The drivers who snarl traffic to gawk at a two-car pile up in the far left lane of the expressway turn me from puppy dog happy to alligator irritable in a manner of seconds. Why are people drawn toward blood and guts, crunched steel and smoldering engines, or even the possible collapse of a 15-game divisional lead?
Yes, I too was a blood thirsty gawker last week. I had my head out the car window, peering into the ominous crevices of the crime scene. There was yellow police tape all around the mangled mess. I could see blood, tears and vomit. The liquid refuse was that of Ozzie Guillen's. The stress from watching his White Sox go from one of Major League Baseball's best to a hodge-podge company softball team, forced Guillen into dry heaves last week. It forced me into heaves of laughter.
I enjoyed seeing the White Sox suffer. I relished in it. I'm not happy about it but I slowed to a complete stop, got out of my Porsche GT3 (this is the car I drive in my fantasies), stripped to my skivvies and did the macarena (this is not a recurring scene in my fantasies). After posting bond, I drove to the crime scene again, this time stopping to see if any of the victims could use an "I told you so" or a "Hey the '69 Cubs called, they want their demise back."
But when I arrived there was no crime scene, only charred asphalt and scattered debris. The wreck had been cleared, the bodies taken and the blood washed away. Like a famished dog overlooking a pile of dried out carcass, I was disappointed. The Sox had pulled out of their slump.
White Sox fans for so long have attempted to be superior to Cubs fans merely on the basis that their team was in all actuality a real baseball team. The Cubs, in their eyes, are simply a side attraction to the party that is Wrigley Field. It's a ridiculous notion and only one that derives from prickly bitterness over the fact that the Cubs draw more fans to home games than the Sox. The numbers don't lie. The Sox drew just over two million fans to U.S. Cellular Field during their historic regular season where at more than one time they had the best record in all of baseball. The Cubs drew over three million during a regular season where the only highlight was a non-Cubs affiliated three-day concert by Jimmy Buffett, not to mention a woo or two from Ronnie "Woo Woo" Wickers.
Sox fans can go ahead and say Cubs fans are used to detrimental downfalls, but at least we mend, we heal, and we return to the expressway eager to roll into the future again. Sox fans go into hiding. Again, it's evident in the numbers. The Sox have never drawn over three million fans in a regular season. The Cubs have done it twice now in two straight seasons, seasons where the team has not been in playoff contention come mid-September.
I could write that the White Sox's near collapse was a direct result of the lack of support from their fans (they have a better record on the road than at home), but that's pure jabberwocky from a now jealous Cubs fan. The Sox can/will make the playoffs. But I'm rolling out the Porsche at the first inclination of a quick exit.
And I'm telling you without shame, I can already sense the collision and smell the blood.