A strange thing happened the other night as I was admiring the clear, star-filled sky hanging up there over Lake Erie and all parts of Northern Ohio. I had made the drive out to spend a couple of days and nights with my mom and sister and brother-in-law, en route to Kent State for a couple of days of May 4th Remembrance, and I was enjoying one of the first pleasant nights of the spring.
Anyway, I received a Facebook message from a “friend” with whom I had attended high school a million years ago (1968) in Ashland, Ohio. I was enthused to see that it was not the standard “greeting” of one or two lines of standard fare, and that it was from someone whom I hadn’t been in touch with since high school. Without hesitating, I jumped right in to read what this former classmate had to say.
The tone began very nicely, I must say, as he mentioned how he had enjoyed reading my posts and that he, himself, had tried his hand at writing but not as well as me (a generous comment!). Then there came the big “BUT.”
At this point, my “friend” did a complete 180° turn and went on to rant about how he was tired of my persistent posts about those despicable “white sox” (he said he wouldn’t even honor them by capitalizing the team name), and that being a lifelong Ohioan and Indians’ fan, he preferred any team other than the Sox. In fact, he let it be known that his most favorite teams were the Indians, Red Sox, and Cubs.
He went on to mention that he’d been to several of the ballparks over the years, and that the “new” Comiskey Park (U.S. Cellular) totally sucked! And the only team he despised worse than the White Sox were the “flippin’ Yankees.”
After re-reading this message several times, I found that it was not surprising that a Cleveland fan, with that typical inferiority complex that simply cries “Cleveland,” would hate baseball’s legendary iconic franchise, which has been the personification of greatness forever. True, there’s nothing better than beating the Yankees, but there’s no way anyone can denigrate their status in the realm of greatness. Yankees? Cleveland? I might be crazy, but which team has proven to be a winner down through the years?
For clarification, the inferiority complex to which I refer can best be understood after
doing some thorough research: (see Browns’ games vs. John Elway’s Broncos, Ernest Biner, Brian Sipe’s end zone pass interception, Jose Mesa’s relief effort, etc., Jordan and the Bulls over the Cavs time and again, LeBron James’ exit to Miami and championships)
My “friend” then went on in his message about how his mom was from Chicago and that he had been born there and that there was no way he could ever root for the south-siders. (He called them something, but I can’t recall now since I have deleted his priceless piece of whimsy!) And then he closed with “I thought you should know.”
Gee, thanks, old “friend,” I would have gone through the remainder of my days unaware of all of this without your coming to the fore and bringing it to my attention ! I continued to try to find the humor in his message, because, after all, I love getting on other guys about their team allegiance, but it’s all in fun. I really don’t care who one likes and roots for. But it was clearly obvious that my “friend’s” message was caustic and meant to be anything but humorous.
Somewhat miffed, I fired off a quick reply, something to the effect that I thought his message was written in the typical spirit of a frustrated Cleveland (Indians/Browns) and Cubs’ fan. And then I thought about the thing while drifting off to sleep that night. And I have come to the conclusion once more that I need to address a few things here:
First of all, this blog was not created to bash any other team(s)—especially that other team in Chicago—and I have avoided doing so, with the exception of one of my first posts (Please Don’t Assume We’re Cubs’ Fans), but I feel it is time to revisit that very topic.
Whether or not my old “friend” should read this or not, doesn’t really matter. In my next post, I will state my case regarding that part of Chicago professional baseball and why I believe the way I do. In the meantime, GO, YOU WHITE SOX! (Note the capital letters, “friend!”)