Sportsman's Daily


Ten Years After Making “The Fan” De Niro Still Obsessed with Bobby Rayburn

Barry Bonds Increases Security at His Home

Robert Deniro in The Fan

Actor Robert De Niro exhibits symptoms of rare acting disorder that attacks the part of the brain that processes the difference between a role and real life. Here De Niro is not just playing an obsessive Giants fan -- his is that fan. "He's so deeply immersed in his so-called character he's even conscripted a young actor to play the part of his son," said a Marin County police offer assigned to the case. "While it's very disturbing, it's a privilege to be tailing arguably the finest actor of his generation and watching him work."

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (The Sportsman's Daily Wire Service) — He’s been using The Method style of acting for nearly forty years, and it’s starting to take its toll. Academy Award-winning actor Robert De Niro has been sighted in the Bay Area driving around in the high rent neighborhoods where he made the motion picture, “The Fan” over ten years ago. De Niro co-starred with Wesley Snipes who played Bobby Rayburn, a three-time MVP player with the Giants who was clearly based on Barry Bonds.

De Niro was stopped for questioning by Marin County police, but he was not taken into custody because he wasn’t breaking any laws. “I saw him sitting there in the front seat of his rented SUV eating a Double-Double from the In & Out Burger in Mill Valley,” Officer Terrence Wilcox said. “He seemed to be enjoying it and wasn’t really bothering anyone. But he did seem to be fixated on something. What, we haven't as yet ascertained."

In the 1996 movie, “The Fan,” De Niro played Gil Renard, an obsessed fan who wanted to help the Bobby Rayburn character break out of his season-long slump. But he went too far, eventually threatening the Giants star. De Niro continues to be closely watched by Bay Area authorities. Since the Rayburn character doesn’t actually exist, and Wesley Snipes is dealing his own legal problems (and was last reported to be out of the country), the concern is that De Niro may set his sights on Barry Bonds, after whom Rayburn was patterned. Bonds reported getting a phone call on January 29th around 3:15 in the morning from a man claiming he could help him with the hitch in his swing. Bonds says he asked who was making the call since the caller ID was blocked. But the caller hung up.

“It sounded like it could have been De Niro,” said Bonds. “He wasn’t really doing Renard from “The Fan” or the Travis Bickle character from “Taxi Driver.” But it was out there man - a real freak show. If it was De Niro though, I have to say the performance was sub-par -- for him. But in all fairness, I really didn’t stay on the phone long enough for his character to develop. If he calls again, I’ll record it for the police, and then analyze his performance later. He’s been doing a variety of roles lately, and maybe his ‘menacing sociopath’ chops need some fine tuning.”

Still the controversial slugger is acting on the side of caution by increasing security at his home. “The last thing I need is for him to pull a Max Cady from “Cape Fear" on my ass -- sneaking in here, slitting the throat of my maid Graciella, slipping into her pink maid outfit, shooting the detective who’s here to protect me with his own gun leaving a nauseating pool of blood on my kitchen floor, then me running in a few seconds later slipping and sliding on the blood, then get up to find him running across my backyard into the night with my eight Gold Glove Awards. That would be a tragedy. I love those awards.”

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