« The Zell © | Main | Mr. Cub’s Autograph »

To Be a Sox Fan

2021897-1536927-thumbnail.jpg
Mike Danahey
By Mike Danahey

Here's what it's like to be a White Sox fan.

At work, we got an offer for discounted baseball tickets to selected Sox games, and since we writers are paid less than Burger King managers, anything discounted causes a stir in a news room. So some coworkers were looking over the availability list and the Sox - Cubs rivalry came up.

"We don't even care about you guys," said this 20-something Cubs fan who sits next to me. "I am heading to New York to see Yankee Stadium one last time and to see them play the Red Sox.”

“Now that's a real rivalry," she added.

Hearing that, I had one of those Lord help me, I might spew one of my dad's 10,000 clichés moments, this one being: "These young people today they know everything. They get out of college, and they have all the answers."

But I didn't say anything. I couldn't. See, this woman already had given me that talk to the hand motion popularized by black women on the Jerry Springer show who had been wronged by their on-the-downlow boyfriends. See, I had teased my coworker about allegedly feeling the recent earthquake and how her dogs awakened her. She's the type who always has to top your story, who always has to be included in the drama.

Just down the block from Wrigley, over on Halsted, they call that a diva, and all this one needs are some extended dance mixes.

If you tell her about your great vacation, she has to remind you of the summer place her family has on Cape Cod. If you say you met someone in the media, well, don't you know, she has a lunch scheduled with them.

She sends text messages at least 12 times an hour. She chews rice cakes and croutons with the subtlety of a cement mixer. Who the hell eats croutons out of a bag?

And, prior to her self-important banishment of me from her world, I had to hear all her stories about how the men she dates are jerks. Go figure.

Anyway me calling her out about her dramatic near-death earthquake experience led to her calling me a shithead and telling me not to talk to her anymore.

Oh the nostalgia: It was like getting to re-enact one of my parents' fights.
And it also made me think: This is what you long-time Cubs fans have to deal with. See, she brags about how her daddy has access to really great seats at Wrigley. I am not a Cub hater, but the albatross around your collective neck is that Wrigley is filled with people like the one who sits next to me.

As a Sox fan, I am glad they root, root, root for your Cubbies.

You Cubs diehards know what I am talking about. These people started to show up in the 80s, when your team began the transition from scruffy fodder for local theater and Mike Royko columns to lovable losers. They changed your neighborhood, gentrified it--and did the same to your team.

The Cubs became part of their lifestyle choice. And, the media being what it is--enamored of the superficial and allegedly glamorous--the Cubs became their darlings.

In this insular world, as my coworker said: South Side types just don’t matter.

Peeing in a trough suddenly was sexy. Urinating on lawns trendy. Your park became a Jimmy Buffett concert with baseball. Worse: a Dave Matthews one.

We Sox fans had a brand new stadium that no one found charming, unless a mall is your idea of cute. They’ve made improvements and actually it’s not a bad place to see a game, way more fan friendly for families than your place. But you can’t convince nouveau Cubs fans that anything but Wrigley is worthy of paying the cover charge to sit around drinking for three hours.

The Sox stadium got named after a cell phone company. No tears here for Comiskey, a stingy man by most accounts, and US Cellular is a fine local brand, and I get my service from them. But it’s a mid-major player, which means as soon as the market gets better it might be sold, and the park will be called who knows what.

The Cubs, of course, play in Wrigley, which makes men old enough to remember think about nubile twins chewing Double Mint gum.

And starting in the 80s, women that attractive were moving with their sorority sisters to Wrigley.

But nobody finds the area around the Cell sexy – though it is a real slice of Chicago, with a great view of downtown from the walkways at the park--and a reminder of the good and bad about this blustering city.

The yups are trying to take over there, too, tearing down bungalows to build block-long mansions where the Daleys lived--and tearing down housing projects to make way for town homes and condos.

It is a blurring border point, but your dad or grandfather can tell you: Blacks stayed east of the Dan Ryan, Whites closer to the park, with Chinese close by, too.

The bars, like Shinnick’s and Schaller’s, are mom and pop joints. The most exotic restaurant might be an old school Lithuanian place on Halsted.
This is not Wrigleyville, which, if some developers get their way, will be another Disney-fied part of Chicago.

While you Cubs fans are associated with the moneyed folk, I read once that Sox fans on average actually come from a higher rung on the socio-economic ladder than Cubs fans: think Naperville instead of Schaumburg.

Alas, we will forever be thought of as that guy with the mullet who ran onto the field to beat up a coach for the Kansas City Royals – unlike your fans who threatened to kill one of your own for allegedly costing the team a shot at the World Series a few falls ago.

And thanks to the team itself, we will always be associated with the never really cool sounds of Journey, while Metro is just down the block from Wrigley.

All of which has been a long way to explain to you Cubs fans why we Sox fans have chips on our shoulders at least as big as the chunks of concrete that have fallen from your so-called friendly confines.

We are the Sun-Times. You are the Tribune.

Still, we have the object of your desire: a World Series championship, a sweep no less.

And when I went to the victory parade I learned that our numbers are spread out in the suburbs. Heck, the train from Elgin was full, the el parking garage at Cumberland jammed.

Downtown was dressed in black for a day, but not for the usual trendy fashion reasons that make The Loop look like recess at one huge Catholic school.

The procession went through neighborhoods of all sorts, from poor to rich and whatever is in between. For a couple hours, south of the Chicago River was the part of the city that mattered, the part that got Christmas before Halloween, with confetti falling like early snow on delighted kids perched on their dads shoulders.

We have that, Cubs fans, and you don’t.

Of course, once you do, the types among you like my coworker will become like Red Sox fans. Or worse, Yankees fans. Most of us Sox followers went back to being what we are. That’s how this city works.

Oh, one more thing: the St. Patrick’s Day following the Series I marched in the South Side Irish Parade, in a kilt and a big wool sweater, no less. As luck would have it, Minnie Minoso--resplendent in a full-length fur coat-- walked with the unit behind us, an SUV with the World Series trophy perched on the hood. Unfortunately, Don’t Stop Believing played from the car stereo.

That’s what I have as a Sox fan. And as Louis Armstrong, who once lived on the South Side, used to sing, “They can’t take that away from me.”

Guest Loser Mike Danahey, a prize-winning reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times News Group and a former student of Sheldon Patinkin at Second City, will appear May 7 at El Jardin as part of the next Lovable Losers Literary Revue. His musings can be read regularly on his Detached Retina blog.

Posted on Friday, May 2, 2008 at 09:39AM by Registered CommenterLovable Losers Literary Revue in , | Comments6 Comments

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (6)

Skechers fitness shoes (Skechers Resistance Running) line, the cheap Skechers Resistance shoes is sleek and sporty. tory burch shoes are more and more popular with younger professional women.In orange patent leather,these Tory Burch Flats are definitely interesting,however kept lovely with the sleek design and round-toe.The Cheap Tory Burch Flats shoes is a popular manufacturer of quality products like accessories,apparels,Tory Burch Flats sale,Tory Burch Reva Flats and many more.I posted earlier about the Tory Burch Thora Sandals and here I have another request for the Tory Burch Ballet Flats lookalike! They were a big hit in 2007 and lots of brands came out with lookalikes and imitations of the <a

December 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShape ups Skechers

Der Winter ist immer in der Nähe moncler jacken online unwissentlich, das ist unser meist gehasste Saison. moncler onlineTage der heulende Wind kann nicht tragen moncler online shop dünne Kleidung, es sei denn, Sie Superkräfte genug, um der Kälte zu moncler schweizwiderstehen. Dann gibt es die Wahl dieser Sterne moncler jacken sind die meisten gehorsam moncler jackenDaunenjacke warmen warm zu halten oder? Manche Sterne moncler shop völlig resistent gegen den kalten Nordwind pfiff in den nächsten moncler onlineTagen weiterhin dünne Kleidung aus und Bo Popularität zu tragen, moncler jacke und manche Sterne können die meisten gehorsam warme Daunenjacke wählen warm zu halten. Kurze Daunenjacke ordentlich und stilvoll. In einem solchen kalten Winter wird die Wärme der wichtigste, aber eine einfache Atmosphäre der langemoncler online shop Daunenjacke werden Sie in der Menge lassen hat eine bemerkenswerte Temperament. Warmer Wind in den langen Stil, kann auch ein Mode-Wahl.
How these Australian Vane Shoesiciness sheepskin came about is absorbed in the mists of time. Vans shoes sale What is known is that your trusty gray denim jeans, vans shoes cheap and that they’ve been damaged by those in the trend accessory that you will, vans shoes onlinethey’re the know down under. David Malan is an Aussie mode vans shoes store trend that > would be perpetually durable.. Aussie souvenir gifts, coldness sheepskin SHOES

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermoncler jacken online

UGG Boots Outlet
Field so that the dead men: the Ministry of field teams and individuals without permission, do not get to play the wolf ranch north, particularly in fire fight wolves scared wolf. Field around a mass scale, the Ministry will organize activities off the wolf. Teams ready for action immediately after receiving the notice. UGG Outlet Store

Herdsmen began to choose the team horses, feed the dog, rod repair, sharpening, Caqiang, Beitan, everything is calm and orderly, like Ching Ming Jie Gao preparation, summer shearing, Autumn Grass, winter sheep as busy but not chaotic . UGG Boots Clearance

Morning, shrouded in clouds and overcast down, whispered, pressing the mountains, leveling all the mountains peaks, the amount of grassland Lun even more flat, and even more depressed. Snow foam float the sky, the wind soft and weak. UGG Store The top of the yurt as a metal chimney of patients suffering from emphysema, difficulty breathing, not to cough when pitapat few times, I asked myself over and over sheep dung to the spit, the camp of gross residual grass broken snow. UGG Outlet This late spring flow seems a very long tail, do not see signs of warming ending. UGGs Clearance Fortunately, the gilt herds entirely, there are half finger thick oil fat enough resistance to the long grass of the warm spring snow. UGG Classic Cardy Boots The first crop of grass under the snow there are buds, and the sheep eating snow can hoof away with a half full. UGG Ultra Short

Sheep lying quietly shrinking circle of grass in the wall, lazily grazing ruminants with, do not want a ring. UGG Sundance Three major housekeeping guard dog, called the night, cold and hungry at the moment, trembling to squeeze in front of the yurt. UGG Nightfall Zhen Chen opened the door, he rushed up the yellow dogs, the two front paws resting on his shoulders, licking his chin, desperately wag, asked him for something to eat. UGG Classic Argyle Knit Zhen Chen brought out from the bag handle large Banpen leftover meat and bones back to them. UGG Classic Short Boots Three dogs the bones robbed of light, lying in situ, the Liang Zhao clip put up big bones stick, hard chewing side head, cracking it sounds, and even the bone marrow with all swallow. UGG Delaine

UGG Classic Tall Boots
UGG Classic Mini Boots
UGG Lo Pro Button
UGG Kenly Boots
UGG Roslynn
UGG Bailey Button Boots
UGG Classic Crochet
UGG Blog

December 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterugg boots clearance

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>