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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Chicago Proud
for Our Sox!

by George Bova

A Championship Spring

by George Bova

The calendar has finally turned to March, the days are growing longer and longer, the birds are chirping, and the Sox are world champions. How much better can it possibly get?

Oh sure, the Sox managed to make headlines for all the wrong reasons last week, Kenny calling Frank an idiot, leaving sportsblab radio mediots frothing at the mouth, and a goofy sports journalist straining to compare the greatest hitter in an entire generation to a steroid freak his own sister organization created for the masses. How much longer will Paul Sullivan keep making jokes about Flintstone vitamins? Someone at the Cubune please give him the news: nobody is joking about this anymore.

Earlier there was the media flap over Ozzie's vacation, thus missing the Sox' visit to the White House. And there was Ozzie's rude comments about the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez, and who couldn't have predicted George Steinbrenner would have his mouth wrapped around a microphone in retort? Yes, it promises to be a great spring because we've just concluded a great winter!

Controversy isn't a bad thing. It's much preferable to being ignored, and being ignored is something we Sox Fans endured for far too long.

Controversial news and non-controversial news, the Sox are definitely news in Chicago and there is no mistaking the difference for every Sox Fan lucky enough to be living and breathing it right now.

Kenny Williams did not sit still and has built a new roster for 2006 that looks even more formidable than the one from 2005. The national media -- and yes, even George Steinbrenner -- has taken notice. Gosh, our li'l ol' White Sox making the media quiver back in NYC? They aren't ignoring us anymore. This is quite a reversal from the "fly under the radar" Sox of just 12 months ago.

And what about the local press? The Bears flamed out too quickly, and the Bulls and Hawks never caught fire at all, leaving the sports mediots struggling to make events in Champaign/Urbana into a local story. No wonder Paul Sullivan still makes Flintstone vitamin jokes... he has nothing else to work with.

The Chicago White Sox are the default news story for all of Chicago. It's simply amazing to watch so many of the mediots fall over themselves trying to catch up with the city's previous minority of baseball fans who really do give a damned about winning baseball.

We've been here. We've always been here. They simply weren't paying attention. Too bad for them we have a long memory.

Meanwhile the Sox are selling tickets like never before and the scarcity of seats is driving the sort of frenzy usually reserved for superstation viewers traveling via bus from Des Moines. Though revenue is no guarantee of on-field success, it sure makes it easier to field a winner when you've got the scratch to make it happen. The Sox promise to have plenty of scratch, and since no Sox Fan ever called their team "lovable losers," Sox management knows the key to keeping the revenue stream coming is fielding a winner.

Chicago is proud for our Sox. And well they should be. We'll be right here to talk about it.

The games won't count for another month and the euphoria we Sox Fans feel today will inevitably be dealt a body blow with the first blown save, the first 3-game losing streak, and the first bullpen move that misfires. The only way to keep the euphoria is to win the whole enchilada again next October. Unfortunately, nobody ever locked up the crown in April. Or May. Or June or July either. And sometimes not even August or September. This means there will be plenty of time to wring our hands over tough losses and the dark linings we find in otherwise silver cloud victories. After all, we're still Sox Fans.

The toughest news of all: someday the Sox won't be champions anymore. The problems we think were solved last October -- the problems this championship spring allow us to ignore, to suspend disbelief, to sincerely think have been vanquished forever, SURPRISE! They'll be waiting for us... waiting for the euphoria to inevitably subside.

Speaking strictly for myself, the best part of this Sox championship spring has to be the sincere belief that it will never end. Judging by some of the things I see and hear from other Sox Fans, I'm not alone.

Savor every minute of it. Enjoy this spring and enjoy this summer, too. This Sox team has already delivered what no other Sox team has delivered in 88 years: belief that everything -- even our own selves -- has been changed. That remains to be seen. Meanwhile it's nothing but daisies and blue skies.

Ain't it great to be a Sox Fan? This spring like never before.


George Bova is editor and founder of White Sox Interactive. You can write George at george@whitesoxinteractive.com

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