Cubs To Require Training For All Fans

Fake News written by Martha Throebeck on Monday, October 20, 2003

from the keeping-your-grubby-mitts-to-yourself dept.

CHICAGO -- Hoping to put an end to the Curse of the Goat once and for all, the Chicago Cubs have instituted a new policy requiring all fans to receive training, undergo background checks, and obtain licenses before attending a game at Wrigley Field.

"Fan interference problems will be a thing of the past," explained team spokesperson Billy Ghoatte. "With this new policy, no fan will be able to single-handedly change the outcome of a postseason series. Only a blatant error by Alex Gonzalez will be able to do that."

Starting next season, all Cubs fans wanting to visit Wrigley Field must complete a three-hour training course about the rules of catching -- or not catching -- fly balls. Then, they must submit to a background check to make sure they aren't an evil Cardinals or Marlins fan in disguise.

Les Hope, a newly hired trainer for the team, gave an example of the kind of lecture that would-be Cubs fans will receive. "First, if the home team is batting," he said, "then feel free to do whatever it takes to prevent the outfielders from catching a fly ball and recording an out. But, if the away team is batting, then DO NOT -- I repeat, DO NOT -- interfere with a Cubs player. Am I making myself clear? If you are near the ball and the fielder has a chance to catch it, then duck or run away and give as much room to the Cubs player as possible..."

Other topics to be discussed at the training session include "How fans can fool the umpires into thinking a fly ball just beyond the foul pole was really a home run", "The most annoying things to yell at the opposing team during batting practice", "The best way to comfort your children when the Cubs lose yet again", "Strategies for preventing your friends from defecting and becoming fans of other teams", and "How to be as loud and obnoxious as possible at a Cardinals game at Busch Stadium without getting thrown out by the ushers".

Upon the successful completion of the no-cost training program and background check, fans will be awarded an Official Cubs Fan License which will entitle them to enter Wrigley Field and to root for the home (losing) team. People without the license will not be allowed into the park starting next season.

"Now that damn goat will have to find another way to stop us," one player said. "Just wait 'til next year."