A Sox Fan's Guide to Surviving in a World Where the Cubs are World Series Champs
I know, Sox fans. It's rough. It's really, really, really rough. It has been rough since the Cubs won it all. Even if you were trying to just sleep through it, like I was, you heard the fireworks and even more than that, you felt that horrible sinking feeling your gut. Like the air itself had changed. "Like a thousand souls screaming at once and suddenly silenced."
The Chicago Cubs (it is so hard to write this) are (Christ, this hurts) World Series (sweet Jesus, amputation has to be easier) Champs.
Hang on a minute. I need a drink after that.
OK. So, we're Sox fans. We endure. Part of the pleasure of being Sox fans is that you go in knowing that the Sox are the forgotten team. The team the city barely recognizes. The team that the rest of the world looks puzzled at, even local media wants to ignore. We are the team that, apparently, the entire city has been gritting its teeth over until the Cubs finally got their sh*t together to win so they could forget that we won a World Series in 2005.
We need to admit some hard truths, Sox fans.
We did this to ourselves.
OK, well, the Sox as a team has done some of it. I mean, look at the history of the team! The Black Sox scandal? THROWING a World Series? Yeah, pretty bad. The crazy owners and managers over the years? The repeated threats to leave town unless the city or state made improvements to the stadium or built a new one? Then building that new-fangled bowl stadium just as retro stadiums came into vogue? The horrible selling of the name?
We've earned it, but there was always that hope and that hope came true in 2005. It should have been the start of a dynasty.
But it wasn't.
Let's face it Sox fans, the Cubs finally have the right management and front office willing to do what it needs to do to get the right people to win. The White Sox got really lucky that year and then the front office seemed to brush off its hands and say, "Well, that's done. I can just sit here now until I retire."
We need a major change at the top. I'd love it if both Jerry Reinsdorf and Kenny Williams got out of the organization. I'd settle for just Williams. Someone who really wants to win, while Kenny just seems to want to keep controlling things even though Baseball Operations is not supposed to be his job anymore and what he seems to want to do is - nothing.
So, we have a new manager. Yay? Rick Renteria? Who now? Yeah, thanks for the exhaustive search for just the right manager to spur the team on there, guys. The new name of the field? Ugh. Don't even go there.
The fact is, Sox fans, we are trapped in a hell that is, at least in part, our own making and there does not appear to be any way out of it. We are stuck in a world where the Cubs have won a World Series and no one remembers that the Sox did. That's just the facts. So, what do we do?
I suggest leaving town as the first and best option. I mean, really, if it wasn't already Cubs, Cubs, Cubs around here, it sure as sh*t will be now. There are lots of nice cities nearby and you can get baseball games via satellite and cable anywhere. This may not be cost effective, so let's see what else.
Get a Back Up
I mean, find another team. I suggest you find a National League team to root for so you don't root for a sworn enemy of the Sox. Really want to piss off Cubs fans? How about becoming a Cardinals fan? This is the option I am using. I went to college in St. Louis, lived there for a few years after and attended many a game. I got more respect from Cardinals fans at Busch Stadium in my Sox hat than I ever got here and I still have plenty of friends down there (with season tickets) so I can go see a game. The new stadium (well, not THAT new anymore) is pretty awesome and St. Louis is a major baseball town. Plus, the Cards have a tendency to win, give the Cubs a hard time, and make it into the post season. It gives you something to follow when the Sox are floundering around the bottom of the division in July.
Follow Other Teams in Other Leagues
Did you know that the White Sox Triple-A farm team, the Charlotte Knights, had a really great 2016? They dropped into last, but struggled to get into first. They stayed for a while, fell a few times, but got back up and then it came down right to the end. They ended up not making it into the post-season, but it came right down to the last game of the season, and they did this despite the fact that the Sox kept raiding their roster for people! Constantly. You can follow any team on Twitter and other methods and there are even other minor league teams around Chicago: The Schaumburg Boomers, Joliet Slammers, Windy City Thunderbolts and more. I got into collegiate summer leagues and rooted for the Butler, PA, BlueSox and the DuPage Drones.
Just Keep Reminding Cubs Fans
I do this, too. I have been wearing almost all black (like I'm in mourning) for the past two days. I wear my 2005 White Sox World Series Champions hat all the time. Look, most people don't even know what my hat says, but our subconscious picks up on things our conscious mind does not. So, it seeps in. I hope. Just remind them - the Sox did it first. They won't care, but it can alleviate the sting for a bit.
Become a Cubs Fan
Man, I don't even want to think about this as an option. It is one, however. Traitor.
That's it, folks. Maybe there are more and you can comment or email me with suggestions. However, we Sox fans are in for a rough ride. Unless our team makes major changes this post-season, 2017 is not looking good for us, either. The Cubs, however, look like they could make another run right into the post-season. Again. And if that happens...
I don't even want to think about that.