A blessedly short article in today’s Chicago Tribune reported on the crosstown hatred Sox fans have for Cub fans and their disdain for the playoff series. All I could do was groan.
I’m a diehard Sox fan and I come from original diehards. My father’s first game was with his father at the 1917 Sox-Giants World Series and the seven-year old thrilled to see the South Siders beat the hated New York team four games to two. I was raised in a household where I thought the other New York team was named the G.D. Yankees (Dad didn’t swear in front of his little girls) and when I later dated and married this Cubs fan, he was grudgingly happy for me.
For more than 20 years, the firm I worked with represented various professional Chicago sports teams, which gave me a view of fans from the inside. The true over-the-top diehards were scary. The stereotype would be a 20-something male who doesn’t have much of a life and thus identifies so closely with his team that he hates anything that might take away some of its prestige or limelight. Truth is, all but the “20-something male” is pretty on target. These diehards come in all genders, ages and backgrounds and were well known to team staff, often nicknamed (e.g. The Addams Family) and concern about what they might say or do was everpresent.
Now I can’t say that those quoted in the Tribune story fall into this category but I can tell you with certainty that all of the Sox fans I know – and there are many, many, many – are rooting for the Cubs. Maybe not as enthusiastically as they would if the Sox were in the post-season but we got our series in 2005, and if we can’t be in play this year having another Chicago team win a World Series will be something to cheer.
Check in again if there is ever a Sox-Cubs World Series. But then we survive cross-town games every year and there are more camera shots of cross-town couples holding hands than anything else.
For today’s game, my Cubs fan husband and our Cubs fan son won the lottery and scored tickets from the Cubs eight rows behind the Cardinal’s dugout – and at a price comparable to a regular season game. And this Sox fan will be looking for them on TV and root, root, rooting for the Cubbie.