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TODAY

Sunday, November 17

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Airbags

Last week, I asked Cubs fans to come out and do us life-long White Sox fans a favor and spout invective and seething hatred for the Good Guys. And, in a rare show of camaraderie, the Cubs fans came through in spades. So obedient where the Cubs fans, in fact, that the White Sox went on to sweep the Boston Red Sox in three games, with unlikely heroes like Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez and Bobby "The Chunky Righty" Jenks. So first of all, thanks Cubs Fans! You really came through for the Good Guys there. We appreciate all of the help.

Before I get to the variety of brilliant responses I got from you brilliant Cubs fan readers, I'd like to point something out about the Sox-Cubs rivalry. Sox fans dislike the Cubs. Sox fans make fun of the Cubs fans; Cubs fans are indifferent to the White Sox, but, man, do they hate White Sox fans! I think we would all do well to take it easy, true — but the rivalry is fun. Not many cities — in fact, only one other city — get to enjoy the unique intra-city rivalry we have. It's OK to hate the other team and poke fun at the other fans, but while Cubs fans were responding in force to my command to send us negative energy, they were also conjuring up all sorts of names to call the fans of the Good Guys. If you think about it, it makes sense: the Cubs always have bad teams, but good attendance; the White Sox are perennial division contenders, but have low attendance. So we attack the other side's weakness.

I try to not have friends who are Cubs fans, but the few (OK, one) I do have is a good Chicagoan, a union guy and wildly knowledgeable. Now, does that mean he doesn't have the worst possible taste in baseball? No. But it does mean he hates the fact that his team so consistently sucks. He also hates the fact that the White Sox are so consistently viable. We argue a lot — but one argument he would never make is, "Yeah, well our owner makes a lot more money off of us than your owner!" In other words, our attendance is better no matter what kind of crap is going on on the field.

Conversely, I am a life-long Sox fan. I go to a few games every year, depending on what I can afford. But you know what? If Reinsdorf isn't willing to pay to put a good team out there, I'm not going to many games. That's rewarding bad behavior — that's doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, which is the definition of insanity. And let me tell you something: if I found out that Reinsdorf was scalping his own tickets to fans, and the players on the team didn't stand up and say that was bull, I would no longer be a fan of that team.

It goes without saying that my column of last week, which I don't mind saying was single-handedly responsible for the Sox' victory thanks to the negative energy it created, was controversial. Just how? Well, take a look at these brilliant responses, from brilliant readers:

Eric Zorn, CHICAGO: Eminent Chicago Tribune columnist and fan of bad baseball:
You know, of course, that your preening and taunting will only add to my pleasure when the Sox lose. Heh.

I guess spending four hours a day, 162 days a year watching a team play pathetic baseball entitles you to blow off some steam. By the way, aren you the guy who does that movie show with Ebert? Hey-yo!

Barrett Buss, CHICAGO: Afraid of Sox fans
There are exceptions, but most Cubs fans only hate one aspect about the Sox - their fans. I saw a Red Sox fan on TV last night outside Comiskey and he said, only half-jokingly, "Those Cubs fans earlier were nice, but these guys are a different story - I think I'm gonna get beaten when you turn that camera off." I have no doubt he visited one of our fair city's fine urgent care facilities just minutes later.

Well, if most of the people at Wrigley knew which team they were cheering for, they'd know to be more belligerent.

Jimbo Dawson, CHICAGO: Raving Baby-Bears fan
All Sox fans can do is circumvent the criticism somewhere else. "Cubs fans don't know anything about baseball!" "Wrigley is just a huge bar!" "Cubs fan don't care if they win or lose!" Sound familiar? This is coming from a fan-base that went from a record high of 10 sellouts to 17 sellouts this year. And 6 of those were probably against the Cubs!! Wrigley sells out 17 times by April 17th, get the picture?

Cf., above, rewarding bad behavior. You know what, I'm sure when they're at the country club sipping their endangered white tiger blood out of hollowed-out Faberge eggs, the owners of the Cubs taunt the owners of the White Sox about which fans are more willing to sink money into a losing team. Me? I look at records.

"Soxfan," UNKNOWN: Dull person
I am a Sox fan and yes, I do admit, they're aren't any loyal fans over here. I hope we don't lose in the playoffs or else everybody's gonna go to the northside and stay their. I do find myself getting jealous of the Cubs and all their great and friendly fans and there kick ass ballpark. My teams' games are so BORING.

Hello. My name is Keeno Djibouti, and I was the Minister of Lots of Diamonds in Nigeria before my government was overthrown. I am writing you to ask you in the name of God to help my family...

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About the Author(s)

Ramsin Canon covers and works in politics in Chicago. If you have a tip, a borderline illegal leak, or a story that needs to be told, contact him at .

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