Perhaps we've been focusing too much on the bad publicity about the Osbournes. Yesterday, papa Ozzy and mama Sharon, stars of MTV's The Osbournes, appeared at the Chicago Cubs-Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game in Chicago's Wrigley Field and drew little but crowd and media adulation, typified by this column in the Chicago Daily Herald.

According to the Associated Press, the Cubs' fans cheered and chanted for Ozzy and Sharon during their appearances ... even though Sharon, who threw out the first pitch, only managed to toss the baseball a little more than halfway to home plate (60 feet, 6 inches), and a seemingly dazed Ozzy had no idea whatsoever of the words to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," which he stumbled his way through (singing nonsense syllables) during the seventh-inning stretch. In replaying the scene during a nightly highlights show, ESPN reporters jokingly questioned Ozzy's sobriety at the time.

So what would account for the cheers and praise for Ozzy? Perhaps it resulted from Ozzy's donning of a Cubs jersey (seen in this picture from the Evening Times), since Cubs fans have grown used to seeing their team play a level of ball of similar quality to Ozzy's singing in the years since the Cubs' last championship ... in 1908. Or perhaps it's because Ozzy is a rarity in Hollywood, a celebrity unafraid to fail over and over again. Or perhaps ... dare we say it? ... he's become an icon due to MTV and reality TV.

Addendum: The Chicago Tribune (free registration required) has added links for the video (in RealVideo format) and transcript for Ozzy and Sharon's rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." In addition, a poll on the page asks respondents to vote for the worst rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" in Cubs history; out of almost 5,000 responses, over 63% have selected Ozzy's version, which the Tribune says was done "so badly you wonder if it was on purpose." We wonder too.