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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Dealing with Success?
by Hal Vickery

A couple of topics have reared their ugly heads here at WSI since the Sox won the World Series. Both of them are particular favorites of mine, so I’ll take the opportunity to comment on them here.

When the Sox were perennial also-rans, there was a message board topic that would pop up like clockwork every six months or so. The general question was always something like, “Would you be willing to put up with twenty years of last place finishes for the Sox to win it all just once?”

Oddly enough an amazing number of respondents would say, “Yes!” I’ve always contended that this attitude is for losers and is indicative of why Chicago is known as the Second City. Chicago fans are notorious losers. How else can you explain the fawning of Cubs fans of the players who participated in their ’69 disaster? Why else would Bears fans be so contented with their Super Bowl XX champions be venerated while little has been said about the Bears lack dearth of winning teams since then?

Or it could be that two three-peats by the Bulls since the Bears championship has kept the masses contented while Chicago teams in other sports wallowed in mediocrity. Whatever the reason, until 2005 Chicago baseball fans, and Sox fans in particular have been willing to settle for decades of mediocrity if they could only get that one elusive championship.

Well, the Sox have gone and done it. They’ve forced the hand of all of those who have said they’d be willing to put up with twenty last place finishes. Is it really time to pay the piper?

Not on your life! As I’ve already said, Sox fans have been desperate for a World Series championship. They were willing to make any deal with God or Satan or whoever would listen. After eighty-eight years, you’re bound to get a little desperate.

To those who made such deals, I would simply say, “Deals are made to be broken.” Just ask any politician who vowed not to raise taxes if only you’d elect him or her. It’s time to up the ante. It’s time to get greedy.

Look. The Yankees have had their way for most of the last eighty years. They’ve won something like twenty-six World Series championships after a mere fifteen years of wallowing in the muck. Don’t White Sox fans deserve a lot more? After all, we went eighty-eight lousy years between championships. If the Yankees get twenty-six for their fifteen years of lousy baseball, how many World Series do we deserve in the next eighty years or so?

This is precisely why I said such “polls” were terrible in their concept. They assume that our destiny is losing. But part of the WSI credo is that Sox fans hate losing. Only a horrible moment (or eighty-eight years) of irrationality brought on by constant losing would ever make a Sox fan consider such a tradeoff.

Let Cubs fans make such deals. They’re the ones who love wallowing in the putrid slime that is their team. As I’ve written before, I want a dynasty. And it seems that now is as good a time to start as any.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Which leads to the other topic: the behavior of Cubs fans now that the Sox have broken the ice and won the World Series.

I have to admit that the only Cubs fans I associate with are those that actually know something about baseball. I work with a couple of them who are husband and wife, and the first thing they did after the Sox won Game Four of the Series was to congratulate me.

I have to admit that I did a little gloating by “graciously” saying, “Thanks, maybe someday I’ll be able to say the same to you…but I doubt it.” The truly funny thing was the wife said the last part in unison with me. So, yes, Sox fans, there is intelligent life north of Madison St. You just have to search for it.

After reading some of the threads on the message boards here, I’m gathering that the majority of the Cubs fans who are being obnoxious fit into the “frat boy” and “Yuppie” categories. It seems that about the only straw left for them to grasp on is the old attendance argument.

It is a lame argument, and we all know it. I suspect that in their heart of hearts, this sect of Cubdumb also knows it. They made a lousy choice because it seemed to be the popular thing to do. Sox fans are reluctant to accept them as bandwagon jumpers, and they know it.

They felt so secure in their sense of being popularity, and they were so tightly roped in by Cubune propaganda, that they actually thought that they were superior to the lowlifes they perceived Sox fans to be.

They were sucked in not just by the Cubune but by most of the Chicago print and broadcast media. Everything good wore Cubby blue. The Sox were the team of the Ligues and Dybases of the world, tattoo-wearing morons. It’s easy to feel superior to people like that. And even Sox fans have to admit, the Sox’ play on the field over the past forty-eight years or so hasn’t done much to deter that air of superiority Cubs fans felt.

Now suddenly the rug has been pulled out from under them, and these poor souls don’t know how to react. Everything they held dear suddenly came tumbling down around them in a crashing heap. It wasn’t the wonderful Cubbies with super-duper-stars Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, and Derrek Lee who won the World Series. It was a team with guys named Konerko, Uribe, Podsednik, Pierzynski, and Iguchi.

It wasn’t super-duper-star manager Trusty Dusty Baker who led a Chicago team out of the wilderness. It was a rookie manager named Ozzie Guillen, who came to the Sox from the Florida Marlins, the team that seemed to rob them of their shot at glory just two years ago.

You can almost feel sorry for those poor souls…until they say something like, “Yeah, but we still more attendance than you!” It’s the type of thing that four-year-olds say when they find out that another kid has something better than what they have.

My advice to Sox fans confronting such fans is to take the high road. Just graciously smile when they go on their little rant. Say with as much phony sincerity as you can muster (but make it sound sincere), “Maybe someday soon, your guys will win the World Series.”

If that doesn’t work and they persist in belittling the Sox’ accomplishments this year, several posters have found the correct response, one that no Cubs fan has a comeback for. Just say, “I have three words for you: WORLD…SERIES…CHAMPIONS.” Then walk away.


Editor's Note: Hal Vickery has been a White Sox fan since 1955 when he was five years old. For much of that time he also had a secondary rooting interest in the Cubs, which he has shown the good sense to abandon. When not cheering for or writing about the Sox, Hal teachers chemistry and physics at North Boone High School, in Poplar Grove, IL. Hal commutes there daily from Joliet, where he lives with his wife Lee, and their dog, Buster T. Beagle. Hal's opinions are not necessarily those of North Boone High School, his wife, or Buster T. Beagle. You can write Hal at hvickery@svs.com.

More features from Hal Vickery here!

Have a Thought about
Dealing with Success?

You Can Put it on the Board -- Yes!



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