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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 championship.

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 all!" 

We aren't quitting.


George Bova is editor and founder of White Sox Interactive.

 

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