Get ready to be equal parts annoyed and miserable.

Next month, the long-awaited documentary about Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS and the infamous Bartman incident will premier at the Tribeca Film Festival after months of delay.

Originally slated for release on October 26 – in tandem with the World Series and as part of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series – the film, ‘Catching Hell,’ was postponed so director Alex Gibney could continue to tinker. Apparently, it’s ready.

A news release from the film festival, says that ‘Catching Hell’ “explores the psychology of die-hard sports fans, the frightening phenomenon of scapegoating, and the hysteria that turned mild-mannered Bartman into the most hated man in Chicago.”

And, of course, that’s all true. It was a frightening time to be a Cubs fan, not only because we could collectively taste just how close we were to finally realizing a dream, but because we could perceive our own hatred for a guy who simply reacted to a foul ball at a baseball game. I did hate him.

Days and weeks passed, and, although I’ll never get over the sting of the loss, rational thoughts have overtaken irrational ones, and I know that Bartman is no more the cause of my misery than is Mark Prior, Derrek Lee, Alex Gonzalez, Dusty Baker, the loss the next night in Game 7, or the 102 other years of failure. So I’d like to believe I could watch the film with dispassionate interest.

But I’m sure it will annoy and depress the hell out of me.

The Tribeca Film Festival runs from April 20-May 1, but there’s no word yet on just when ‘Catching Hell’ will screen, and when it will be available for the rest of us to see.

  • jeff

    All that anger and hate probably should have been pointed at the absolute meltdown of game 6, but that guy still should have had better situational awareness. He is no less infamous than Jeffrey Maier who clearly cost the Orioles against the Yankees in the ALCS, the difference is he did it to his own team and not the opponents.

    Yes, we have to think, what if? What if Moises Alou had got to that ball, what if Alex Gonzalez didn’t get boot happy on routine grounders, what if the young pitching staff wasn’t already on the verge of breakdown after approaching 300 innings apiece including the postseason??? If any of that was the case, we wouldn’t hate Bartman, but it did happen, and I do hate Bartman, but not as much as I hate watching the Cubs lose in such a trainwreck fashion.

    • http://SOI veryzer

      Yep. A lot of people wanna give Bartman a pass. A lot of people wanna say the loss had nothing to do with him. A lot of people are wrong. He got the ball rolling. Everything that happened after the incident sucked, but he started it.

      Having said all of that, I’m way past it. He was a pebble in the ensuing avalanche, and his blame is small compared to others. Prior is more to blame. Wood is more to blame. Baker is more to blame. Gonzalez is more to blame. The Marlins are more to blame.

      I won’t watch this movie. If you’re a self-respecting Cub fan, you won’t watch it either. Let the kid rest in peace.

  • jonathan

    ive never met a baseball fan who didnt dream of catching a baseball at a game. im sure he was thinking more about having a souvenir from the game that his team clinched the nl championship. i would have done the same thing. probably thought the ball was out of play..not like alou had great range anyway. why cant we just let it die..bartman wasn’t to blame. hr was just a fan in the wrong seat at the wrong time

    • jeff

      He may have been at the wrong seat at the wrong time, but the bottom line is , he is a FAN, who affected the outcome of a game, season, and ultimately championship. It may have been by coincidence, curse, or confidence, but he did it, and it changed the way the whole season was going. I’m with Veryzer, I’m done caring about Bartman, curses, and Dusty Baker’s destruction of our pitching staff. I will not give this guy any more attention(positive or negative), than he has already received.

      • Ace

        I don’t disagree with you guys; but I still want to watch the doc.