Sunday, December 04, 2005

Sinking In

It's been a little over a month since I've posted to Black Betsy. I've withheld from posting deliberately, as getting caught up in some of the minutia of post-season festivities and hot stove league speculations would get in the way of just enjoying the White Sox World Series Championship (it's still great typing it). [Those on the White Sox e-mail list know that I have engaged in some minutia, but hey, they send me e-mails all the time, I have to respond].

After a month, it still has not sunk in. The problem is that the Sox winning the World Series has essentially redefined what being a Sox fan is. For 88 years - three generations - Sox fans have expected and been characterized by frustration. We always knew at some point a better team would come along and kick our butts, an injury would come along to eviscerate the team's chances, or that the one glaring hole in our team (mostly hitting, but sometimes pitching) would doom the team to second place yet again. [Quick fact- the White Sox have finished in 2nd place a 16 times since 1919. They've also finished in 3rd place 16 times. That's 32 good-but-not-good enoughs (plus 5 good enoughs) in 86 years]

After all, this is the same franchise about whom Bill Veeck
was once quoted as saying that "if there is any justice in the world, being a White Sox fan frees a man from any other form of penance." In fact, I once wrote that being a White Sox fan was worse than being either a Red Sox fan (pre 2004 World Series) or a Cubs fan given that our suffering was largely unrecognized. We were defined by misery.

That is why the White Sox winning the 2005 World Series was so jarring. It challenges and destroys this legacy of misery. Quite simply, I don't know how to feel - I have no frame of reference. It's more like a dream than anything, but this time, I do not wake up.

There are so many delicious moments after winning the World Series. Listening to the radio, the announcers talk about what other teams need to do to knock off the White Sox next year. By God, the Yankees have to knock off the White Sox next year. That is a fantastic concept. On XM
MLB Home Plate, there are constant reminders that the White Sox won the World Series and will be looking to repeat next year. There's an extra smile on my face just about every day.

So we Sox fans will have to find a new identity. The defeatist loser will not work any more. Somehow, I think we'll get by.

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