Okay. Baseball season isn’t officially over. There are still a few games left to play with two division championships and the World Series still to go. If you’re a Chicago fan though, the season might as well be over.
The season has been an exciting one. I’ve really loved it and from April until yesterday, it was probably the most important fandom in my life. I obsessed over it. How are the Chicago Cubs doing today? Did we win? Did we lose? Can I name the players? For the first time since I was 21, I saw a game. For the first time since I was 12, I saw more than one game. I saw seven: Two Cubs games at home, two Cubs vs. Sox games at the Cell, the last White Sox game of the regular season, the one game play off game and a White Sox American League Division Series game. To top that off, also saw a Chicago Cubs minor league game played at Wrigley Field. My team, the Chicago Cubs, did really well. The other team that as a Chicago baseball fan I cheer for also did well. … Until they both got knocked out of the playoffs. Ouch.
Being a baseball fan in Chicago can be challenging because you can never escape the Cubs vs. White Sox rivalry. This year, I tried to put all that aside and cheer, cheer, cheer for the White Sox. (So that they could end up playing the Chicago Cubs in the World Series in the post season and losing to the Cubs. Because I’m special like that.) To the extent that I really, really, really wanted that outcome, I went to the last regular season game and that one game play off game to watch in person to make sure that happened. It was a great experience. White Sox fans are great. US Cellular Field is not a bad experience, unless you’re sitting in the upper deck and have a fear of heights. The drunken fan contingent was about equal to that of the Cubs so I don’t get why White Sox fans bash on Cubs fans for being a bunch of boozers. US Cellular Field though isn’t a place to go if you’re a Chicago fan who leans towards the Cubs. There were fans who would happily wear their anti-Cubs shirts, who’d yell at people that “This isn’t Wrigley!” and bash on the Cubs when the White Sox did poorly. It means that if you’re a Chicago fan leaning Cubs, you’ve got to keep your mouth shut in a lot of instances at the Cell and when there are White Sox fans nearby. Such a challenge! Really. I mean it. Loyalty to your team can run really deep and with very little social stigma for obsessing over sports, it is easy to start babbling about the greatness of your team with the person next to you on the train.
But baseball season is over. The Cubs and Sox are both out of it. My hopes of a crosstown classic are officially dashed. My tolerance for Cubs bashing has ended. The little adventure into looking like a White Sox fan (gotta dress in all Black for Black Out games) is done. I have a few months off and then back to cheering like mad for the Cubs, annoying my friends with Cubs talk and going to a few more games. But for now, a much needed break.
Blog entry by Laura.