This Cub fan might not survive a Sox world championship


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Matthew Taaffe, One View

OK, OK. I'm trying to be an adult about this.


But will all members of the Chicago media please stop telling me why I should root, root, root for the the old home team? Need I mention the White Sox again? If there are soooooo many members of Cub nation out there, why do I feel so alone on this?

Once in awhile there has been a little glimmer of hope. A Chicago Sun-Times columnist wrote that there is something despicable about an adult switching team allegiances because of a pennant push. A radio sports reporter pointed out how nasty and gloating the White Sox fans were with the 2003 Cub collapse. There was no way a real Cub fan was going to wish the White Sox well.

Now there's two schools of thought I can get behind: Either you get the polarity between the two fan bases or you don't. There is no middle ground.

When people have asked me why, I used to go into an elaborate explanation of how you can't be a vegetarian and enjoy a Big Mac. Be a George Bush and Michael Moore fan. Be a fan of the band Journey and appreciate good music. (Sorry, Sox fans, couldn't resist that dig.)

Anyway, now my answer is simple: Until you've spilled blood over mundane Cub-White Sox minutiae?#34;like who has the better announcer, Jack Brickhouse or Jack Drees?#34;you won't understand.

I came of age?#34;or rather started slugging it out?#34;over White Sox centerfielder Tommie Agee and Cubs centerfielder Adolpho Phillips. The irony is, after all the grade school screaming matches, Tommie Agee achieved his career highlight with the 1969 Mets and Phillips stole a few bases for the Montreal Expos.

What does all this disagreeableness get us? It gets us to the point where we know exactly what the other team needs or is lacking. And, honestly, that can be so much more fun than rooting for your chosen team.

A sport fan likes to pride himself on knowing the odds?#34;or in current hot poker lingo, know when to hold them and know when to fold them. The fold them moment came for me last Saturday night.

In the seventh inning of Game Four of the American League Championship Series, White Sox left-fielder Scott Podsednik slid into second base in a steal attempt. To the naked, untrained eye he appeared to be tagged out. To the objective eye of the slow motion replay he was out. By about two feet. To the second base umpire he was safe. The game two blown third strike call aside, this was the third straight bad call benefiting the White Sox in this game alone. A.J. interfering with the Angels bat? The umpires never saw it. The same Podsednik picked off first base by two feet in the fifth inning.

The umpire actually appeared to yawn before calling him safe. Then in Game Five the umpires actually correct a bad call?#34;and the corrected call benefits the White Sox!

I turned off the television after that play and let a Zen-like calmness wash over me. I didn't wait for the game to end. The White Sox were going to win. The Pennant. What's that old saying? You can't fight city hall?#34;and you can't beat the White Sox and the umpires.

It looks like someone beat me to that Damn Yankees deal with the devil. Being a Cub fan has strengthened and prepared me for a lifetime of baseball disappointment.

But I don't know if it has strengthened me enough to write these five words: Chicago White Sox, World Champions.

There. I wrote it. And it didn't kill me.


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