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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

 

Chicago Proud
for Our Sox!

by George Bova

White (House) Sox!

by George Bova

If 2008 hasn't been all it could have been for Sox Fans on the playing field, it might still prove a memorable year for several other unique reasons.

Yes, our Sox were eliminated from the playoffs in the ALDS by Tampa Bay 3 games to 1, but along the way our Sox won the franchise's very first 1-game playoff game ever played in team history.  Having already played two "win or go home" contests on September 28 and 29 versus the Indians and Tigers respectively, the Sox forced the Minnesota Twins to play Game 163 of the season at Sox Park on September 30.  This "blackout" night featured 39,000 Sox Fans eerily wearing all-black outfit while waving all-black towels in the air.  It was like nothing ever seen before and made this penultimate season victory just that much more memorable and satisfying. 

Yes, our Sox were eliminated the following week but not before both John Danks and Gavin Floyd gave every Sox Fan hope of satisfying the perpetual need to keep the Sox starting rotation filled with quality arms.  Today's Sox rotation is younger and stronger than it was just 12 months earlier following a 90-loss season.  The future looks bright!


We Sox Fans keep raising our presence nationally -- if still ridiculed locally!
Click on picture for full-size!

And yes, while our Sox have enjoyed some notoriety in pop culture for such events as throwing a World Series ("Eight Men Out"), starting a pitcher with just one leg ("the Mont Stratton Story") and reconnecting America with its romantic soul ("Field of Dreams"), the greatest breakthrough to the wider world might yet occur in 2008.

It may well be a Sox Fan is elected into the White House... and contrary to what everyone up and down the East Coast thinks a "Sox Fan" is, our next president might be Sox Fan from Chicago, not Boston.

It has been "SOX" and nothing but "SOX" on Chicago's uniforms every season but five since 1912.

Yeah, it's our moniker.  It's always been our moniker.  Anyone else using it is strictly borrowing it from Sox Fans... the original Sox Fans... the ones supporting the charter franchise of the American League since 1901 who've been known as the White Stockings and later White Sox for well over a century now.

New England -- you frauds -- deal with it.

What is so amusing about this is how necessary it has been for Barack Obama to clarify himself to the national media and more generally to the nation's voters.  He was elected to the United States Senate back in 2004, but only now that he is a candidate to become the next President of the United States do such trivialities of his background like "what team do you root for?" become a matter of national interest. 

Predictably, his answer to this question caused far more outrage right here in Chicago than it did anywhere else.  Those of you reading this because this is a story about Senator Obama, and not because you're a Sox Fan, can learn a lot about the candidate and what he has endured along with his fellow Sox Fans here in America's Second City.

Here's the short version of the story:  Being a Sox Fan around Chicago is a bitch.  And just because you're a candidate for President of the United States you aren't earning a pass either.

Here's the long version.  Like any other Sox Fan, Barack Obama must defend his reasons for his baseball rooting interests in Chicago and like any other Sox Fan he can't help but get in trouble for doing so.  While we Sox Fans know many Famous Sox Fans, nearly every outsider when meeting a baseball fan from Chicago immediately assumes we're all fans of that other baseball team, the one with such a lovable reputation for losing and losing and losing.

Eureka!  Would anyone in Cleveland have to defend why they don't support such a historically-losing outfit like the Indians?  Of course not.  Would anyone in Dallas have to defend why they don't support such a historically-losing outfit like the Rangers?  Not a chance.  To the contrary, everyone in northeast Ohio and northeast Texas laughs about those teams as mere civic diversions to root for when the NFL Browns and Cowboys aren't playing.

But in Chicago we Sox Fans must defend why we don't support a losing outfit.  It's precisely this sort of fate that has made Sisphyus -- the mythical figure of Ancient Greek mythology condemned forever to grapple with the task of rolling a huge stone up a hill -- the unofficial mascot of Sox Fans everywhere.

We Sox Fans are realists.  We Sox Fans are task-oriented.  We Sox Fans give no quarter.  We Sox Fans persevere.

Need proof Barack Obama is one of us?  Look no further than his fate for having explained to America why he is a Sox Fan.  It happened just last August

Like every Sox Fan, he knows what the expectations will be of a baseball fan from Chicago.  He's loves the sport and certainly need not hide his rooting interest.  When asked he gave his unabashed answer:  "I'm a White Sox fan."  There are plenty of Sox Fans living in Hyde Park, one of many such neighborhoods on Chicago's South Side.  But like every other Sox Fan, Barack Obama needed to explain further why he doesn't support the other team everyone just assumes a baseball fan from Chicago would support.

'The Cubs ... they're nice. You go to Wrigley Field, you have a beer ... there are beautiful people out there, people aren't watching the game.  That's not serious. White Sox, that's baseball."

Judging by the reaction of this city's sports mediots (and their mentally-challenged call-in listeners), you would think Barack Obama had just declared Chicago nothing but a large suburb of Milwaukee.  The fallout lasted for weeks!

One of the sports blab radio dopes (the one who spends every afternoon pretending to be an intellectual in between commercial breaks advertising male enhancement drugs and gentlemen's clubs) spent a week berating Obama's reasoning.  The city's biggest sports mediot of them all became so unhinged, he actually quit his job in a petulant tantrum simply because he didn't get first crack as skewering Obama's comments in Chicago's tabloid newspaper.  Nothing but a simple editorial policy to let each feature writer in turn pick first his daily topic caused such a reaction!

The news that a Sox Fan -- a Chicago WHITE SOX Fan -- might become the next President of the United States is no news to the rest of America.  At worst they simply don't realized the term "Sox Fan" rightly belongs to Chicago and not Boston.  We Sox Fans will excuse America's need to add the whole team name to their description of his rooting interest.  He knows who he is and that's good enough for us.

As for the assorted fools, shills and outright clowns who still believe Sox Fans are anything but the truest of Chicago's true baseball fans, just keep adding centuries of futility to your REAL contribution to America's national pastime.  We fans of winning baseball aren't having any part of it.

Our friends are in higher places than yours, too.


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

More features from George Bova here!

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