Sports broadcasters have a difficult job. They have to call games on the spot, not knowing what will happen ahead of time. In addition, it also takes a tremendous amount of preparation before each game, going over stats and game notes and often interviewing players. Most of the time, as long as they call a good game and show respect to both sides, I try not to ridicule them.
But I took delight in what happened on the Cincinnati Reds’ broadcast on Friday night, as the Chicago Cubs were pounding the Reds once again. (I was watching the Cubs’ broadcast but found out about this later.) Marty Brennaman, a Reds radio announcer, has gone on several anti-Cubs diatribes over the years and for whatever reason seems to despise this team. His son, Thom Brennaman, a Cubs broadcaster back in the 1990s and currently a Reds TV announcer, has also had it in for the Cubs for a long time.
The younger Brennaman has called a lot of Cubs games nationally over the years and often seems to take pleasure in the misfortune of the team who used to employ him. I will always associate him with the pain of the 2003 NLCS, when he was gleefully calling the action as the Florida Marlins infamously broke the Cubs’ hearts by coming back from a three games to one deficit, including a late comeback in Game 6 at Wrigley Field. Since then, I’ve had trouble not cringing watching any game he calls, even NFL games for FOX.
Both Brennamans have made their hatred of the Cubs well-known over the years. And when the Cubs pulled away late on Friday night on their way to an 8-1 win – the Cubs’ fifth straight win over the Reds this year – Thom Brennaman lost it. You can watch the video by clicking here, but as the Cubs were in the middle of a four-run rally in the ninth and Cubs fans were taking over Great American Ballpark, Brennaman angrily said this:
“It’s one thing to go into the other team’s ballpark and buy the tickets and come to the game. That’s great, support your team, I think everybody feels that way. But when you start the chant about, “Let’s go Cubbies” and you’re up by six runs in the ninth inning, that’s where the rub often times happens… with the… enough already.”
So now fans aren’t allowed to show pride for their team just because they’re playing well? Sour grapes, Thom. For years, the Reds beat up on the Cubs, but now the tide has turned and you can’t stand it. The Cubs are good and their fans are making their voices heard. Deal with it, man.