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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Deafening Silence

By Mark Liptak

Itís early morning as I sit here before the computer, trying to make sense of a world seemingly gone mad. The Chicago Cubs have just won the first playoff series for the city of Chicago since 1917.

By the time you read this itís possible the city of Chicago will have a representative in the World Series for the first time since 1959. And that representative would be the Chicago Cubs.

Itís simply stunning to even consider. A franchise that hadnít been to the World Series in almost fifty years...a franchise that hasnít put consecutive winning seasons together in over thirty years and a franchise that for only seven times in the last 23 years have had a better record then the White Sox, may be going to the World Series, while the Sox sit home again.

If the Cubs pull this off, the list of franchises that hadnít made a World Series appearance since the Sox last did it in 1959 will be embarrassingly few. The Sox are lumped in with the likes of the Astros, Expos, Rangers, Rockies, Devil Rays, and Mariners. The Sox will be the oldest of that select list to not make a series appearance.

The White Sox, a charter member of the American League and a team with a history over 100 years old is lumped in with those derelicts.

But thatís not the worst of it.....

Some have suggested that even if the Cubs donít make the World Series, the fact that they won a playoff series will be enough to turn everyoneís attention to the Sox and their fans. Whatís the old adage....any publicity is better then no publicity even if that publicity will be nothing but disdain or pity.

Sadly thatís not going to be the case. The White Sox, the franchise and their fans will be ignored. The Sox are not a "lovable loser," like the Cubs. The Sox unlike Boston, doesnít have a history of "glorious losses." The Sox unlike the Astros, Mariners, Indians, Reds, Pirates or Rangers donít have a beautiful retro style park. The Sox are just....there... somewhere between invisibility and apathy.

The silence is deafening. Silence from the owner who in the past stated that the "Cubs have always owned Chicago," and that "the Sox canít compete with the Cubs."...silence from the General Manager who in the past stated that "he canít ask the owner to spend a dollar if he only has fifty cents," and who already had stated that despite drawing almost two million fans "the payroll is probably going to be in the same area for 2004." Silence from the national media who like Chris Berman, show up once every three years, then castigate Sox fans for expressing their displeasure with the field manager and silence from the local media who in the past have tried to give the Sox their due, only to see the team fail time after time, no longer justifying any more real effort on their part.

Itís very quiet this early morning, very quiet indeed and thatís very sad because Sox fans deserve better....they deserve something, theyíve earned that right. Anything is better then being ignored. anybody listening....does anybody care?

As always your questions, comments and insights are appreciated. Feel free to contact me at

Editor's Note: †Mark Liptak is an experienced sports journalist, holding several awards for both his electronic and print media work. †He has held numerous sports reporting positions for various TV and newspaper†organizations, including Director of Sports for KNOE-TV (Monroe, Louisiana)†and KPVI-TV (Pocatello, Idaho), and sports writer for the Idaho Falls Free Press, where his column "Lip Service" has appeared for for a number of years. †"Lip", his wife, and cats presently live in Chubbuck, Idaho, where they collectively comprise 100 percent of the Pocatello River Valley's long-time Sox Fan population.

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