Unfortunately I was out of town and out of the loop during Marty Brennaman’s tirade against Cubs fans last week, or I would have responded sooner. But even though I’m a bit behind the curve, it’s time for me to get my two cents in. And my cents go something like this: Marty is an asshole.
As you may have heard, Brennaman went off on Cubs fans last week when some merry pranksters responded to an Adam Dunn home run by supplementing the traditional “throw it back” ball with about 15 extra balls. (Which his retarded color commentator Jeff Brantley somehow interpreted as 40. But he’s from Mississippi State, so I guess I can understand the numbers being off.)
Among the gems rattled off by Brennaman on his rant:
“This is the type of thing that makes you want to see this Chicago Cubs team lose… by far and away the most obnoxious fans in this league are the ones who follow this team right here.”
“That is so typical of Chicago Cub fans. It’s inexcusable.”
“You simply root against them.”
“People have said all winter, they talk about this team winning the division. And my comment is they won’t win it because at the end of the day they are still the Chicago Cubs, and they’ll find a way to screw it up.”
Well, well, well. Where shall I start?
Perhaps I sense a bit of bitterness in Marty’s voice that has to do with the fact that his son Thom couldn’t quite crack it during his stint as a Cubs announcer in the early ’90s. Or maybe it has to do with the fact that he spelled his son’s name “Thom.”
Or maybe Marty is bitter because every time the Reds play the Cubs at home in September, over half of the fans in the Great American Ballpark are Cubs fans. Having nothing meaningful to talk about the last month of the season probably does get the frustration building for a good rant every now and then.
Wait, maybe Marty is bitter because the best player in the history of his beloved Reds will never sniff the Hall of Fame. Or perhaps he has harbored resentment for having to cover a team that was once owned by a Nazi-sympathizing chain smoker who let her St. Bernard shit on the field. Strangely, it didn’t do much to fertilize the artificial turf at lovely Riverfront Stadium.
At least Marty is a man of principle, though. In an interview last week, he did not back down from his tirade. In fact, he went even further and asserted the well-established national myth that the Cardinals have the finest fans in all of baseball.
I’ve never understood this obsession to slob St. Louis’ knob in the national media. But if you look at who most of the messengers are/have been, it makes sense: Jack Buck. Bob Costas. Joe Buck. Tim McCarver. All St. Louis guys.
Is it any coincidence then that most people now buy hook, line and sinker into celebrating the delightfulness of Cardinal fandom?
But I digress. This is about Marty, not the Cardinals. And as it turns out, Marty Brennaman isn’t just an asshole, but a hypocrite.
It seems that some 20 years ago, then-Reds manager Pete Rose was tossed from a game by ump Dave Pallone. Enraged by the call, it seems Brennaman encouraged those listening to the game on their headphones at Riverfront to join in the fun and continue tossing garbage, lighters, etc. onto the field at the umps.
This led to the rather rare occurrence of a broadcaster being criticized by the commissioner’s office. As then-commish Bart Giamatti told the New York Times:
”Inciting the unacceptable behavior of some of the fans were the inflammatory and completely irresponsible remarks of local radio broadcasters Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall. . . . There is no excuse for encouraging a situation where the physical safety and well-being of any individual is put significantly at risk. Nothing justifies such unprofessional behavior.”
As the late, great Mel Allen used to say, “Well how about that?”
Hey Marty, here’s a message from one of the most obnoxious fans in the National League: Go fuck yourself.