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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

The Sox of Chicago
by Hal Vickery

About the only good thing I can say about this week is that it marked the end of perhaps the longest, most frustrating baseball season in recent memory. Not only did the Sox reverse their 2006 record of 90-72, but they did it while the Chicago Cute and Cuddlies were backing their way into the NL Comedy Central championship with a record of 85-77.

When it became obvious the last week of the season that the Cute and Cuddlies were going to outlast the Milwaukee Brewers, Sox fans were told by Cubs fans and the local media, that we should join in the celebrations as the miracle Cubs fought their way to the inevitable World Series championship.

Needless to say, we fish weren’t biting on that one. We remembered exactly how supportive most of the Cute and Cuddlies fans and the local media were of the Sox back in 2005. We remember the taunts from fans about how we made it to the World Series not because we led the AL Central from pole to pole with the best record in baseball but by cheating (a reference to A.J. Piersysnki’s heads-up play of taking third base on a ball he suspected hit the dirt before it hit Josh Paul’s mitt.

We also remembered newspaper headlines about a “Somber [winning] Streak.” We remembered the story in the Chicago Cubune about the crime-riddled, pot-smoker inhabited neighborhood surrounding U.S. Cellular Field. We remembered the article about snails that the Cubune featured in place of the story of a murder that occurred in the streets outside of the Ivy Covered Burial Ground.

No, Sox fans weren’t about to cave in and cheer on the Cute and Cuddlies. We had our own problems to worry about: what to do about Joe Crede and his bad back; where to play Josh Fields; what to do about that terrible bullpen.

Besides, Sox fans had one overriding reason for not cheering the Cute and Cuddlies. Their team was at best mediocre. There was no miracle in 2007, and Sox fans knew it. There was a terrible division, and the C & C’s were the best of a bad lot. Sox fans expected the C & C’s to go three and out in their Division Series. That’s exactly what happened.

And now that the madness is over for now, Sox fans can look to Kenny Williams to do something to right the ship and put the Sox back into contention.

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

I have developed a terrible habit over the years. Ever since the days of Wally Phillips, I’ve pre-set the alarm on my clock radio to WGN radio. Now I do have a reason, or at least an excuse, for this little aberration. I like news when I wake up, and I wake up on the half-hour where I have a choice between WGN and WBBM to actually hear some news. No one else that I’m aware of has a news report at 4:30 a.m.

Well, WBBM just isn’t my cup of tea, probably because you have to wait forever to catch the sports, while at WGN the sports headlines are read about four or five minutes into the headlines. It also takes less than eight minutes to hear a weather forecast for the day. So WGN it is, even if it means having to listen to a few minutes of Steve and Johnnie before I rouse myself and get out of bed.

Since August, when I started listening at 4:30 again, they’ve had a news reader who is new to me. It says something about how long it takes for me to wake up in the morning that after more than two months of listening, I still don’t know this news reader’s name. I probably should for one reason. She did something repeatedly during the playoffs that drove me up the wall. Every time she made reference to the Boston Red Sox, she referred to them as “the Sox.”

Sorry, whoever you are, but in Chicago, “the Sox” do not wear red stockings, and any reference to the “Carmines” should be by their full name, the “Red Sox.” Of course since WGN is owned by the Cubune Co., we don’t expect anything less of you than to allow your employees to deliver the back of their hand to every White Sox fan in your listening area.

At least now that the Red Sox have won the World Series, I won’t have to listen to that insult every morning.

______________________________________________________________________

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!

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