So much for fun at the ol’ ballpark.
In his latest misadventure at a major league ball game, Chris Christie found himself at the epicentre of bizarre headlines once again Sunday afternoon. The New Jersey governor followed up the boofest he received from Mets fans earlier this month when he caught a foul ball by confronting a Chicago Cubs fan who was heckling him at Milwaukee’s Miller Park.
“You’re a big shot,” Christie tells the fan.
Christie’s presence at the Brewers-Cubs game can be explained by the fact that his son, Andrew, works in the Brewers’ baseball operations department. It’s less easy to explain the give-and-take with the fan.
He was proceeding down steps with a bowl of nachos when the Cubs fan Brad Joseph expressed the opinion “that he sucked,” Joseph told WISN reporter Ben Hutchinson, who happens to be his cousin and caught the end of the conversation on video.
“When he initially was going up the stairs I yelled his name. He was already quite a bit past me, and 30 feet away I yelled his name and told him that he sucked … I called him a hypocrite because I thought it needed to be said,” Joseph told Hutchinson. “He then turned around and walked all the way back toward me and got up in my face for what seemed like a long time, but was probably only about 30 seconds or a minute.”
According to Joseph, Christie’s knee made contact with him and he asked Joseph if he wanted to “start something.”
“(He) was yelling at me. First he told me, ‘Why don’t you have another beer?’ which I thought was a decent comeback, and I thought that was kind of funny,” Joseph said. “Then he started calling me a tough guy.”
Christie has been getting an earful from more than just baseball fans of late. According to a July poll by Monmouth University, Christie’s approval rating had fallen to 15 per cent after his infamous July 4 “Beachgate” incident in which the Newark Star-Ledger published photos of the governor with his family enjoying a beach closed to the public amid a statewide government shutdown.
“That’s the way it goes,” Christie said at the time. “Run for governor, and you can have the residence.”
Part of being a public official means listening to the public, even if the feedback is unpleasant.
“He is a public official and this is America,” Joseph said, “and I think we have the right to say what you believe as long as it’s not crude or profane.”
Whatever Christie is hearing now, just wait until — or if — he gets a sports-talk radio job. On WFAN earlier this month, a caller (Mike from Montclair) crushed him over Beachgate. “Governor, next time you want to sit on a beach that is closed to the entire world except you, you put your fat [butt] in a car and go to one that’s open to all your constituents.”
Luckily, Christie is seldom at a loss for a response.
“You know, Mike, I love getting calls from Communists in Montclair,” he retorted.