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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Sox-on-the-brain Cubs fans
by Hal Vickery

Last week I returned from a hiatus of several weeks that was imposed on my by the illness of my older brother and my own four-day stay in the hospital. Upon my return, I chose to reflect on the behavior of some Cubs fans that it was my misfortune to encounter in the weeks leading up to their demise in the National League Division Series.

I think it can be safely said that most of the people who frequent WSI are White Sox fans. As Sox fans we’re quite aware of the treatment of the Sox and their fans by the local media. Most Sox fans would probably say that there are certain myths perpetuated by the media about the behavior of Sox fans versus Cubs fans.

I’d like to address one of those myths today. That’s the one that states that Sox fans are preoccupied with the Cubs while Cubs fans really have no interest in what the Sox or their fans do. Granted all of my evidence is anecdotal, but in my encounters with Cubs fans, it has been my experience that if the Cubs are doing well, their fans go out of their way to “stick it to” Sox fans.

Granted, I can’t speak for other Sox fans, but personally I have never said anything to Cubs fans that could in any way be interpreted at attempting to “stick it to” them. I’m the type to celebrate any good fortune of the Sox with fellow Sox fans.

I have to say it really came as no surprise to me that I received exactly one email commenting on last week’s column. I’m lucky if a column generates any response. It also came as no surprise that the response was from a Cubs fan. In fact it wasn’t a surprise that the response came from this particular Cubs fan. He’s written me before. Unfortunately after having some computer problems a few months ago, I neglected to make sure this Cubs fan was still on my blocked senders list.

For the record, this Cubs fan seems to spend a lot of time here at WSI. For a Cubs fans, he seems to be very interested in what the Sox and their fans are doing. I guess there must be exceptions to every rule. Apparently some Cubs fans get off on reading about the Sox and then writing insulting letters to people who dare to mention the Cubs and their fans on a Sox web site, especially when Cubs fans also acknowledge the Sox and their fans. Yeah, that has to be it.

I won’t dignify the writer of this email by giving his name. I’m sure he’ll respond indignantly that I even bothered to quote him, but c’est la vie. He wrote it, and he emailed it. I write a column, and it’s my choice to share it. So here is our Cubs fan in all of his glory, along with responses by me.

You have no malice towards the Cubs and their fans? Please, you and Bova do nothing but bitch and moan about them and of course the Tribune. Oh, poor Hal, A few people at work needle him about the sox. Like Sox fans don't ever rib Cub fans? The Yankee and Met fans are always giving one another digs, I am pretty sure that's the way it is in all two team towns.

I can’t speak for George Bova, but I can tell you the last time I even bothered to mention the Cubs or the Tribune in a column. It was following the signing of Alfonso Soriano approximately ten months ago. I guess “always” is in the mind of the beholder.

Also for the record, only one Cubs fan was mentioned who said anything at work. I also mentioned the two Cubs fans with whom I enjoy discussing baseball because they actually understand the game. No, I don’t give digs to Cubs fans. Period. One reason is because I have a 92-year-old aunt who is a lifelong Cubs fan who also know the game of baseball.

"We got ours two years ago" my response to you would be. So what did you do to celebrate? Did Bova come over and [phrase censored] while the both of you looked at a Paulie Konerko baseball card?

Well, I’ll never have to accuse this guy of having any class. At least I had the good sense to censor you, pal. This is the primary reason you received that one word reply from me: “Moron.” And by saying that, I fear that I’m insulting all of the morons of the world.

Finally, for years you and Bova pitched a hissy fit because the Cubs always sell out and

buy a ton of tickets on the road,the fans buy anything Cub, blah, blah, blah. While in Bridgeport, it took a WS Championship (one title in 87 years, not exactly a dynasty) to fill the place. "Sox fans demand a World Series caliber team in order to show up, we do not accept mediocrity like cubs fans." I believe that is how Bova used to defend the lack of attendence pre 2005. Guess what? All those no shows In August and September are No ticket buyers in 2008.That's good, you and Bova will have something to write about.

I don’t recall either of us talking about fans buying tickets on the road. It also shows something about Sox fans that they demand a winner before they buy tickets. It shows that they hate to lose, and won’t financially support a team that isn’t a contender. There are arguments both ways on that, but one thing you neglected to mention was all of those sub-.500 seasons the Cubs have had over the past four decades despite that wonderful attendance. So what good has it done you to show up? A couple of division championships and wild cards? A few eliminations in the first round?

That can be interpreted in a couple of ways. One is the Cubs have great fans. The other is that Cubs fans don’t care whether their team wins or loses. It’s the “Wrigley Field experience” that matters to them. Mock Sox fans for demanding performance if you will. It’s the Sox who walked away first with their World Series rings.

So, we booed Saturday night because they played like crap vs Arizona. They deserved to get booed and if there wasn't any boos you would have written an article about that.

No, I wouldn’t have. I don’t boo teams that win division championships. Those have been rare enough in Chicago. When the Sox went three and out in the 2000 ALDS, I wasn’t there, but I don’t remember hearing any boos on my television. No, it was Cubs fans who booed after what the Tribune and WGN kept insisting was a “magical year.”

Why exactly did they boo? They had a mediocre team that was the best in the worst division in baseball. They managed to win eighty-five games in that division. Did you really expect them to go farther? Are you that taken in by the local media hype? If so, I can honestly say that I don’t dislike Cubs fans. I pity them.

Since you have intestine problems you might want to pass on the churros next season.

Classy. The last time I had problems like that I had surgery. I was fortunate that this time the problem cleared itself up. But what more could I expect from a Cubs fan?

Don’t forget to show this to all your little playmates. It will be the last time you ever receive a response from me since your emails are now blocked.

And have fun booing your Cubbies while I cheer for my White Sox.

______________________________________________________________________

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.

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