Cubs fans struggle with White Sox success
CHICAGO: Chicago is widely considered a Cubs town, but the postseason success of the city’s other baseball team has angered some fans and coaxed others to shed their Cubbie blue for White Sox black, at least temporarily. One group of Cubs fans are even calling themselves “Bi-Sox-ual” fans, or supporters of the north side Cubs pulling for the southsiders this postseason.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen reached out to the Cubs faithful this week when he emphasized that despite the cross-town rivalry, the Sox still represent Chicago and all Chicagoans should be proud. The World Series between the White Sox and the Houston Astros starts on Saturday. “I know there is a rivalry between the Cubs fans and the White Sox fans, but people have to know this is one city. On the chest, it doesn’t say South Side or White Sox. It says Chicago,” Guillen said, referring to his team’s gray road uniforms.
Some northside baseball purists appreciate the fundamentally sound style of play that has propelled the Sox to the brink of a championship. “I’m not necessarily rooting against them. Good baseball is good baseball and I can’t root against that,” said Cubs fan David Yakir.
Winning formula: Others hoped that a winning formula so close to home would rub off on their “lovable losers,” as the Cubs are sometimes known. “I can only say that I am not thrilled with the Cubs personality as a team and that stems from (Cubs manager) Dusty Baker. Ozzie has personality and it permeates to his players and that goes a long way,” said Erik Leff, a lifelong Cubs fan.
But it was clear that it will take more than Chicago’s first World Series appearance since the Eisenhower administration to bridge the gap between cross-town rivals.
Vendors on both sides of town sell anti-Cubs and anti-Sox merchandise all season and many fans enjoy seeing the other team lose almost as much as they enjoy seeing their own team win. When the White Sox clinched the American League title, owner Jerry Reinsdorf grinned at the thought of further tormenting Cubs fans with a White Sox-Cardinals championship, referring to the Cubs’ most-hated division rivals from St Louis.
St Louis ultimately lost the in the National League Championship Series, but it was to the slightly less-hated division rival Houston Astros. Cubs fans flocked to Internet chat rooms as the nightmare scenario unfolded. “It was already bad enough when I knew that the Astros or Cardinals were going to the World Series. Now to make it worse, the Southsiders have gone and won the ALCS. Just plain sick if you ask me,” one fan wrote this week on the Internet blog Yarbage Cub Review.
Most of all, it appeared that Cubs fans feared the gloating that would come next season if the Sox win it all. One blogger at BleedCubbieBlue.com wrote, “There is no way it is just going to be a few jabs by Sox fans. They are champions for a whole year. They will have a lot of time on their hands. Go Astros.” reuters