Community  

 
 Message Boards  

 WSI Photo Gallery  

Post of the Week  

 Chat  

 

 

  2013 White Sox  

 Season Schedule  

 

2005 Championship

 

WSI Extras  

 WSI Interviews

  Audio Memories

  2002 Disaster!

2001 Season Fun!

2000 Champions!

Fun & Games

History & Glory

Sox Greats
Sox Quotables
Sox Fight Songs
Old Comiskey Park

     

   
WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Kansas City Blues

Winning Cures All!

by
Guy Bacci

A week ago, Shrek 2 opened in a record number of theaters nationwide. The animated sequel featuring the friendly green ogre was played on over 4,000 screens across the country. If you had the sudden urge to see Shrek 2 at, say, 10:00 in the morning, or, 11:45 at night, you could find a theater in driving distance to satisfy your craving. The Regal Lincolnshire provides an almost comical example of how absurd the movie business has become: They start playing Shrek 2 at 9:30 am and proceed to show the movie 38 times in one day. A new reel starts practically every 15 minutes.

Maybe this kind of chaos is understandable for a well-established franchise like Star Wars, or a long-time superhero like Spider-Man. But Shrek? Sure, itís a cute film. It appeals strongly to children and contains enough pop-culture references to keep adults laughing. But is it really a movie that the entire country has been dying to see? I certainly donít know any obsessed Shrek fans who were wetting their pants in anticipation of the sequel, kids or adults.

What Shrek 2 demonstrates is that weíre an increasingly event-driven society, more so than ever before. Weíre not all that concerned about what weíre flocking to as long as everyone else is flocking along with us. What we crave is to be where the crowd is. We want to be a part of something big, and we want it as often as possible. Itís why Hollywood now focuses on huge opening-weekends, and then ships the movies to video as soon as possible.

You know where Iím going with thisóChicago has its very own Shrek, and he plays in an ivy-clad stadium on Clark and Addison. Groan about it all you want, but past PR blunders by the Sox, along with the explosion of the national media, has built the Cubs into a giant, green ogre, so to speak.

And with the Northsiders favored to win the NL Central behind a bevy of eye-popping pitchers and one of the biggest sluggers of all time, we all knew the media would be going Cubbie crazy this season.

As it turns out, the Cubsí season hasnít been as rosy as anticipated, resulting in a barrage of daily updates on Mark Priorís rehab, Kerry Woodís triceps and Sammy Sosaís sneezes. In the meantime, the White Sox are playing their best baseball in five years, combining stunning pitching with an explosive offense. But youíd have to be a diehard Sox fan to know that heading into their series with the Angels, theyíre leading the AL in runs (258) while allowing the fewest (201).

With the Pale Hose as hot as they are, it has suddenly become trendy for Sox fans to send scathing emails to the local media. Iím not sure what this accomplishes, other than further establishing that Southside fans have developed a fairly large inferiority complex. The end result is usually a reply from the media that essentially says, ďYouíre just another irritating Sox fan.Ē Or basically explains, ďHey, Iím just doing my job and leading with the bigger story.Ē The former response seems typical of Jay Mariotti, who actually called Sox fans ďanalĒ in a reply to one of the posters on WSI. (Please note, we have no way of confirming this. But considering several sources have claimed to get abrupt, condescending replies from Mariotti, we can only assume itís true.) The latter response is essentially what NBC anchor Mark Schanowski said in a rather lengthy and sincere reply to another WSI poster.

My question to fellow Sox fans who are so eager to email the media is, ďAre you on JRís payroll?Ē If the answer is no, then why are you doing his job for him? Brooks Boyer is probably delighted to have such cheap labor working behind the scenes. Remember, the Sox, in a sense, dug their own grave. Harry Carey could have remained on the Southside. The Sox could have been on WGN instead of SportsVision. Many steps in the past could have ensured the equation White Sox >= Cubs.

Instead, the Sox are the afterthought. As someone who studied journalism and worked briefly in the industry, Iím not offended by the way the media is acting. I canít blame local or national media for leading their newscasts with Priorís latest throwing session, or plastering the sports pages with Dusty Bakerís latest nonsensical comment. As much as weíd all like to idealize the role of a journalist, the reality is, the journalist works for a Wall Street driven company that only cares about ratings. Itís a big reason why I quickly fled the profession. Journalism is not in its best eraójust look at all the shocking fabrication scandals of the past ten years. If you donít like it, donít pay attention. I donít think Iíve watched more than five minutes of a local newscast in over eight years.

Having said that, Iím well aware that Cubs coverage has reached nauseating levels. I picked up a local paper last week and was flabbergasted to see a three-column story on Kerry Woodís injury ... in a Seattle newspaper. Cub fan friends of mine have admitted the Prior Watch is too much even for them to stomach.

But the Cubs are the story, like it or not. No amount of stadium renovations are going to change that fact in the immediate future. Which is why the Sox must keep winning if they wish to obtain a piece of the spotlight. Slowly but surely, they are starting to steal some headlines as they did in 2000. Miguel Olivo was recently pictured on the homepage of ESPN.com, and the Sox were listed in a SportsCenter poll asking which offense is most exciting. (Okay, so the Sox finished last in that poll, but hey, you gotta start somewhere.)

Soon enough, the national media will begin wondering if Juan Uribe should be the starting second baseman at the All-Star game. And if Willie Harris and Olivo are better than anyone expected. And if Mark Buehrle is really the ace of a staff. And maybe, just maybe, someone will start to say the Sox are the team in Chicago to keep your eye on.

But that will only happen if they keep putting Wís on the board. The Sox are the small indie film that needs to gain popularity by word of mouth. The only way the news will spread is if fans are wowed by the awesome display of power, pitching and teamwork that has been demonstrated the first two months of the season.

Itís so simple itís silly: Winning cures all. Nothing else will attract more fans. Well, nothing except a post-game showing of Shrek 2 on the Jumbotron.


Guy Bacci is from the north suburbs of Chicago, where he couldn't avoid growing up as a pampered and snotty Cubs fan. Luckily, he saw the light in 1985 and never looked back.† He loved the hard-working, old-school tactics of Carlton Fisk, who would become his all-time favorite player.† His most memorable moment was going to a Sox double-header with his grandfather, who insisted on staying all nine hours (including a long rain delay).† Guy is a journalism grad from Northwestern, currently residing in Seattle, where he works as a computer programmer and freelance writer. He can be reached at guybacci@yahoo.com.

More features from Guy Bacci here!

Have a Thought about
Winning Cures All?

You Can Put it on the Board -- Yes!



1 to 1 of 1

Search For:
Search in:
And in:
Any Words All Words

News Categories

Totally biased Sox news from White Sox Interactive!

EXCLUSIVE Sox features from WSI.

Full Sox coverage featuring the unique WSI slant!

The Totally Biased Game Recap, another WSI EXCLUSIVE!

YOUR chance to be featured at White Sox Interactive!

The funniest and most-noteworthy posts from the Sox Clubhouse message board.

The internet's largest FREE Sox news database, sorted by month.

The internet's largest FREE Sox news database, sorted by day.


WSI Spotlight

72 Sox Celebration Recap

72 Sox Where Are They Now

Ears and Appendices

Sox & the A-word

Part 2: Sox and the Media

Sox and the Media

A Second City Trophy

In Defense of Sox Hitting

Sox Quest

On the Brink

WSI News System Page Views: 23,541,733