to go out and actually vote for him or anyone else for that matter.

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News Comment 4

Posted in News Comments by Joshua on the September 23, 2011

If you are on death row and your date for execution is coming up fast, don’t expect the last meal of your dreams the night before your execution. After Lawrence Russell Brewer, who was executed Wednesday for the hate crime slaying of James Byrd Jr. more than 10 years ago, asked for “two chicken fried steaks, a triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, fried okra, a pound of barbecue, three fajitas, a meat lover’s pizza, a pint of ice cream and a slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts” and then didn’t eat any of it. After a few letters and comments back and forth, Texas officals aggreed that the men and women on death row do not deserve special treatment on their final night. They will get to eat what everyone else in their unit is served. Brewer, was a white supremacist gang member. He was put on death row because he was convicted of chaining James Byrd Jr, 49, to the back of a pickup truck and dragging him to his death along a road. “Mr. Byrd didn’t get to choose his last meal. The whole deal is so illogical.”

The whole last meal before execution thing has been going on for quite a long time. In my opinion, if a state wants to offer a last meal, they should set a cap on how much money the meal cost. In this case, $15 should be enough. Tax payers should not be happy about this Brewer guy who probably ordered over $100 of food. It will be interesting to see if other states follow suit or if they continue to keep their last meal for people about to executed the same that they have always had it.

 

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News Comment 3

Posted in News Comments by Joshua on the September 15, 2011

This week on Monday Night Football, Tom Brady passed for a New England Patriots record 517 yards. Though that was very impressive, that is not what I am writing about. During the game Chad Ochocinco, Patriots wide receiver, was only involved in 18 plays and only had one reception for 14 yards because he dosen’t understand the play book yet. The day after the Patriots win, Chad Ochocinco tweeted this, “Just waking up after a late arrival,I’ve never seen a machine operate like that n person,to see video game numbers put up n person was WOW”. Later that day, Ochocinco got torn into by Tedi Bruschi (former Patriot line backer). Basically Tedi said that instead of waking up late, he should be at the stadium watching film and going over the play book. Instead of being in aw on the sideline, Chad should have been a part of the game. Then, NBC Sports reported that Rodney Harrison, former Patriot and teammate of Tedi Bruschi, agreed with Bruschi by saying many of the same statements. The next day, Chris Carter went on the Mike and Mike show on ESPN radio and said the “Chad Ochocinco is not a smart football palyer…He had better put something on twitter because his game didn’t speak for himself.” Since these former football stars have bashed Chad, he has only sent out one tweet in the last three days. Before this incident, he was sending over 20 tweets a day. To pose a quick question, should professional sports teams be able to out law tweeting for their players like many college programs have. Twitter eventually gets athletes into trouble one way or another but fans love staying connect with their favorite athletes and celebrities.

http://twitter.com/#!/ochocinco

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/09/14/rodney-harrison-agrees-with-bruschi-on-ochocinco/

Final Draft of Paper

Posted in Out of class assignments,Papers by Joshua on the September 13, 2011

Josh Meredith

Comm 208

Paper #1

 

The Hickman-Johnson-Furrow Learning Center, also known as the Morningside College Library, first opened in February 1914, as the Alumni Gymnasium. The architect William Beuttler designed the building for the Morningside College Campus. An increase in enrollment at Morningside College following World War II amplified the need for reference materials as well as study space for the students attending the college. So, in 1956, renovations were done to convert it to a library. In 2005 more renovations were done to make the learning center more inviting and supportive for the entire campus community.

So, I am standing here today observing this building full of Morningside College history. The outside of the building is made of layers and layers of brick. One can realize that the building has three stories in it by simply looking at the windows from the outside. The brick is brown/burnt red in color and even though it has been in the summer sun all day, it is still fairly cool to the touch. Not like a tub of ice cream but more like the feeling you get when you jump into a well temperature pool. Unlike the inviting water though, the brick is rough like the everyday sand paper you would find in a shop class. If you ran you fingers along in long enough, they would become raw quite quickly. The roof is covered in a red, rounded tile that looks smooth and slick from three stories below.

There are three entrances that are used to enter this building full of knowledge. Two are located in the back of the building. One is for the KMSC and MCTV students and the other is probably the most popular way to enter the library. In fact, it is the entrance I always use because it is the closest to the dorms and café. To add to the doors popularity among the student body, it has the main sidewalk that runs through the heart of the campus wind right up to it. The main entrance, located in the front of the building, has the original entrance to the building back when it was a gymnasium re-set off to the side of the structure. This old entrance is made of stone and is smooth to the touch like a baby’s butt. But unlike a baby, it is very old.

Around the building, the grass is green, and thick. Sidewalks run every which way like a maze around the building so that a student could easily get from the Learning Center to any building or parking lot on campus. Tan, extremely over weight squirrels that have the habit of not hibernating during the winter run around the grass and from tree to tree. These trees spot the open grass on the main entrance side in the same way that students spot the library an hour before closing time. I have been told that they are non-hibernating heavy set squirrels because the Morningside College biology department insists on feeding the confident rodents.

The learning center is a hot spot for almost every student on campus, but not just for hitting the books. Inside this building is classrooms, a radio station, a TV station, a circulation desk where and awesome guy named Josh Meredith works, and the Spoonholder Café. The Spoonholder is located near the front entrance and is always a temptation when walking by. This is because the smells of Starbucks coffee assaults one’s nose immediately, while the smell of muffins and cookies slowly wafer through the air as if you were back in grandmas kitchen. It is a quiet place there on the first floor. But then again, it is a library so you would expect that. Most of the first floor is lined with tables were students can sit to study. There is a back area full of reference materials that are as old as dirt and most students refuse to touch them because the internet has everything they could need for references. There is also a magazine section where almost any magazine that matters in the world today resides in the area in alphabetical order.