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Chicago Proud
for Our Sox!

by George Bova

A Second City Trophy

 by George Bova

If it's summer in Chicago, then surely we're about to descend into what now has become the annual silliness regarding "bragging rights" over which of the city's baseball teams is best.  Can any debate more perfectly define what makes Chicago the nation's "Second City" for everyone else to laugh at?

Fans of any sports team in no other city besides Chicago would have any trouble solving the debate.  For example, with 27 world championships under their belt, the Yankees are clearly better than the Mets and the outcome of any intra-city series can be simply laughed off as utterly irrelevant by any New Yorker.  It's world championships that matter -- nothing else.  That's what makes New York not the Second City!

Granted, a large portion of Chicago's baseball fan base has never experienced even a single world championship so they can be forgiven for being so ignorant as to think there is some other Holy Grail to be chased after.  For example many of them are utterly convinced  it's attendance for which the Commissioner's Trophy ought to be awarded every season.  They repeat this nonsense sitting atop bar stools across the city along with their similarly-deranged believers across America.  There really is no escaping the ignorance of Cubs fans most anywhere...

What makes 2010 loom especially bad is not how lousy both the Sox and Cubs teams are, but how easily the White Sox organization has been sucked into enabling the infantile beliefs of these fans of the  Lovable Losers.  I'm speaking of course about the new City Series trophy to be awarded at the conclusion of the sixth and final Sox/Cubs game. 

Sold out by our own team?  Brooks Boyer, say it ain't so!


Ozzie Guillen hoists the only Chicago Crosstown Trophy worth bragging about!

How do we Sox Fans finally convince our own front office?

Make no mistake, Brooks Boyer has achieved an impressive record these past five seasons since joining the Sox as vice-president and chief marketing officer -- a huge improvement over the incompetence of his predecessor Rob Gallas.   In short order Brooks fixed the ticket pricing issues (recognizing the futility of charging premium prices for upper deck seats); enlarging the Sox season ticket base (beginning his selling blitz well before the prior season concludes) and thus solving the club's former reliance on walk-up sales; and creating marketing campaigns recognizing the stubborn, die-hard nature at the core of the Sox fan base.  Suddenly Sox marketing became unafraid to poke a thumb into the eye of those fans not-similarly encumbered with an insatiable lust for winning.  Chicago has plenty of these clowns walking around wearing the colors of the baby bear's pajamas; Brooks never failed to draw the line between Us and Them. 

For twelve years now, WSI has highlighted obvious marketing gaffes for the White Sox to correct, including all of the ones above.  It's been a personal crusade of my own in this very space.

How does such a stellar winning streak inside the Sox marketing department come to such a crashing halt?

M-O-N-E-Y.

A certain oil company presently of great disrepute months ago offered both Chicago teams a chance to market this event, fronting the costs of certain event-specific promotional support up to and including a new "BP Cup" to the annual winners.  It's an especially sad story for it is not as though BP doesn't have deep local roots. In 1998 BP bought Chicago-based Amoco, formerly known as Standard Oil of Indiana.  (Yes, the ones with the giant oil refinery in East Chicago, upon which the other-half of Northwest Indiana's economy is based, the half not associated with those other stalwarts of a green environment, the steel industry.)  Amoco world headquarters was based in what was the city's third-tallest building bearing the company's own name, and predictably there was plenty of public hand-wringing across the city's arts community and charitable organizations at the loss of such a huge local benefactor.  Oil money looked pretty good to all of these charitable causes, especially at the price BP was charging them:  Absolutely Nothing.  So BP finally decides to step up to the plate to re-establish a high-profile role in the local fabric of Chicago and then the Gulf of Mexico springs a leak a mile deep.  Very sad, indeed since absolutely everyone's hands are filthy.

Both the Sox and Cubs are now busy toning down BP's title sponsorship for this new cup, but quite frankly why should they?  The cup is an award for Incompetence with a capital "I".  A ballclub that hasn't won anything of consequence in 101 years can aspire to "win" it but how sad Brooks Boyer has we Sox Fans now roped into it, too. 

We Sox Fans know who we are, Brooks.  You let us down.  Read on and learn why.

It already had been 20+ years that Cubs fans were joking about their team's incompetence before creating this comic tune, 1984's The Cubbie Dance (courtesy WXRT).

 The Cubbie Dance
Let Me Hear It!

C-U-B-B-I-E,  Cubbie Dance!

They can lose when they want to, they can always be behind
'cause this team can't win and it's really no sin and the fans don't seem to mind

I say, they don't score when they have to, fifth-place for them is fine
and they can bat like they come from out of this world but the pitching ain't worth a dime

And they will lose, RON CEY!

They can lose if they want to, mighty dumb are you and I,
'cause we'll pay every day just to watch these guys play and we'll do it till the day we die

I say, have a beer 'cause you need one, these guys can't score a run,
And if they look real silly, Dallas Green will call Philly and he'll bring back another bum! 

Chorus
They can lose, They can lose...
...Everything's under control,
...30 games in the hole,
... Bring back Santo and Banks,
... On second thought, No Thanks!
The Cubbie Dance!  The Cubbie Dance!  The Cubbie Dance!

Yo! To fans who they play to, they've got all your cash in-hand,
As long as they abuse you, they're never going to lose you,
Unless they try to put up LIGHTS!

I say, Harry sings when he wants to, even though he can't keep time,
Shout hello to Gurdy and your Uncle Bernie,
Jody, Keith and Ryne...

Chorus

Yes, the Cubbie Dance!
They Haven't Got A Chance!
The Cub-bie Dance!

-- Men Without Bats

Imagine a Sox Fan creating anything comparable for our team?  You can't.  Meanwhile Cubs fans were snickering about losing 26 years ago and nothing has changed since then besides the list of fools and the presence of lights.  Now they want an award celebrating incompetence, too?  You gave them one, Brooks.  Very sad, indeed.

It's poetic justice the Sox and Cubs are playing this uniquely home-grown Second City disaster so who better than BP to award the Incompetence Cup?  In the matter of Incompetence, the Cubs and their fans are truly in a league of their own.  Glorifying Incompetence of this magnitude however deserves more than just BP's involvement. 

Come on, Sox and Cubs!  Let's make the Second City proud:  Bring to Chicago ALL the Incompetents to award the BP Cup and help us celebrate!

  • Let's start by inviting BP chairman Tony Hayward to the awards podium, but why stop there?  We want his fellow travelers in this world-class epic of Incompetence a mile deep off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, too. 
  • Bring in Ken Salazar, chief bureaucrat at the U.S. Department of Interior, too incompetent to even know what sort of deep-water drilling danger exists never mind creating a regulatory plan for solving it.  "Go Cubs Go!"
  • And why not haul in Congressman Henry Waxman who forces the federal bureaucrats to deal with regulating the dangers of deep-water drilling by walling-off safer alternatives, doing the bidding on behalf of the oceanfront privileges enjoyed by his state's richest and most-connected constituencies in places like Santa Monica and Malibu beach.  "Hey, Hey, Holy Mackerel!"
  • The nation's most-noteworthy Sox Fan sitting in the Oval Office?  Pfft... It's just too easy...

Sad, very sad indeed.  Saddest of all for Sox Fans.

We hate it.


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


Our Webmaster
1998 - present

 

More features from George Bova here!

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