The Right Mentality for Chicago Teams
Chicago is one of the sports capitals in the United States, however, there’s nothing more divisive than the city’s various franchises. It’s odd how such a dense population can have such fractured mentalities yet also be paralyzed by phobias and mental behaviors completely born in opposite allegiances.
There’s a certain mentality that goes along with being a White Sox or Cubs fan in Chicago; either you have a chip on your shoulder, and always striving to succeed, and win approval all the while have an utter disdain for that approval, or you have a couple pages dedicated for you in the DSM-IV. While that is slanted, being a Cub fan takes a special kind of gene, mutation, stupidity or mental defect; depending on who you ask. The two sides will never meet or agree on anything regarding baseball.
Often said, “Baseball divides the city, the Bears unite the city.” I can’t really attest to that because I’ve done my best in letting my “White Sox” mentality bleed into other aspects of my sporting life. I look at the Bears often times as a stupid and inept franchise with bad and dumb ownership in a piss poor stadium. Right now, given the success, there’s something to be said for being around a winning team and it is fun. I hold no true, deep seeded hatred for the Bears, but I resent an organization that isn’t committed to winning.
Sox fans have win or die relationship while the Cubs’ boys have the “Maybe next year” frame of reference and Chicago’s bandwagon teams suffer the consequence. I hate to say it but while the avid basketball and hockey fans hate to hear it, they’re the sports that exist when baseball and football aren’t around. I fall into that trap and I don’t really like it but at least I have the decency to admit it. I’m not looking to blame anyone on my lack of deep river of knowledge regarding basketball or hockey, but there are reasons including a lack of quality media knowledge, a lack of quality analysis and the game is either too easy to break down or too intricate and fast paced (hockey’s case).
I grew up in the Jordan era and was spoiled as a basketball fan. Hype, buzz and exposure dwindled in the post championship era but are now under a revival lead by Derrick Rose. I remember countless nights watching my younger brother play in a travelling league and was able to solidify my basic knowledge of the game, what’s a good possession, what good defense looks like, and where poor or low percentage shots are taken or look like. The Blackhawks were dead for so long in the city and now after winning, the buzz isn’t what it was last year, simply because the team isn’t crisp or all that exciting to watch; mostly due to a lack of quality contributing periphery players and a lot of injuries. I’ve been able to recognize a trap scheme and how a puck possession team can bleed the opposition to death. Right now, I want to apply my Sox mentality to both the Bulls and Blackhawks, but it’s tough considering that the players needed to help sure up the Bulls are hard to find and for the Blackhawks, the players on the roster, the payroll restrictions.
Right now the Bears are in a precarious situation. Next year’s NFL labor agreement isn’t settled and the 2011 season is last contract year for head coach Lovie Smith, much to my chagrin is one of the better coaches in the franchise’s history but many of the media, fans and observers suffer from “Lovie-fatigue.” East coast media will have you believe that the team lucked into their position, but a win is a win and the NFL should be worried about style points (that’s what the college game is all about). Please Bears fans and observers; adopt the win mentality and hold the team accountable for their performance. It’s worked out for the White Sox and it might work for your other teams as well.