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Everything old is new again

Friday, Mar 17, 2017

* October 16, 2003

Chicago Cubs fan Steve Bartman was doing what any red-blooded baseball fan would have done when a foul ball came his way in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the National League Championship Series on Tuesday night.

But when he lunged for the ball and deflected it from Cubs outfielder Moises Alou, his big night at the ballpark turned into a nightmare. […]

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich said he might have to put Bartman in the witness-protection program and joked that if the 26-year-old fan ever committed a crime, he would have no hope of a pardon from the governor’s office.

“You’ve got to be looking out for your team,” Blagojevich said.

* Today

Count Mayor Rahm Emanuel as one of the proud Northwestern University alums delighting in the team’s historic Cinderella dance into the second round of their first-ever NCAA tournament.

But the mayor who has a reputation for being ruthless in politics is showing no mercy for the Vanderbilt star whose mistake made it possible: sharpshooter Matthew Fisher-Davis.

“The guy on Vanderbilt needs a witness-protection program,” Emanuel said during a taping Friday for the WLS-AM radio program “Connected to Chicago,” to be broadcast at 7 p.m. Sunday. “How do you foul a guy when you’re up? I don’t get it. He must have had a brain freeze.”

After almost singlehandedly shooting his team back into the game, Fisher-Davis committed an intentional foul against Northwestern’s Bryant McIntosh in the mistaken belief that Vandy was down by one point, rather than up.

When McIntosh proceeded to nail his free-throws, the Wildcats’ improbable victory was sealed.

Aping Blagojevich might not be the brightest thing he’s ever done. Plus, leave the poor kid alone.

* Meanwhile

It’s March Madness, but only one statewide Illinois elected official posted a bracket of picks for the NCAA tournament.

If you guessed Comptroller Susana Mendoza, you’d be correct. Perhaps the Chicago Democrat is continuing her attempt to follow in the footsteps of the late Republican Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, who was known for being the “fun” statewide official.

How’d the new comptroller do on Day One? Mendoza correctly picked #12 seed Middle Tennessee upending #5 seed Minnesota, though her other first-day upset special of #12 University of North Carolina-Wilmington did not upend #5 Virginia.

She’s also got home-state team Northwestern losing in the second round to top-seeded Gonzaga, so no pandering there. Her finals? Arizona-North Carolina, with the Tar Heels as champs.

* Her bracket…

…Adding… I forgot to post this…

To which I replied…

Shapiro is the university’s president.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    Gov. Rauner started filling out a bracket, got halfway through and then demanded the Senate finish the job. He’s blaming the Senate for any bad picks.

  2. - James the Intolerant - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 10:17 am:

    Emanuel, classy to the end.

  3. - @MisterJayEm - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 10:17 am:

    Governor Instagram has the role of “fun” statewide official locked up.

    – MrJM

  4. - Whatever - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    Typical Rahm. A classless bully.

  5. - illinoised - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 10:20 am:

    I feel for the kid from Vandy. I assume he got a visual cue from the coach which could have meant “foul him right away” or “he is your guy to cover.” If I am correct, yes it is the kid’s responsibility to know the score, but having been in the heat of a game with my adrenaline on overload, I can see how this situation happened. Emanuel is being way too tough on the kid.

  6. - lake county democrat - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 10:28 am:

    The worst thing is the “witness protection program” - forget Blago, the worst Bartman comment was from Fox analyst (and former beloved White Sox) Steve Psycho Lyons, who said on the air that security better protect Bartman from physical attack.

    Anyway, I expect more from a parent of a kid about Fisher-Davis’ age. Not the most important thing in the world but I hope he walks it back.

  7. - Porgy Tirebiter - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 10:28 am:

    The kid made a mistake - that’s why they’re called amateurs.
    Happy for Northwestern but feel sorry for the kid

  8. - LizPhairTax - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 10:30 am:

    Rahm on Sports!

    It’s never gone well.

  9. - P. - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 10:32 am:

    Mayor’s mistakes > kid’s mistakes. This is coming from someone who has an actual police detail.

  10. - City Zen - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 10:34 am:

    Mendoza’s bracket sure shows her confidence in right-to-work state schools.

  11. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 10:35 am:

    Like Emanuel has a clue about any sports. He said his favorite Cub growing up was “Santos” and he placed Bobby Hull in heaven at a Hawks rally when the Golden Jet was actually standing right behind him.

    Leave the poor kid alone is right. Learn a lesson in empathy.

    Losers like Blago and Kass tried to build themselves up by dragging Bartman through the public square to incite the mob. They ran the kid out of town.

    Bartman was an unlucky, heartbroken civilian; Blago and Kass were misanthropic opportunists who abused their forums to make the kid’s life miserable for their own pathetic needs.

  12. - FirstRounder - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 10:36 am:

    I’m sorry, a nine-and-a-half fingered former ballerina presiding over a bankrupt city and worst-in-the-nation gun violence problem has no place trashing a college kid for making a mistake.

    Shouldn’t the mayor have been doing something mayoral rather than watching basketball yesterday afternoon? Or did all the city’s problems somehow get magically solved before tipoff?

    The only reason I could see the Mayor getting this upset about Vandy’s loss is if he had $215 million in pension funding riding on the game in a bet with Governor Rauner.

  13. - 47th Ward - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 10:38 am:

    ===got halfway through and then demanded the Senate finish the job===

    Lol. He insisted Radogno fill out his brackets for him, but then changed his mind and said her picks were all wrong and she should try again. She’ll get it right eventually.

  14. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 10:42 am:

    47th Ward –
    Now he’s sending out Connelly and Tracy to tout his his NIT picks.

  15. - Bitter Illini Fan - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 10:44 am:

    Watched the news this morning. Congrats to the Wildcats on winning the NCAA championship yesterday.

  16. - Annonin' - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    Surprised GovBigBrain did not tell NU to meet with Chance….guessin’ he has zero clue the NU gets MAP
    BTW gotta love Norwood’s plan to deal with fed Medicaid cuts — drop coverage. Do the sick poor people just vaporize?

  17. - Amalia - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    ok Illinois pols, how ’bout you fill out a women’s bracket? (note espn and CBS do a great job of saying “men’s” tourney cause there is another bBall tourney ready to go) Western Illinois is in one side of the brackets and DePaul on another. DePaul has Baylor and Washington on their side. ouch. While it seems easy to pick the final winner, Connecticut, on something like 127-0 run, (that’s games folks) they have had several close wins this year so perhaps another team can win….Maryland? Brenda F. is a tough coach. They are in the bracket with Maryland (probably seeded too low) and Duke. And then there’s ND and Stanford on one side.

    as for the unfortunate Vandy error yesterday, after the free throws there was good defense otherwise Vandy would have scored, so give the Cats some credit. But that’s not as much fun as putting the kid in stories with Chris Weber and the Georgetown player who “let” Michael Jordan’s NC team win it all.

  18. - Amalia - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 10:59 am:

    Hey Governor Rauner, be sure to use the caveat “men’s” because Northwestern’s women’s basketball team has been to the NCAA tourney multiple times AND they have won games in the tourney.

    are you cheering for DePaul and Western Illinois in this year’s women’s NCAA basketball tourney?

  19. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    LCD, unfortunately, Bartman did need security that night at the game. Lyons was simply stating the obvious that all of us watching could see.

    John Kass was standing over him after the foul ball and, as Kass himself said, “mocking” Bartman, identifying him so the drunken, stupid mob could throw stuff at and threaten him.

    Bartman was rushed out of Wrigley by security covered by a blanket. He continued to receive threats at home and on the street until he left town.

    It only took 10 years for Kass to issue a crocodile-teared apology for his actions that night.

    And that was only because he wanted to get on the tee vee box, in the worst way, like a moth to the light, for the ESPN 30 on 30 doc.

  20. - Amalia - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 11:04 am:

    turn on the Deuce for DePaul soon. W. Ill. is on the Deuce tonight.

  21. - cracked screen - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 11:05 am:

    This just in: UNC Tar Heels added to the Boss Madigan list.

  22. - A State Employee Guy - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 11:09 am:

    if you have to explain the joke, its already fallen flat.

  23. - William - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    Madam Comptroller…I knew JBT, JBT was a friend of mine. You are no JBT. Enough already.

  24. - Amalia - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 11:23 am:

    Comptroller Mendoza played college soccer, so her interest in sports is an actual interest in sports.

  25. - Angry Republican - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 11:28 am:

    Meh, at least the guy didn’t blow the championship game by calling a timeout when his team didn’t have any left.

  26. - Arsenal - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 11:33 am:

    ==Madam Comptroller…I knew JBT, JBT was a friend of mine. You are no JBT. Enough already.==

    Really? I apologize if my bracket offended you, too.

  27. - Amalia - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 12:01 pm:

    DePaul is up by nearly 20 at the break courtesy of good outside shooting. But Northern Iowa has traveled better…lots more fans. Maybe DePaul is complacent as this is the 15th straight appearance by the women in the tourney. Hey Rahm, a new arena is opening next year and the women of DePaul will play there too!

  28. - W Flag - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 12:01 pm:

    Such mental errors are not uncommon in sports. During the 1989 NLCS loss to the San Francisco Giants, Cubs relief pitcher Les Lancaster grooved a strike that may still be traveling. Lancaster failed to throw a waste pitch because he erred as to the ball/strike count which was posted on the scoreboard at Candlestick Park. Thereafter, Lancaster’s nickname was “The Count.”

  29. - SKI - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 12:02 pm:

    I guess I don’t see why Rahm’s off the cuff comment while talking about sports is that bad. Is mentioning ‘witness protection’ as a joke considered a micro-aggression or something? Are people in Tennessee/Vanderbilt fans really going to be listening or caring to what Rahm says. I bet they wouldn’t even know who it is. On top of this, even if they heard his comment, do you really think people are going take those words literally as encouraging violence towards this player and go after the kid, again just because of Rahm’s words? Come on people.

  30. - W Flag - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 12:03 pm:

    To clarify, Lancaster mistakenly believed that there were 3 balls on the batter. He was wrong.

  31. - W Flag - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 12:21 pm:


    Much better for Rahm Emanuel to talk about sports than to own his mismanagement of the Chicago Board of Education (Barbara Byrd Bennett), the City Colleges of Chicago (Cheryl Hyman), and the Chicago Police Department (too many missteps to count).

  32. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 1:16 pm:

    @wordslinger - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    Word, that’s what White Sox fans like Kass do.

    I am more shocked that Kass attended a Cubs game than at how he (allegedly) treated Bartman.

    I have seen better fist fights at Sox games than following the NHL.

  33. - blue dog dem - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 1:35 pm:

    Word @10:35. Just every so often you are brilliant. This was one of them.

  34. - Amalia - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 1:48 pm:

    another bonus of Northwestern beating Vanderbilt? shutting up Skip Bayless, Vanderbilt alum and ridiculous tweet guy of the last few days. (Vanderbilt is the best school in the U.S….jeez) He’s generally an irritating goof. How does he have a job in sports journalism?

  35. - Nikolas Name - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 2:21 pm:

    It’s too bad that Bartman got the blame for the Cubs’ failure. He gets the blame, nevermind the stupid error at shortstop that contributed to that loss. Nevermind the fact that they still had a game 7 to make up for that loss.

  36. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 2:36 pm:

    Amelia, skip is not a journalist, he’s what’s euphemistically now called an “entertainer” on cable and radio and print columnists who wish they were on cable or radio.

    He, like many others, makes a fortune being a jag. some people find that entertaining. Roger Angell he ain’t.

  37. - Amalia - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 3:33 pm:

    Roger Angell? Skip Bayless is not even Mark Giangreco!

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