Hello, everyone. This is Bryant Gumbel and welcome to REAL SPORTS.
Tonight, we have an exclusive interview with former CTU Agent Tony Almeida. Almeida, believed dead, has recently turned up as one of the most dangerous men alive, threatening to disable this nation's infrastructure using his intimate knowledge of our defenses. In my one-on-one interview with Almeida, I asked him why he has shifted his lifelong loyalties and whether he is being wrongly characterized by his former friends and co-workers within the federal government. Patriot or pariah? You decide.
GUMBEL: You're a baseball fan, right?
GUMBEL: What do you think of the recent indictment against Barry Bonds?
ALMEIDA: He is being singled out by a corrupt power structure that is pointing fingers at him. Bonds didn't break any rules of the game. Even if he used steroids, I think the game knew about it all along. And he wasn't the only one to use them anyway. He just happens to be the guy who did the best out of the group. He's a patsy, Bryant.
GUMBEL: Now, my producers tell me that you're a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan. Well, so am I--
ALMEIDA: I'm not a Cubs fan.
GUMBEL: I- we have numerous pictures of you with a Chicago Cubs mug. I think your fans refer to it as "Cubby" in fact.
ALMEIDA: Yeah. I had a Cubs mug. I also had a long-held trust in this nation. Things change. I drink Budweiser out of a new mug now; I follow the White Sox.
GUMBEL: Why did you change your loyalties?
ALMEIDA: It started with Steve Bartman.
GUMBEL: You're not going to make him a scapegoat like so many other Cubs fans, are you?
ALMEIDA: Bartman was no scapegoat. He was, in fact, a CTU agent working out of the Chicago branch. I have reviewed the internal files, which show that Bartman was sent to Game 6 of the 2003 NLDS series to disrupt the Cubs' chances of winning the series by botching the foul-ball play. Bartman is just one of several federal agents sent to keep the Cubs from winning another World Series over the years. Harry Carey was another agent, a master of mass deception. And I have it on good authority that Carlos Zambrano is the current mole within the Cubs organization.
GUMBEL: I'm astonished by these claims. Do you have proof?
ALMEIDA: I'm not in a court of law. The proof I have would be discredited by the government anyways. Look, I was drinking the Kool-Aid myself for a long time. The Cubs will never win a World Series because the powers that be have decided so. The White Sox are not a target of this conspiracy.
GUMBEL: Were the Boston Red Sox a victim of this corruption as well?
ALMEIDA: No, they just sucked for a really long time.
GUMBEL: Moving on, I understand that your former co-workers have called you, and I quote, "a terrorist who is threatening to destroy this nation's infrastructure." How do you respond?
ALMEIDA: Our founding fathers were called similar things by the British crown over two hundred years ago. They, like myself, had renegade facial hair and a love of liberty. I apologize for nothing.
GUMBEL: After you destroy this country's ability to function, what do you have planned next?
ALMEIDA: I'd like to take a break, maybe hit a few ballgames and catch up on some reading. It's a lot of work getting free time. Heck, I'm still picking up pieces of my dead wife off the kitchen floor. I make lists, I try to keep organized. I'll probably get a cat too.
GUMBEL: Any chance you'll play softball again?
ALMEIDA: Funny you should mention that. I have a good team I'm lining up. CTU's team is overrated. And most of their players are dead or fired now. Stay tuned.
Well, that's our interview with Tony Almeida. As Coach John Wooden said: "Sports do not build character, they reveal it." And the same can be said for a fan's approach to his beloved games. That's our show for tonight. Come back next week when I interview Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez about his ties to Iran and his love of horses. Good night.
h/t to Rickey Henderson.