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The Bernie Mac Jinx?


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MAYO: Forget the fan; Blame Bernie Mac

Published October 15, 2003, 2:22 PM EDT

 

 

Forget the fan who reached for the foul ball. Forget the error by the sure-handed shortstop. Forget the train wreck of horrors that kept tumbling down on the Cubs in the Marlins' Crazy Eighth, a half-inning that takes its place in playoff lore right next to Red Sox-Mets, Game 6, 1986 World Series.

 

I say blame Bernie Mac.

 

(Or credit him, if you call yourself a Marlins fan or Cubs hater.)

 

The comedian committed the cardinal sin of any sports fan, much less a lot as tortured as Cubs fans when he led Wrigley Field in "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch of Game 6 on Tuesday night.

 

He got ahead of himself.

 

Way ahead of himself.

 

"Champs. Let's go champs!" he screamed as he took the microphone.

 

And then, when he got to the point in the song where Cubs legendary broadcaster Harry Caray used to warble, "it's root, root, root for the Cubbies," Bernie Mac ad-libbed, "it's root, root, root for the CHAMPS! CHAMPS!," thrusting his fist into the air for good measure.

 

At the time, the Cubs were ahead by two runs and six outs away from going to their first World Series in 54 years.

 

Six outs away from winning the National League pennant.

 

Six outs away from getting the chance to play for their first World Series title since 1908.

 

You know the rest.

 

Now, as someone who grew up a tortured New York Rangers hockey fan, I cringed immediately when I heard what Bernie Mac had done.

 

When your team is trying to shed a curse - real or imagined - you don't mess with fate.

 

And you never, ever count your victories before they are in the win column.

 

"What did he say?" my friend said as we half paid attention to his rendition, a Wrigley tradition started by Caray that all manner of celebrities have carried on since his death.

 

And then, through the miracle of TiVo, I rewound and heard the words again.

 

"Champs! Champs!" Bernie Mac screamed.

 

I doubt he was referring to the Cubs winning the NL Central.

 

We arched our eyebrows, then quickly forgot about it when the Cubs added another run in the bottom of the 7th to give Mark Prior a 3-0 lead.

 

But then we remembered as the wild events of the Marlins' 8-run eighth unfolded.

 

One more scrap for the jinx pile. Right next to the ghosts of goats, black cats and Leon Durham.

 

He grew up in Chicago rooting for the White Sox. But if Bernie Mac considers himself any kind of sports fan, he should be just as ashamed of himself as that dork with the headphones who got in Moises Alou's way.

 

At least that fan can plead temporary stupidity, and say he didn't realize the foul ball was playable.

 

But there is no good excuse for mocking the sporting gods with words that can so quickly and easily come back to haunt.

 

As Bernie Mac found out - and the rest of Cubville has known for so long - it doesn't take much to go from champs to chumps.

 

Sun-Sentinel metro columnist (and former sports columnist) Michael Mayo is enjoying every minute of the playoffs from his couch. He can be reached at mmayo@sun-sentinel.com.

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There's no doubt in my mind he knew what he was doing. I heard an interview with Bernie last year where he said he grew up a diehard Sox fan and despised the Cubs.

 

We Sox fans are doing everything we can! Even the celebrities ... f*** the Cubs!!

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bernie mac is supposedly a sox fan, hes been at sox games before sporting sox gear. but any real sox fan wouldnt put on one of those feminine cubs jackets or be seen anywhere near wrigley, so hes a cub fan to me

Wasn't his fault. Fox wanted him there to promote his TV show. I can accept that, especially since he put a hex on them.

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There's no doubt in my mind he knew what he was doing. I heard an interview with Bernie last year where he said he grew up a diehard Sox fan and despised the Cubs.

 

We Sox fans are doing everything we can! Even the celebrities ... f*** the Cubs!!

LOL if that's the case, Bernie Mac should get some votes for MVP of the series. Wouldn't be surprised if his saying "champs" was to both avoid saying cubbies, and fire up the marlins, as well as tempt with fate.

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bernie mac is supposedly a sox fan, hes been at sox games before sporting sox gear. but any real sox fan wouldnt put on one of those feminine cubs jackets or be seen anywhere near wrigley, so hes a cub fan to me

Bernie is a Sox fan..... It's not part of the jinx, it's part of a vast conspiracy concocted by the Pale Hose and the Fish to create a timely end to the Baby Bears.

 

I hope Billy Corgan goes out there tonight and screams that the Cubs are World Series champs.

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