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Jerry_Manuel
07-16-2002, 09:11 PM
I've read this a few times now, and I'm not sure how I feel about it.

At least this rivalry won't die on the vine
Some White Sox fans are indignant over speculation that at least one of their brethren is either a Wrigley Field vandal or a crazed agronomist.

How, they ask, can anyone be sure it was a Sox supporter who poured poison on a portion of the ivy at Wrigley and created what is, in effect, a bad side part on a nice head of hair? This is a legitimate question.

The other question the average die-hard Sox fan is asking himself is, Why didn't I think of that?

Sure it's possible that an angry rooftop customer, upset at paying $100 to stare at a windscreen for three hours, did the damage at Wrigley. And, sure, it's possible that some lone sicko liked the idea of leaving his mark. But we're going to barrel right ahead and assume that a clear-thinking Sox fan thought it would be great to create poisoned ivy inside the devil's garden.

Why choose that line of thinking? Because it's a lot more fun this way.

This angle has everything. Deep-rooted Cubs-Sox bitterness. Hatred. Retaliation. Defoliants. And it strikes at the symbolic heart of Wrigley Field, its cuteness. It was either poison the ivy, try to brush some hemlock on Sammy Sosa's kiss-blowing fingers, take out Chip Caray's vocal cords or grab a 20-something Cubs fan by his very essence and scream, "Nobody moves or the cell phone gets it!"

The Cubs' theory is that a Sox fan sneaked some sort of poison into Wrigley (probably during the Cubs-Sox series in mid-June), dumped it on the ivy hanging off the wall in right-center field and then returned home to a quiet life of pulling wings off of flies.

"I think we're just assuming," said Mark McGuire, the Cubs' home plate security chief. "No decent Cubs fan would damage the ivy."

Perhaps you think it's unfair to accuse Sox fans of eco-terrorism based on circumstantial evidence. On any other occasion I would agree, but I think we should have seen the warning signs here. A search of message boards on Sox fan Web sites before the June series produced these topics:

Weed-B-Gone and Me: A Love Story.

They Call Me Svetlana (or, How I Slept with the Cubs' Greenskeeping Crew).

Why My Green Thumb Should Be a Registered Weapon.

Cubs officials are on full lock-down mode about the damaged ivy. None would comment on the incident Tuesday, the day the Tribune broke the story behind the story of the patch of leafless ivy. They're concerned that if there are copycats, Wrigley will be reduced to an outfield wall covered with artificial Christmas trees.

"I've tried to keep it quiet," head groundskeeper Roger Baird said Monday. "It's a little scary. I'm worried that if one of them does it, one could turn out to be five and then we'd have a major problem."

I don't want to encourage Sox fans or the lunatic fringe here, but it's amazing that this sort of thing hasn't happened before.

When you get right down to it, there is very little ballpark officials can do if someone wants to cause a problem. It takes a warped mind or a creative Sox fan (or both) to come up with this sort of villainy.

I don't think Bill Veeck, who planted the original ivy in 1937, would have appreciated the damage, but he would have understood the passion behind the act.

Your typical Sox fan resents everything about Wrigley Field. He sees your typical Cubs fan and thinks: Dumb as spit and, worse, wimpy. On Tuesday at Wrigley, it was "American Girl Day." I ask you: Would Sox fans put up with an "American Girl Day"? "Naughty Girl Day" maybe.

So, yeah, it is possible to ponder the possibility of a Sox fan damaging the ivy without dismissing the importance of hard evidence. In fact this is the first and last group of people Cubs fans should suspect. There is no such thing as due process when it comes to this rivalry.

For Cubs fans the retaliation is simple. You get back at Sox fans by looking up at Comiskey Park's upper deck and complaining of neck pain. And you mention Frank Thomas' contract, the contract that makes it almost impossible to move him to another team.

It was a beautiful day Tuesday at Wrigley. The sun was shining, and the crowd of 39,118 oohed and aahed at any ball hit in the air.

The Cubs lost 2-0 and struck out 16 times. No one seemed to mind.

It's this sort of thing that could drive a Sox fan to a crime of passion.

NUKE_CLEVELAND
07-16-2002, 09:20 PM
It couldn't have been a Sox fan that did that to the Ivy. Any Sox Fan I know would have used Napalm or Agent Orange or something stronger.

"I LOVE THE SMELL OF NAPALM IN THE MORNING!"

LTC Kilgore, Apocalypse Now

DVG
07-16-2002, 10:42 PM
I think Islamic fundamentalists did it. The Tribune should go pick
on them.