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Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2016

Who's the scapegoat?

Posted Friday, September 30, 2011, at 3:01 PM

Steve Bartman. Does that name ring any bells? It does if you're a Chicago Cubs fan.

He's the guy blamed for continuing the "curse" on the Cubs during sixth game of the 2003 National League Championship Series between the Cubs and Florida Marlins.

But Bartman wasn't wearing a Cubs uniform or a Marlins uniform. He was wearing a Cubs hat, headphones and a green turtleneck under a Renegades sweatshirt, which represented the little league team he coached.

The Cubs were winning 3-0 when Bartman got "involved." That word just has to be in quotes because, even eight years later, people still dispute whether the ball that Bartman deflected could have been caught by outfielder Moises Alou. (Alou himself was once quoted as saying he wouldn't have caught the ball anyway, but he has not stood by those remarks.)

That fateful night was the center of an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary titled "Catching Hell."

Academy Award-winning producer Alex Gibney focused on Bartman as the scapegoat in the scenario.

As a longtime Boston Red Sox fan, Gibney could relate to the notion of curses and individual errors being blamed for entire losses. He actually spent quite a bit of time talking about Bill Buckner's blunder in the 1986 World Series and how it haunted him until the Red Sox eventually won the 2006 World Series.

Just as Buckner's error was not the only of the game, Bartman was not the only one to blame, especially considering the Marlins scored eight runs in the inning.

Furthermore, Gibney even found a minister who had preached a sermon on scapegoats and referenced Bartman.

It was a well-rounded documentary and it got me thinking.

Who are the scape goats in our lives?

When things go wrong, do we step up to the plate and hit it out the park (or at least take credit when we don't?) Or, do we look for the nearest Buckner or Bartman to blame?

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