Column: Remember it’s only a game
There is a lesson to be learned from Tuesday night's game between the Chicago Cubs and Florida Marlins.
In the aftermath of the foul ball incident, isn't it time to remember that it's only a game?
Isn't it time to get off Steve Bartman's back and let the man be?
After all, he didn't do anything any one of us wouldn't have done.
Just about everyone who goes to a baseball game wants to catch a foul ball.
I remember as a kid so badly wanting to catch a foul ball during a major league baseball game. I wanted to hold that thing up and be seen on television.
Certainly Bartman wasn't trying to interfere with Cubs' outfielder Moises Alou. Being a life-long Cub fan, Bartman surely would have gotten out of the way if he had seen Alou coming.
But he didn't.
And now he is Public Enemy No. 1 in Chicago and throughout the world as far as Cub fans are concerned.
The man couldn't even go to work on Wednesday. After Wednesday night's loss to the Marlins, he may have to find new work in another state.
I don't recall Bartman causing an eight-run home run. I don't recall Bartman committing an error at shortstop which really I felt was the key to the eight-run inning.
All he did was try to catch a foul ball in the stands, which is the domain of the fans.
He didn't reach over the wall and interfere with Alou.
The lesson to be learned here is that sports is not life or death. It is only a game.
This lesson can be carried over to Friday night's Dowagiac-Niles contest.
Whether or not the Chieftains win or lose, it's only a game.
The sun will rise on Saturday morning and life will go on.
Dowagiac will still have one more game to play the following Friday night against arch rival Lakeshore.
So Chieftain faithful, let's not act like Chicago Cubs fans on Friday night.
Let's come out and support the varsity football team and be good sports, win or lose. Let's not point any finger at anyone should the Chieftains lose.
As far as I am concerned, Dowagiac has had a winning season regardless of the final outcome.
Whether or not the Chieftains go 6-3, 5-4 or 4-5, this team has been a winner.
Dowagiac has come a long way from the beginning of the season when it went 0-4.
The Chieftains have improved on both sides of the football and have grown accustomed to running the Wing-T and have adjusted to the new defensive philosophy.
Coach Mike Stanger, his staff and the players should be congratulated for turning the 2003 season into something fun to watch.
Dowagiac's players, and its coaches, have all grown during this season. They have learned to play this game with heart.
Four weeks ago I wouldn't have given the Chieftains much of a chance against the Vikings and the Lancers.
This week, I believe that anything is possible. Dowagiac plays with its heart on its sleeve now. It plays with an emotion and enthusiasm that can change the tide of a game.
Good luck Chieftains.