Crying Foul?

How someone thought a fan's feat was something to joke about.

You may have heard the story a few days ago about the Cleveland Indians fan who caught not one, not two, but FOUR foul balls during a game.

I heard the story during the three-hour news block on West Virginia's statewide radio network, which is the first thing I hear when my clock radio goes off every morning.

But it's what I heard after the story that sticks in my mind.

The news anchor couldn't pass up the chance to remark, "Since it was in Cleveland, there may not have been anyone else in his section".

It is true the game was attended by only 15,000, in a ballpark built to accomodate almost three times that number. I doubt, though, that the spectator was alone in his section.  In fact, the story said that, instead of keeping the baseballs, he passed a couple of them on to his neighboring fans.

But what's ironic about the anchor's comment, is that it's coming out of West Virginia: a state whose residents regularly endure cheap jokes, that the Mountain State's residents are backwoods hillbillies, or something equally offensive. In fact, everyone remembers the fallout a few months ago from a reality TV series shot in West Virginia, which appeared to characterize its subjects as just that.

I think Cleveland is second only to West Virginia in terms of being the butt of jokes. For a long time, it was an easy target, but I believe it's beyond that now.

Maybe if this broadcaster spent a little more time in Cleveland (as people from outside West Virginia are often invited to visit the Mountain State), he would come away with a different attitude.


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