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The Chicago Cubs had a great season and made Chicago proud, even though they lost to the New York Mets. But most disappointing was the conduct of White Sox fans who just can’t get past their own self-loathing to show support for a Chicago baseball team. The Cubs did great. The Sox fans are horrible
By Ray Hanania
What is it that so divides White Sox and Cubs fans? I know there is a “rivalry,” but people outside of Chicago don’t really see the two teams as being different when it comes to Chicago. Why should we in Chicagoland?
Both teams represent Chicago and outsiders don’t care if either win. So why wouldn’t we all support both our home teams? Sure, favor one. But beat up on the other? No way.
The failure of White Sox fans to support the Chicago Cubs says something about Chicago’s culture, stereotypes and the arrogant attitudes that exist among “North Siders” versus “South Siders.”
I think South Siders have an inferiority complex and they take it out on the Cubs in their anger and animosity. The world loves Wrigley Field and the Cubs more than the Sox.
And that makes North Siders maybe more arrogant: they’re better because their property values are higher. Better schools. Better grades.
Is it class rivalry? Or, could it be a racial rivalry? As much as we think we are mature as a society, we still have racial issues coming from both directions. Racism is no longer a one-way street where Whites discriminate against Blacks. It happens the other way, too. Blacks discriminate against Whites.
Racism doesn’t vanish because we don’t want to talk about it any more, or because the flash points have tempered, somewhat.
I didn’t become a Cubs fan because of class or race. I am a diehard South Sider. It was all about sex. My first girlfriend was a Cubs fan. That’s all I needed to know about sports.
As readers may recognize, I don’t really know much about sports. I love politics. And humor. I do have an attitude about sports journalism and don’t think most sports writers know how to write. Their news stories always turn into feature stories, promoting “their” team preferences.
But I remember in High school going to Cubs games and watching Fergie Jenkins pitch. And although I was a “Cubs fan,” there were a lot of other players I held in high esteem in both the American League and the National League. Roger Maris. Mickey Mantle. Hank Aaron. Sandy Koufax.
My son, Aaron, is into baseball far more than me and he did a great interview with Anthony Rizzo before the playoffs. It’s online at www.Aaron411.com.
But, I never trash the White Sox. I want them to win. In fact, as much as I hoped for a Cubs World Series – it’s been a longtime coming – I also want a White Sox World Series. And I want a Crosstown World Series that pits both teams.
I can see taking sides then.
But when the Cubs bring so much national attention to Chicago as a “good” and a as “bad” team, we in Chicagoland should appreciate them more. White Sox fans should have done more to support them, too, instead trashing them and predicting their defeat to the New York Mets.
The Cubs did great this year, even if they didn’t win. I think they’re going to do better. I’ll keep cheering for them and for the Sox, too, even though I’ve been a South Sider all my life.
If we want to focus our disappointments – and honestly, both the Sox and the Cubs have been very disappointing over the years – let’s focus that animus where it belongs, against the Green Bay Packers during football season.
There are a lot of reasons to hate those cheddar-heads!
At least that’s my uneducated and uninformed sports opinion.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and columnist. Email him at email@example.com.)
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Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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