I'd seen Cubs fans. Boatloads of them. Every year. Win or lose. Didn't matter. Cubs fans were there and wanted to watch the game. Hell, they even wanted to talk about the game. There were Packer fans, Bulls fans, Bears fans, I even met more Red Wings fans in those years than White Sox fans. The White Sox were like a distant uncle I'd heard of but never met.
Until 2005. When the White Sox won a World Series. Spontaneously like in a science experiment White Sox fans appeared like flies. And they had big mouths. They wanted every Cubs' fan in the room to know exactly how many years it had been since the Cubs had won a World Series. But you see, the thing is, I can't think of a single Cubs' fan who doesn't already know that that. A better question would have been how long had it been since the White Sox last won the World Series, because knowing what I know about White Sox fans I doubt any of them would have known. Anyway, a fan base that had been little more than a phantom to me all my life instilled me with hatred in a very short time. A hatred I will never relinquish.
Most Cubs fans completely ignore the White Sox and their fans. They couldn't seem to care any less that there is another team in Chicago. And for most of my life I felt that way, too. Until I started listening to more White Sox games on the radio than Cubs' games.
Yesterday the Detroit Tigers eliminated the White Sox from playoff contention. And White Sox fans did what you would expect them to do: turn on the Bears game and pretend they never cared in the first place. And from the attendance numbers maybe you could make the case that they didn't. They wouldn't come to the games. The White Sox were in first place for nearly the entire season and White Sox fans couldn't be bothered to show up to support their team. They did still have energy left over to bitch and moan and deride the Cubs fans that do actually show up to cheer on the Cubs win or lose, but their own team... too much trouble.
In Septemeber the Detroit Tigers showed up at the new stadium to support their team, often drowning out the few White Sox fans that bothered to show up. You wouldn't have even known that the White Sox were three games ahead of the Tigers. What the White Sox fans did manage to do, though, was cheer sarcastically when Adam Dunn, a player who hit over forty home runs this year, fouled off a ball after striking out three times in a game. What assholes. Seriously, you're assholes.
And, no, the other team is not cheating every game as your radio and television broadcast teams would have the world believe. It gets sickening listening to Harrelson and Farmer accusing everyone from the grounds crew to the ball boy of trying to cheat the White Sox. Every fucking game they accuse someone of using a foreign substance on the ball or balking or the umpires are out to get the Sox. No, they're not. You got beat. By other teams who were trying harder than you were.
Three times now in the past five years the White Sox have blown substantial leads in the American League Central to lose to the Twins and Tigers, each time displaying a gutless, passionless acceptance of defeat once they were caught, and subsequently refusing to play hard the rest of the year. There were no injuries. No bad luck. The Twins and the Tigers just caught the Sox and beat the shit out of them and then the Sox laid down. It's a gutless team that can only win when everything goes their way. In spite of Hawk Harrelson's insistence that the Sox are always being cheated by the other team, the umpires, and fate itself, the Sox have gone on several jags over the past years where everything goes their way. Teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, and Red Sox lay down for them, infielders lose their internal compass and thrown the ball into the stands, pitchers throw wild pitches with runners on third. and the Sox hit tons and tons of home runs.
That happened again this year.
Then the luck seemed to run out. And the home runs stopped coming. None of this meant the White Sox couldn't keep winning. They could have played actual baseball and won some games. But they didn't. They couldn't.
Three times this year the Tigers beat the White Sox brains out in head to head competition, sweeping series to get even in the standings with the White Sox. And each time the White Sox went on to play the Minnesota Twins. And each time the Minnesota Twins should have had their franchise revoked for playing nothing like professional baseball. Those nine games the Sox swept after being swept by a better Tigers team kept the Sox in first place, but it didn't cover up the fact that the Tigers were better and making more of an effort.
By the time the Tigers did catch the White Sox in the standings late in September the Sox had already given up, again. Like they did two years ago when the Tigers gut punched them in a series soon after the All Star game and the Sox never made an effort again.
Neither did their fans. Except to do the old Bronx cheer when they wanted to passively aggressively boo Adam Dunn, or their team's captain, Paul Konerko. That is the few of them who even made the effort to show up.
You suck White Sox fans. You really suck. I doubt that your endless negativity is even a factor in why the White Sox have choked away three division leads in five years, but it can't help.
I just got the one thing left to say. Nah, nah, nah, nah. Nah, nah, nah, nah. Hey hey hey... goodbye.
|Next year you can boo one of your own players wearing another teams' uniform. Classless.|
2015: With Don Cooper and Jose Abreau coming out blasting the fans and team cohesion, seems like the White Sox are on the verge of imploding in 2015. We can only hope. One thing we know: if it does happen, no one will be there to see it.