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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

WSI's FLYINGSOCK.COM.  Chicago White Sox coverage with totally biased attitude!

Eighty-Two Years and Waiting


The Evil of Cubs Fandom

by George Bova

Well June is here.  Given that this is the brave new world of the modern era of baseball, we Sox fans have come to expect a few things.  In the brave new world of modern baseball, a baseball owner is perfectly suitable to play the role of baseball commissioner.  In the brave new world of modern baseball, surly free agent outfielders are allowed (or even expected!) to flip off the hometown fans of the team that pays his $12 million salary.  In the brave new world of baseball, umpires independently choose which pitched balls are balls and which ones are strikes.  The umpire's strike zone is often wider than their own fat butts.  In the brave new world of baseball, these are not calamities, but routine occurrences.

There are many unfamiliar changes we Sox fans must cope with.  However, there is no denying that one new tradition that holds some fun is our now annual crosstown series against those dolts from the north side, darlings of the superstation programmers, daytime entertainers to legions of retirees in Arizona, heroes to babes and tots, the living embodiment of baseball futility and ignorance, the embarrassment to all mankind, the Chicago Cubs and their fans.

Is there any hotter ticket in Des Moines?

Pity the transferees and other new residents of Chicago.  They just don't understand what separates true Sox fan from those goofs who root for the Cubs.  Anyone who claims they support both Chicago teams can not possibly support either.  True support means undivided attention, uncompromising devotion, and an irrational spark.  You don't have to hate the Cubs or Cubs fans, but frankly, it doesn't hurt.  True joy is only derived from a Sox victory -- but a Cubs loss will do in a pinch.

Smugness is probably the worst trait of Cubs fans.  They just assume anyone from Chicago must love the Cubs too.  They seem genuinely confused that anyone else might consider their team a hideous caricature of the American Pastime and their ballpark something akin to the devil's den.  Make no mistake, there is EVIL going on inside the walls at Clark and Addison.  The brave new world of baseball is a dangerous place.  We Sox fans are the bulwark against a rising tide of cute, vapid, sameness.

The Player-Actors
Oh, is there anything more precious than those dugout shots at Wrigley Field?  The WGN superstation has a roster of 25 star actors dressed as major league ballplayers.  Sure they can't play winning baseball, it's been 54 years since they managed even so much as a pennant.  Such things are not important.  Each of the superstation's player-actors can manage to get underneath 20 or so pitches each season and loft incredibly high mortar shots which favorable winds will deposit nicely into Wrigley's outfield basket a scant 370 feet from homeplate.  Then comes the celebration, a pathetic orchestrated event of grabbing and grinning, but most of all, self-absorbed camera mugging.  At that very moment there isn't one Cubs player inside that dugout who isn't fully aware that the television camera is aimed right down their throat, beaming telephoto images of their every molar.  A few might saunter in the opposite direction, but only to show off what doubtlessly has scored them blonde prizes at the nightclubs.  Others aren't so subtle.  The chief ape of them all is the Sox Reject, Sammy Sosa.  If Sosa did the same routine in the N.F.L. that he does in the dugout after each home run, he would risk an unsportsman like conduct penalty.  In baseball we just call it bad taste.

The Serpent in the Garden
Does the devil have a tail and dress in red?  If he did we would all recognize him and run the other direction.  No, what the devil does is far more subtle and much more insidious.  The devil makes you think losing isn't a bad thing.  Losing isn't bad if you have an old-time scoreboard.  Losing isn't bad if there is ivy creeping up your outfield wall.  Losing isn't bad if you can drain a few adult beverages in an urban but not scary place, a sort of baseball Disney World.  Cubs fans can watch the grass grow all day long and still think it's greener beneath Sammy's feet.  At Wrigley Field the ballgame isn't first or second in importance, and for the drunken fools in the bleachers it may not even rank in the top ten.  Wrigley World is a garden without trouble or flaws.  It's only after you leave that you realize the home team has lost again.  Your baseball championship aspirations have been tossed in the trash awaiting their inevitable fate, not unlike the lost mouse ears that clutter a landfill outside Orlando.  That's a dark angel at work inside Clark Street's garden.  A serpent of the first order.

The Willing Accomplices -- Coast to Coast
The worst thing about being young is growing old.  Too many souls are defeated by life's passing pageant, hopelessly obsessed with how much better things were back in the good old days.  The modern world is filled with loathing and fear of the unknown.  For baseball fans across America, the Cubs and Wrigley Field are the ultimate nipple upon which to cling.  The team, the ballpark, and the fans are the perfect metaphor for the way things "used to be", but in fact never were.  Built upon false premises, ballparks from Baltimore to Texas now hopelessly strain to fool anyone that they, too, are old and familiar.  Amongst a growing number of baseball's fans, the most goofy of all Wrigley traditions has been replicated, too.  It's becoming less uncommon for fans across America to throw back home run balls hit by opposing hitters.  Yes, even within Comiskey Park some misguided souls believe this is cute.  It ain't.  It represents the creeping sameness that infects more and more of our national pastime -- a 21st century version of The Wave.

As Sox fans we stand quite literally in the front-line trench, just 8 miles from the devil and the assaults his superstation wages through the televisions inside America's living rooms from coast to coast.  If our team sucks, we Sox fans will freely admit it and most definitely won't enjoy it.  We want to be winners -- even when history says we likely won't live long enough to experience it even once.  We've been losing the war against Evil these last few years, but damned if we'll change sides.  We welcome Sox fans old and new to cheer against cute, vapid, sameness.  We'll win at least one of those games at Wrigley this year, even if we have to do heavy violence to every inch of that damned ivy.  Bring your hedge trimmers!
 


George Bova is editor and founder of White Sox Interactive.  You can write George at george@whitesoxinteractive.com

More features from George Bova here!

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