Sox Fan Primer for Chicago's Media
In 84 years of losing baseball, rarely have Sox Fans had much to cheer
about. This past weekend's defeat of the Cubs to capture undisputed
bragging rights to both the annual and all-time City Series championship
provides only cold comfort to Sox Fans who started the season with dreams far
greater. We're glad to collect the title and we're sure it will come in
handy at the water cooler when loud-mouth (and foolish) Cubs fans come
calling. Make no mistake, however, we would rather be beating the Indians,
Twins, and Yankees for ultimate glory--speed bumps on our way to a world
So it was with both amusement and resignation we watched, listened, and read
the Chicago media's spin on the three-game series the Sox won at Wrigley
Field. The range of incompetent and delusional thinking amongst these
self-important scribes and talking heads reached epic proportions. Here
are just a few of the lowlights:
- A columnist suggesting Sox Fans were too class-less not to be offended
by their "Smut Sox",
- An editor calling the Sox "hot dogs" in the headline he wrote
for a sports column,
- A radio team whining that the Cubs "lost with dignity" and
"took the high road".
Has the world gone mad???
The misunderstanding these folks share for the Sox and Sox Fans apparently
knows no bounds. It's obvious most of these people were raised in cow
pastures far from Chicago and its baseball traditions.
These people draw paychecks for being this incompetent. They really
ought to know more about the Sox and Sox Fans. The fact they don't ought
to shame them. As a public service to these numbskulls, and finally set
the record straight, White Sox Interactive offers the local media a
primer about White Sox Fans so they may more successfully hide their ignorance
of the subject in the future.
1. Sox Fans Hate Losing.
If you can only remember one thing about Sox Fans, remember this one.
We hate losing. It defines who we are more than anything else. We
aren't easily distracted from our ultimate goal: winning. If we
were satisfied to lose, we too would be seduced by ivy and bushes, old
scoreboards, and cute red, white, and blue pajamas adorned with baby
bears. We despise showmen who place themselves above the
game (and thus, winning) with pre-scripted "celebrations".
Winning is what it is all about for Sox Fans. Losing
ain't cute. In fact, it is especially bitter for us.
2. We Won't Support Mediocrity.
Sox Fans are often accused of being frontrunners by confused media
dolts. They point to empty blue seats and question our allegiance.
Such nonsense! This franchise has always struggled when it loses
even before Jerry Reinsdorf owned it. After 84 years of futility, Sox
Fans carry plenty of disappointment for having wanted nothing more than to
win. We won't tolerate mediocrity and there isn't much we can enjoy when
getting beat. For a Sox Fan there is nothing enjoyable or honorable
about supporting a losing effort.
Making excuses for losing is what the other team's fans do!
3. The Cubs Represent Mediocrity.
The greatest misconception amongst the media is the alleged preference Sox
Fans have for watching the Cubs lose. WRONG! Sox Fans hate losing;
nothing is better than a Sox victory. Unfortunately, our team loses more
than its share. So yes, we find comfort knowing Cubs fans get what they
deserve when their team loses. No Sox Fan ever called their team
"Lovable Losers". No Sox Fan would tolerate a losing tradition
like flying a blue "L" flag after each loss. No true Sox Fan
would think it's cute to celebrate losing baseball by throwing
back a homerun ball either. In short, Every Cubs defeat validates
the allegiance we have to winning--and our Sox.
Nothing compares to a Sox victory, but a Cubs loss will do in a
pinch. 84 lean years has made us seek comfort where we can find it.
4. We Have No Voice.
Without the resources of the largest media conglomerate in the Midwest to
trumpet our cause, Sox Fans feel lonely and misunderstood. It's as if
everyone else in the media has heard the siren call of the Tribune Company
(the "Cubune" as we call it), and slavishly bought into the myths
that can only be created when you own the city's largest newspaper, largest TV
station, largest radio station, and countless other media outlets across
America. Sox Fans aren't invisible because we aren't owned by the Cubune;
we're invisible because our closest rival is!
The Cubune runs the Cubs as one more operating unit of their media
empire. There is nothing wrong with that. However, is it too much for
those outside the Cubune's monopoly to challenge their empire? So far
nobody seems much interested in doing so.
5. We Resent Our Plight
The Sox are hardly the only sports team that lives in the shadow of a more
popular neighbor. Mets, Angels, and Athletics fans share a similar
plight. However it's totally unique that Sox Fans aren't understood by
the media in their own town. Only in Chicago could a local team's fans
be so ostracized. It's impossible to imagine the writers at the
Post-Dispatch misunderstanding St. Louis Cardinals fans. It's ridiculous
to think the Plain Dealer doesn't court fans of the Cleveland
Indians. It's beyond obvious that the Journal-Sentinel is
Milwaukee's biggest cheerleader for the Brewers and their fans.
In Chicago, there is only enough room to hype the Cubs. The more
honest amongst the local media will even admit to it, as Skip Bayless
inadvertently did in his second-to-last column in the Cubune, July 15
(characterizing the Sox as "underpublicized underdogs").
6. Finally, One Last Plea!
Stop being part of the problem. Strive to be
part of the solution!
We Sox Fans aren't looking for sympathy. We aren't looking for a pat
on the back either. What we do crave more than anything else is
appreciation for what makes us tick. We're aren't Cubs fans and we never
will be, so stop measuring us by that perverted yardstick.
The ballpark is not our passion.
The neighborhood is not our passion.
And (God help us), romancing futility is not our passion!
Find a Sox Fan and talk to them about WINNING. Talk to them about a
lifetime's worth of bitterness from losing. We're experts on these
topics, and we have plenty to share.
"Go Sox!" is our universal call. And when the team sucks
and it's a struggle just to breakeven, it's "Go Sox--God help us
George Bova is editor and founder of White Sox Interactive.
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