Friday, October 28, 2005

White Sox World Series Champs!

North Park, Chicago. 10/26/2005
I can't believe it happened.

I should begin by saying that I had no plans to root for anyone in the Series. I was just going to watch it because I like baseball. I've never understood the rationale of rooting for the team that eliminated your team so you can say that "well, at least we lost to the team that won it all." I mean, aren't they only in the series because they beat your team? What's the value in rooting for 'em? So once we got to Chicago, there was really no choice but to root for the Sox. We jumped on the bandwagon. (It also decreased our odds of getting our butts kicked by rooting for the Astros while watching the game with bars full of drunk White Sox fans.)

When we planned this trip to Chicago months and months ago, I didn't even pay attention to the date in relation to the baseball season. We were more concerned with not missing the UGA vs Florida game this weekend. About 3 weeks before we left for Chicago, I told The Bride that we were going to be in Chicago for at least part of the World Series. About a week before we left, we knew that Game 1 would be on the day we arrived.

Tonight was most definitely a night I will remember for the rest of my life.

We didn't watch all of Game 1, but we watched the end of it here with my cousins at their place. We watched the end of game 2 and Scott Podsednik's game-winning homer. Last night, we were watching the last few innings of the game (we thought) after eating dinner at a tiny British pub on Lincoln Avenue near DePaul Univ. We left after the Sox didn't score in the top of the 10th, figuring the Astros would probably score at home in the bottom of the 10th. After getting back to my cousins place after a long 'el' ride, I flipped on the TV to see who had won, and the top of the 14th inning was just starting. So we just got to see Blum's homer in the 14th to win the game for the Sox before bed.

After all that, we decided we were DEFINITELY going to find a place to watch game 4 with a bunch of diehard Sox fans.

I never thought the Sox were going to sweep it, and we would surely be back in Arkansas when the series was over. There was no way they were going to win their first world series in 88 years while we were here visiting, right???

Think again.

Tonight we watched the game at the Lion Head Pub on Lincoln Avenue near DePaul University. The mood of the place was definitely a little tense, but excited. After all, the Sox weren't going to pull a Yankees (I love saying that) and blow a 3-0 lead were they?

When Juan Uribe made the second of two brilliant defensive plays to end the game and preserve the Sox 1-0 victory to capture the title, the place just erupted. We were upstairs where there was more room to sit down, but downstairs of this bar was standing room only. It was just nuts. Part of me was jealous; jealous that this wasn't "my" team that I was rooting for, but we both just soaked up the atmosphere and enjoyed rooting for the Sox.

After the game, we hung around the bar for about 10 minutes closing out our tab and watching the trophy presentation. Maybe a handful of people had left by then. Once we got outside, crazies from all the bars and restaurants were spilling out onto the streets, waving brooms, yelling "Go SOX!" and generally acting nuts. We passed 6 cops in the first block after leaving. Every car that passed by on Lincoln Avenue or Fullerton going back towards the 'El' was either laying on the horn or holding a car full of crazies hanging out the windows yelling.

The Bride and I just soaked it all up on our ten minute walk back to the train. Once on the platform, the southbound red-line platform was just covered with Sox fans going crazy. I guess it's a hard thing to accurately describe the feeling on the streets, but it was a close I've ever seen to an entire city emitting a post-relational glow.

Well, not an entire city. And that brings me to my next point. One of my cousins who lives in Chicago is a huge Cubbies fan. She goes to probably 30-50 games a year. She was so ticked that the Sox were going to win the series before the Cubs. But when you think about it, it totally makes sense. If the Cubs had managed to win the series before the Red Sox AND the White Sox, they wouldn't be the Cubs!

That's what makes 'em the Cubs. I guess now that the other two longest curses in baseball are removed, the Cubs have a clear shot at taking the series next year. So you heard it here first....go to vegas and lay your money on the long cubbie odds. And just like always Cubs fans: you'll get 'em next year.