Angry Chicago Mob Will Find Victorino Beer Tosser

As Rick pointed out in this morning’s Speed Read, and as you have no doubt discussed with your buddies already today, last night’s Cubs/Phillies game featured one of the most brazen displays of fan FAIL in recent years. A stereotypical fair-weather Cubbie d-bag dumped his Old Style on Philadelphia’s Shane Victorino to express his displeasure at the Cubbies’ continued suckitude, the wrong guy was removed, and the Cubs apologized to everyone. You’d think that would be the end of the story, but nothing involving the Chicago Cubs is ever straightforward.

Cubs Wanted Poster

Both the Cubs and Victorino have filed formal complaints with the Chicago Police Department, who has in turn said that assault charges will be brought against the fan - as soon as he’s found. Now, the city (or at least its more web-savvy inhabitants) are on a mission to track down the fan. We’re doing our part. Let’s get ‘im!

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Priest Says The Cubs Threw Him ‘Under The Bus’

It’s been 100 years since the Chicago Cubs won a World Series, and as it tends to happen under these circumstances, the Cubs and Cubs fans alike have come up with myriads of excuses why. There’s the Curse of the Billy Goat from 1945, that black cat at Shea Stadium in 1969, and of course, Steve Bartman in 2003. Anything to keep themselves from admitting that maybe the Cubs just suck.

Of course, they’ve also tried plenty of different methods to breaking these “curses” over the years. They let a goat into Wrigley Field in hopes of appeasing the goat gods or something, they’ve blown up the Bartman ball, and I’m pretty sure there are plans to have every black cat in Chicago spayed. Then there was the priest whom they had bless the Cubs dugout before the playoffs last year, and obviously it didn’t work because the team was swept out of the first round by the Dodgers. Which makes the priest who did the blessing a perfect scapegoat.

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The $83 Million Question: Is Kobe Going Greek?

Five Years Later, Bartman Still Lives With Parents

It seems that in America, everyone who has their 15 minutes of fame manages to get a little bit of green out of it. This is no matter how talentless or despicable they are - hell, Kato Kaelin is still on my TV! But that’s not how life worked for Steve Bartman. Five years after his infamous foul ball run-in with Moises Alou in Game 6 of the NLCS, the PALM BEACH POST says that Bartman’s life is shockingly similar to what it was before: still working at an international consulting firm and still living at home with his parents.

Steve Bartman

It would be harsh to speculate on why Bartman is still living at home, or about his dating life. But come on: it must be hell trying to get a date in Chicago if you are Steve Bartman. First dates are tough enough already - imagine trying to make awkward chit-chat with this horrible moment hanging over like a dark cloud. If you’re his date, do you just address it right away? “So, what was it like having mobs chase you around Chicago like you were Frankenstein’s monster and Moises Alou was a peasant girl by the river?

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Speed Read: Multicolored Sox Prevent Prohibition

If you’re looking for beer, its quantities are not limited but its availability is going away fast. The Milwaukee Brewers are out of the playoffs, eliminating all teams with alcoholic-related mascots from the playoffs. Chicago Cubs fans’ privileges to drink after the 7th inning of games is gone because, well, there are no more 7th innings on the North Side. But there’s hope.

Prohibition Headline - Brewers Out

The White Sox are still enjoying that liquor ban reprieve of their own by besting the Rays, 6-4. (There was a planned blackout at U.S. Cellular Field, which is safer than your typical drunkard’s unplanned blackout.) The Red Sox, meanwhile, supported leaving people loaded by doing just that with the bases in the crucial 10th inning, before the Angels’ Francisco Rodriguez saved the day (and his own butt) by pitching out of a jam. And even though the Halos extended the series to a Game Four with a 5-4 win, that just means more spirits per inning for the Bay State.

So all is well. No need for mafias, moonshine stills or speakeasies. Unless, y’know, you’re into that.

Keith Bulluck flips 5-0 signals

(Yay, Tennessee Titans! You guys are … 0-5? Oh, wait, Keith Bulluck. You got that backwards.)

Keith Bulluck corrected 5-0 sign

(There. Proving once again there’s nothing Flip Horizontal can’t fix.)

Time for a monstrously-gargantuan obscure parallel, if I may. The two remaining unbeaten teams in the NFL are also monsters which appear in Exodus: Ultima after you reach Level 3: the Giants and the Titans. (Maybe if Buffalo was called the Golems instead of the Bills, they wouldn’t have gotten Cardinalized.)

Home to both the Titans and the Commodores of Vanderbilt, the city of Nashville could feature more unlikely 5-0 football teams than anywhere. Ever. But enough about surprising unbeatens. How about some unsurprising beatens?

Dejected Lions fan

(Wearing this was the only way they let Joey Harrington back in Ford Field.)

Quietly having an MVP season at quarterback in the NFL is the amalgamation of every quarterback who faces the Detroit Lions. On most days, years, and alternate universes Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, J.T. O’Sullivan, and Kyle Orton are not the kind of signal callers who will set the league on fire. The four QBs have a combined rating of 121.51 — 10 points higher than Favre’s league-leading 110.8. The Rams might also have similarly pathetic numbers, but three of their oppositions’ throwers? Eli. McNabb. And Hasselbeck. It’s not a good sign when the Rams can look to the Lions and find reasons to feel good about themselves.

What makes us feel good about ourselves, strangely, is seeing what other people are doing by peckin’ away at their keyboards and hitting publish:

George Mason - Ace Ventura

  • Good thing they didn’t need Ace Ventura on the case, namely because we don’t need more sequels: BLEACHER REPORT gets to the bottom of stolen George Mason Final Four rings on eBay. Here’s a hint to aspiring burglars: don’t steal rings with someone’s name on it, then publicize it. From “pawned” to “pwn3d.”
  • For the sympathetic co-worker of a fervent Cubs fan, EPIC CARNIVAL has ten phrases you should avoid around them.
  • UNC Tar Heels fans at THE FIFTH CORNER take umbrage with ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich’s explanation on why the 22nd-ranked Heels aren’t rankworthy.
  • Almost perfect timing, TIMES OF TRENTON’s Mark Eckel notes in Philly celebrating the Phils and jeering the Eagles.
  • Michael Phelps — remember him? — comes home to Baltimore and is greeted by a parade of thousands, and WBOC-TV is there. Which just begs the question: it took Phelps this long to go back home to Baltimore?
  • Let the Oklahoma-Texas hype begin … now. The NORMAN TRANSCRIPT examines the Sooners-Longhorns matchup in the Red River Not-Shootout-But-Instead-Rivalry-Because-Guns-Are-Bad.
  • CC you next year? Sabathia tells the WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL he could possibly return to Milwaukee in ‘09.
  • NEW YORK TIMES baseball blogger Ray Schreiber says maybe it’s time for the Cubs franchise to embrace Steve Bartman. Spoken like a true non-Cubs fan.
  • After a crazy day at Talladega Speedway, VIRGINIAN-PILOT’s auto racing writer Dustin Long goes into why Regan Smith thought he beat Tony Stewart, and why NASCAR said Stewart won even though he finished second.
  • And finally, whatever you do, gentle readers, whatever your homerist tendencies, wherever you may roam, please do not root for a Red Sox-Dodgers World Series. The unimaginable storyline of Manny Ramirez is just too much to bear. It would make “Jerome Bettis is from Detroit” look like “Can the Spurs defend their title?” Just … just root away from that, by all means necessary. And good morning!

After this weekend, who needs a drink in the worst way?

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Hank Williams Officially Qualified To Be President

Case you haven’t noticed, we started a new thing today on SbB called the “Speed Read.” If you check it every morning (posted at 8:30a ET) , you won’t miss a damn thing from the night before and early AM (we’re west coast, get it?). We’ve also jammed a poll in there for your amusement, and we’re encouraging comments. So have at it.

Hank Williams Sarah Palin Both Qualified To Be President

This weekend I’ll be at Blogworld in Vegas, so if anyone is going, let me know. I’m a little down that I won’t be able to see my Dawgs throttle A-State in nearby Tempe (courtesy discounted ducats from My Boy Barry), but if you’re going to miss that, the Olympic Gardens Vegas is the next best thing.

One of my favorite sites, SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY, has an unintentionally hilarious interview with Hank Williams, Jr., today about his longtime role on Monday Night Football. Hank claims to be a sports fan, but things got a little hairy when SBD pressed him about the details.  Read more…

Blog Jam: US Soccer Gal Strips Off Shirt After Win

• THE WORLD OF ISAAC uncovers US soccer player Natasha Kai pulling a Brandi Chastain after the Americans beat Brazil for the women’s gold:

Natasha Kai US womens soccer shirt strip

Frankly, we prefer to ogle Brandi’s original shirt-shedding.

• UNPROFESSIONAL FOUL can’t believe what they’re seeing, as a British couple thinks they’ve found a missing girl, but the child turns out to be the non-missing son of a Croatian soccer player.

• YOU BEEN BLINDED pulls no punches, as Mike Tyson says he’s done with boxing. (At least until his next appearance fee check clears.)

• WITH LEATHER finds A-Rod hanging with the new Menudo. Ay caramba!

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Cubs Fined $500,000 For Cheating In MLB Draft

They say if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying. Just ask Bill Belichick. Or Peter Cook. Well, after 100 years of losing, it looks like the Cubs have decided to try really, really hard - and have been fined $500,000 for it.

Sammy Sosa getting hit in head

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is reporting that the Cubs got the hefty fine after participating in a few underhanded dealings involving the draft, including failing to officially tell the MLB after a signing a player, and for putting players on the field without first obtaining MLB’s approval.

Master criminals, the Cubs are not. (If they were, they would have used bowler hats during their daring escape!) But they still have to pay up. Just think, that chunk of change could have gone into finally getting rid of the horrible urinal troughs at Wrigley!

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Stabler Can’t Slither Out of DUI; Peter Plows Plenty

Jerry Buss would have come to Boston, but he had a really good hand.

Kenny Stabler tried to slither his way out of a DUI arrest.

Ken Stabler then and now

(The Snake - then & now)

Jason Peter is too much man for one Manhattan brothel.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has trouble getting into the Garden.

Michael Strahan says he’s sailing off into the sunset. Sure he is.

Queen Elizabeth’s granddaughter gallops off to the Olympics.

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Bartman’s Ghost Momentarily Haunts Florida State

For those living outside of Blowtown The Windy City, you may remember Steve Bartman as “that guy who caught that ball in that Cubs game and they went on to lose the playoffs or something.” While history almost repeated itself at Wrigley last month, ESPN’s Mark Schlabach reported a much closer life-imitates-Cubs-baseball moment in Sunday’s NCAA baseball super regional between Florida State and Wichita State.

Florida State-Wichita State in a near-Steve Bartman moment

Down 6-0 to the FSU Seminoles, Wichita State batter Andy Dirks hit a foul ball near the left field stands. The fielder raced for the pop fly, but a Seminoles fan reached out and made an impressive catch, sealing the pitch’s fate as a foul ball. The next pitch? You guessed it — a 2-run home run to start a rally. Read more…