ESPN’s ‘Catching Hell’ Explores Scapegoating

In “Catching Hell,” premiering tonight on ESPN, Academy Award-winning documentarian Alex Gibney tells the story of Chicago Cubs fan Steve Bartman, who fatefully deflected a foul ball in game six of the 2003 National League Championship Series. The Cubs lost the game and the series, leading many angry fans to blame Bartman.

Gibney explores the psychology of die-hard sports fans and what he calls the frightening phenomenon of scapegoating. As part of the story, Gibney interviews former Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner, who was similarly vilified for not stopping what appeared to be a routine ground ball in the 1986 World Series.

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