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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Kansas City Blues

Sad... and resigned.


by Bradley Joseph

 

 

Why do I feel so tongue tied . . . so unable to say anything about what has taken place over the past month? 

 

With regards to the Sox demise, I have tried to write an article with ranting angst filled words such as “embarrassing, heartless, gutless, chokes” etc etc.  But even as I wrote them, they did not carry the urgent rage I think they should. 

 

No, instead I feel a sense of acceptance.  I feel . . . lethargically downtrodden . . . I feel . . . sad, but resigned to my fate as a committed life long Sox fan.  As has always been the case, I lived by my team, and then I died by them. 

 

A few weeks ago, Hal Vickery posted something to the effect that after 47 years of being a Sox fan, you tend to get a feel for how these things work.  Well, Hal has 20 years on me, but I must say, I think I’m getting the hang of it.

 

Following the Sox is like having an acute awareness of seasonal changes.  There is the season of spring, when there is cautious hope blooming in the Tucson desert.  And then there is early/mid-summer, where the feeling of imminent doom that starts to set in is usually alleviated by a June smack-down of the Cubs.  And next comes late summer wherein hopes are often slightly raised, and then ultimately dashed.  Fall follows, when we watch other teams claim the trophy that, due to the events of late summer, we feel our own team will never own.  And finally, winter arrives and we try to forget our Sox travails by making fun of the Bears, and ultimately preparing for the spring hope by getting a little giddy about this years new free-agent or trade acquisitions.  The cycle is then complete and ready to begin anew.

 

Being a Sox fan is not about championships, it is about enduring the cycle – the agonizingly infinite cycle. 

 

So that is how I feel about the Sox now.  I feel as though this sullen crappy feeling is just a part of my natural yearly cycle, and I will probably feel the same way in the fall of 2023 if I happen to live that long.  One can only truly feel rage if they also truly believed that breaking the cycle is actually possible.  So call me the ultimate pessimist if you will, but I’ll only believe the White Sox can be champions when it actually happens.  I die with my team, but I die a slow quiet death.

 

That said, the theoretical and stomach wrenching possibility of the Cubs winning a World Series is not a part of and shall never intrude upon our cycle.  They have merely managed to prolong their demise a little longer than usual.  Rest assured, the Cubs will falter, if not to the Fish, then to the Yankees or Red Sox.  Soon the Cubs will lose, and their fans will act as if they never cared in the first place. 

 

I am starting to think that the truest distinction between Cubs fans and White Sox fans is that we actually have a discernable cycle.  Sox fans “live and die” by their team.  Cub fans just “exist” by theirs.  When the Cubs win, that’s great, and an opportunity for pompous arrogant behavior, but if they lose, no big deal . . . they are still such lovable cuddly baby bears . . . wait till next year.

 

Yet, if the Cubs do not falter . . . oh, the results of which would be too unfathomably hideous to comprehend.  Cub victory – triumph, to a fan base that consists predominantly of drunken frat boy bandwagon jumping wouldn’t know an infield fly rule from a hole in their a-- homerun ball chucking swine  – would be the most vile of events, and the cruelest most unfair circumstance, dare I say, in the history of sports.

 

If the Cubs are “America’s Team,” as the Cub-Times suggested, then America better take a long hard look at itself. 

 

A disturbing question has been raised on the radio, in the papers, and on the WSI message boards:  If the Cubs do win the World Series, how will Sox fans proceed with their lives as baseball fans?  I don’t have an answer for that.  Perhaps the White Sox nation will have been dealt a lethal blow, and we will all find new hobbies.  Perhaps not. 

 

However, we will NOT cross that bridge when we come to it, because that bridge will never be built.  The Cubs will lose.  Trusty not in Dusty. 

Trust me.


 

Bradley Josesph grew up in Aurora, IL, but now resides in downstate Bloomington where he teaches English at Heartland Community College.  He became an obsessive Sox fan in 1983 when he was 8 years old.  Brad struggles to maintain sanity living in central Illinois because it is saturated with Cubs and Cardinals fans.  Regular attempts to subtly brainwash his students into Sox fans have proven largely unsuccessful.  Brad’s White Sox memories include being struck in the chest by a Carlos Lee homerun ball and catching two foul balls in one game against the Devil Rays while vacationing in Tampa.  Both of these events happened during the glorious 2000 season, leading Brad to consider himself an instrument of cosmologically orchestrated events that were a sure-fire omen of a division title.  He of course is crazy, but in a good way.  Feel free to contact Brad at bwjosep@yahoo.com

 

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