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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

The Good News of Sox Fandom!

A Call to Arms for 2004 -- and beyond

by George Bova

Baseball is back on the South Side, another home opener is here, and hope springs eternal even for fans of a baseball team that hasn't won a championship since the Kaiser stood astride the European continent.  Nobody on the South Side is wearing a trench coat and helmet with a spike pointing from the top, but sometimes it feels as though we ought to be.  This has been a long and costly battle to our side, fighting in vain against superior numbers for the Good Cause of winning another baseball world championship for the City of Chicago.  Nobody will enjoy sweet success more than Sox Fans for truly no group of fans in all of professional sports has suffered longer or harder, never once glorifying losing as ignorant others gleefully do. 

Fans of the Lovable Losers get what they deserve.  Sox Fans don't.  Like the futile effort of Sisyphus rolling that mythical stone up the hill, Sox Fans are all but doomed to the fate of dying never to reach the one and only glory they ever wanted.  Generations of dead Sox Fans dot Chicago's graveyards bearing silent testament to this undeniable fact.  Unlike the fans of losers buried next to them, they never once shrugged their shoulders and quipped, "I just love those  Cubbies."  Sad.  Very Sad.  That's what makes Sox Fans unique, and what makes 2004 another watershed year for those who take up the cause yet again. 

Sox Fans, there is Good News here, but you need to search for it.  Where to search?  Deep inside yourself, of course.

2004 might be the year we finally break through and celebrate the ultimate victory, but hard reality argues otherwise.  A weak division always holds special promise and Sox Fans can take comfort knowing the true beasts of the American League populate either the left or right coast, not middle America.  Still there can be no denying that the 2004 ballclub has little more to offer than the 2003 edition did, losing a front-line starting pitcher and a few other spare parts since last season ended.  Yes, new manager Ozzie Guillen at least offers hope for motivating the rump of this otherwise talented bunch to win the division, an obvious failing of the last guy who revealed himself more clueless each of his last three seasons in the manager's seat.  Is the motivational attitude of a fiery new manager enough to make a difference?  Everyone hopes so. 

Whether Ozzie makes the winning difference or not is hardly the point.  Bandwagon jumpers will arrive soon enough if the Sox look to make noise next October.  No, what is the point right now is that you are reading this as the season begins, long before the 2004 team proves whether any of the hope of spring placed upon it are well-founded.  You're reading this as a totally biased Sox Fan, not a totally bandwagon-jumping Sox Fan. 

Good News is not for bandwagon jumpers.  They are the doubting Thomas's of this world, convinced only when presented with undeniable proof.  Whatever it is they possess could never be confused with faith.  Good News is not for "hope springs eternal" optimists of March and April either.  They will give up on the Sox and move on to "hope to springs eternal" thinking in other places besides 35th and Shields, most likely in Bourbonnais next July when the Bears arrive.  Write them off with the bandwagon jumpers.  Stacked one on top of another, they still don't amount to a hill of beans compared to the totally biased attitude of Sox Fans.

Totally biased Sox Fandom merely shrugs at a cold winter spent like the past one, counting days without a single lump of coal from team management to provide warmth at the hot stove.  Totally biased Sox Fandom cares little that former bench players are given full-time roles simply because team management is too dumb/smart or cheap/thrifty to re-sign the regulars who were previously deemed superior ballplayers by the very same management. 

You're not totally biased Sox Fans because of team management.  You're totally biased Sox Fans in spite of team management! 

You're totally biased Sox Fans because you believe in the cause -- the cause of a baseball championship for Chicago.  And you're totally biased Sox Fans because you're too intelligent to think glorifying losing can possibly lead to anything but more losing -- a lesson too many of our neighbors are utterly incapable of understanding. 

Sox Fans know The Truth.  Losing doesn't come from a curse.  It comes from a young pitcher (blasphemously named "Messiah" by the ignorant) who comes completely unglued after an unfortunate freak play in Game 6 of the NLCS.

Sox Fans know The Truth.  Losing doesn't come from a billy goat.  It comes from a showboating rightfielder (conceited enough to compare himself to Christ Himself) who throws home instead of hitting the cut-off man, allowing a key baserunner to reach scoring position.

Sox Fans know The Truth.  Losing doesn't come from an idiot wearing a Walkman futilely attempting to catch a cursed foul ball.  It comes from a shortstop making an error on the subsequent groundout, and the fan-favorite "Savior" pitcher failing to pull through in the deciding game the next day.  Sox Fans know the game of baseball and that is why we know The Truth about our own team, too.  If championship glory is to be achieved, we'll do it as steely-eyed realists, not goofy know-nothings looking to attend a summertime party.

We Sox Fans don't need this explained to us.  We carry The Truth in our hearts because we know that The Truth will conquer, for the Truth always conquers. 

Fear not, Sox Fans, what the future holds.  Our team, our traditions, our spirit, will conquer over whatever is tossed our way... if you, YOU as a totally biased Sox Fan, keep up the Good Fight that legions of dead Sox Fans who came before you have already advanced on your behalf.  Pick up the torch from their falling hands and carry it forward, for Sox Fandom LIVES even as a Sox Fan dies. 

You may not live to see the Glorious Victory.  But keeping the True Faith, keeping up the Good Fight, makes yours the ultimate triumph nonetheless.  You'll be remembered by all Sox Fans on that Great Day.  You achieve The Glory with them.  Your cause -- our cause! -- is immortal.  You only need to pass that torch to them.

2004 and beyond...  Fight on! 

Chicago is Proud of You!

Let's Go Go Go White Sox!
 


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

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