Today is the 25th anniversary of Lee Elia's infamous tirade against Cubs fans (language in video uncensored, NSFW). Is it the most notable tirade in sports history? Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy's "I'm a man! I'm 40!" rant gets more play, but has not yet stood the test of time. In the NFL, Jim Mora had a couple of great ones, and Denny Green's "crown 'em!" tirade when he coached the Arizona Cardinals was more comical than shocking. Bob Knight's body of work needs no introduction, of course. But Elia's may just be the gold standard.

The Cubs had lost that day in 1983 by one run to the Dodgers, dropping to 5-14, and Elia was responding to the booing of his team by the Wrigley crowd. The great thing about it was the Elia just kept going on and on, with 16 F-bombs, by my count. And then two hours later he was apologizing for the entire thing. Unlike, say, Lasorda's notable harangue of a reporter following a 1985 playoff game with the Cardinals (Lasorda had stupidly elected to pitch to slugger Jack Clark with first base open, with predictable results), Elia's diatribe seemed heartfelt, rather than staged. Here's the money quote:

Eighty-five percent of the $%#@! world is working. The other fifteen come out here. A $%#@!' playground for the %&*#suckers.

And now you can own a piece of history. Darren Rovell at CNBC points us to a company called A&R Collectibles, which is selling baseballs autographed by Elia which are stored in special cases that include a recording of the rant. Buy one for your son or daughter and share a lifetime of treasured Cub memories.

Lee Elia: Former Cubs Manager Cashed In On Tirade [CNBC]