October 2, 2008

The Sweet Smell That They Adore, I Think I'd Rather Smother

What I am about to write will...well, make me a marked man in Chicago.

I simply do not get this city's obsession with sports, particularly baseball.

It's not simply hometown pride in one's team - after all, I lived in St. Louis, and one of the key signs of summer is a sea of red-shirted suburbanites riding the Metrolink downtown.

But maybe (as I have suggested to others) it's better to have one truly OK baseball team than two astoundingly mediocre teams.

Yes, I know both teams are in the playoffs (and the Cubs - let's face it - choked last night), but this whole south side/north side rivalry? Overplayed. (Of course, it does have its roots in classism - the more "professional" north siders being pit against the "blue collar" south siders). The eternal optimism...well, in high school, I had that kind of optimism. The kind that said that a very "special girl" would see me not as a nice guy, but as the love of her life.

Then I turned 18, and actually *gasp* started dating, and realized...I wasn't rejected becase of their expectations, but my own. When I realized the reality of the situation, I was able to see things more clearly, and had more realistic goals in terms of relationships. The Cubs and Sox are that high school sweetheart, that classic "lost love", which is great for memories and nostalgia...but in the harsh cold light of reality, never measures up.

(Me, bitter and cynical? Nah).

It's rare when a Chicago team actually makes it - the Bears back in 1987, or the Bulls classic 90's run with Michael Jordan...but you would think that after those two key events, people might just give up over baseball. Accept that Chicago doesn't quite have it together in that regard. That for one year, instead of worrying about which team is going to make it - just sit back, relax, and enjoy the game.

It's ok for the City of Big Shoulders to shrug once in awhile.

1 comment:

Roger Owen Green said...

see, now you've done it - NEITHER team advanced!