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Fans mourn pennant loss

Ken Merber, a fourth-year in the College, spent last week glued to his television, watching the Cubs-Marlins series.

“I didn’t miss a game,” said Merber, who traveled downtown to Wrigleyville to watch the fourth and fifth games of the series.

“I didn’t have tickets, but it didn’t matter because all the bars were full and people were going crazy out on the streets. The fourth game wasn’t so nuts because the Cubs were down in Miami, but when they came back to Chicago for the fifth, it was out of control,” Merber said. “The crowds were enormous; there were riot cops everywhere—-—it was great. Of course, they lost and that sucked, but we thought they’d ultimately be fine.”

But that enthusiasm ended when Kyle Farnsworth fell apart at the end of the eigth inning in game seven.

Merber, watching the game from home, stopped caring about the baseball season after the Cubs’ loss. With the academic quarter moving along and midterms bearing down, he found himself swamped with schoolwork. “The last thing I care about are the Marlins and the Yankees,” he said.

Joe Lee, also a fourth-year and a friend of Merber’s, had a more explicit opinion about the outcome of the pennant race. “Who gives a [expletive] about the World Series when it’s between the Marlins and the [expletive] Yankees?” Lee said.

This sentiment of dejection is common in Hyde Park. Though Fox News reported Monday that more people are watching this World Series than last year’s, students at the University are noticeably ambivalent. With the Cubs out, they are bucking this trend of increased viewer-ship and turning their attention elsewhere.  

Eric Hamburg, a first-year law student, spent Wednesday night at the Pub. “No one was interested in watching,” Hamburg said. Robert Davis has been a bouncer at Jimmy’s Woodlawn Tap for the last four years. He reported that there has been a major drop in the number of people coming to watch baseball games since the end of the pennant race.

“When the Cubs were playing, we were breaking sales records every night, and this is a Sox bar,” Davis said. Pointing up at a TV screen, Davis explained his opinion on this series. “The only reason this is on is that it’s the only sporting event on TV. Look around: nobody is watching. You wouldn’t think the World Series is being played.”

Jimmy’s was quiet on Wednesday night, even during the last out in the 12th inning of game four of the Series. In fact, nobody seemed to notice when Alex Gonzalez of the Marlins banged out the game-winning homer.

There wasn’t a cheer, a yell, or a clap. Instead, Chicagoans sipped their beers and braced themselves for another losing season with the Bears.

Not everyone’s heart is in Chicago, as some fans are taking part in a seemingly annual event. Ben Sternberg, a third-year from Manhattan, and Chris Markiewicz, a fourth-year from Connecticut, spent Wednesday night in front of Markiewicz’s television.

“All is well with the world, the Cubs and Red Sox lost, the Yankees will win, and New York will once again assert its dominance over the rest of the world,” Markiewicz said.



10-23-04cubsfan