Sunday, July 10, 2005

Evolution - or why I'm a Sox fan

My last post on the Sox evoked an interesting reflection on the dynamics of Cubs-Sox allegiance in Chicago by my younger brother, who remains conflicted as to where his loyalties truly lie. As in many cities, one is meant to be a fan of only one of the two baseball teams in town, and your choice, in many ways, defines who you are.

Imran bemoans my defection to the Sox (I was a childhood Cubs fan) as a sign of bandwagon loyalty, making me just another fairweather fan chasing the winds of fortune.

But, of course, my defection to the ChiSox, while eased by their winning record, is more profound than that. It's about whether you wake up with a cup of joe or Starbuck's Mint Mocha Chip Frappuccino®. You see, once upon a time, the Cubs were the lovable losers, the guys you had to root for because their efforts always seemed foiled by some freakish accident, like a wild pitch with the bases loaded or an in-park home run. These types of mistakes were always forgiven, examples of mishaps that could happen to anyone. That they happened so consistently to the Cubs somehow added to their charm, along with a cast of characters that were hard to forget (Ryne Sandberg, Rick Sutcliffe, Andre Dawson, Mark Grace, among others).

But, somewhere along the line, the Cubs started to get good. Really good. And along with their rise to the top, they became less lovable and more corporate yuppie. The rooftop parties on neighboring buildings became the target of shameless profiteering (by both sides) and, in ways I can't define, the Cubs just seemed to become more "slick", less the lovable heroes of my youth and more the petulant Sosa and the enigmatic Dusty Baker...

Meanwhile, on the South Side, another team continued to toil away, almost unnoticed, with 11 seasons above the 500 mark since 1990 (compared to just 6 for the Cubbies), 3 division victories (just 1 for the Cubs) and players (Thomas, Konerko, Buehrle, Garland) who have risen to the occasion. This team won in spite of itself, in the face of poor management decisions, low home game turnouts, arguments between players and managers, through it all they play well. They may not have gone to the World Series, but they brought respect back to Chicago baseball.
So I may have left the Cubs behind, but for better, much better...the same reason why, despite growing up a fervent Bears fan, I eventually crossed over to the "dark side" and became a fan of the Packers...and, because, ultimately I still prefer a cup of coffee to a tall cappuccino...

3 comments:

shakdude said...

This post proves that you are a fair weather fan. It's one thing to change your baseball loyalty, but to support the Packers is treason.

Do you even remember the last time that you were in Wisconsin?

tareq16 said...

I have several comments.

Comment the first: Packers?!?!Ugh. Lookit, I'm not one to make fun of other peoples' football allegiances seeing as how I belong to the most ruthless, vicious, vile group of people on earth: fans of the Philadelphia Eagles. We booed Santa Claus. We collectively stood up, pointed at a 10 year old girl and called her a very derogatory name because she was wearing a redskins jacket at an eagles/redskins game IN WASHINGTON (what nerve she had to root for her hometeam in her hometown). Our old stadium had its own courthouse and presiding judge(it made for processing all the assaults and batteries much easier). I have come to terms with the fact that I belong to the most despicable group of people on earth. But a line must be drawn. The Packers?!? Have you no self-respect? How can you look at those evergreen green and cheddar cheese uniforms and not puke? How do you pronounce Bret Frarververe anyways? Today I have lost my faith in humanity.....

2.) Do you realize there are 3 different Shakur blogs running simultaneously? This is confusing. Considering the fact that your readership consists of a.) yourselves, and b.) one Tareq and maybe one Waseem, I suggest either the three of you talk to each other (seeing as how you live under the same roof) or consolidate your blogs into one superblog containing multitudes of medical and computer jargon and sarcastic usages of haram and makruh in unexpected places. This would be much more efficient...

C.) There is always a special place in my heart for the Chicago Cubs. It was a warm summer afternoon in June 1986 when I turned the channel to WWOR ch. 9 Secaucus, NJ and decided to give baseball a try. I watched Keith Hernandez foul off more than 10 balls in a row off the Cubs pitcher. At one point a foul ball went out of Wrigley and onto the street where two scruffy kids went careening down the street after it. I thought, "This is so cool." The battle of wills between the pitcher and the batter hooked me and I was forever a fan....of the METS!!!!! But I don't mind the Cubs, they're probably my second favorite team. Especially when they play lowlife teams like the Braves and Marlins. Sometimes I wish God would just smite those teams.

4.) LET'S GO METS!!!!

tareq16 said...

oh yeah, and I would never root for the White Sox because they're an American League team, and they don't play real baseball in the American League, they might as well just play with skittles...