I’ve finally made a decision. After five years of living in Chicago, I have picked a side.
I grew up in a football family – rooting for Michigan every Saturday and the Packers every Sunday. Then, every summer while I was quite literally submerged in every possible body of water (pool, lake, ocean), I’d start to hear rumblings of some sort of Curse. But, I didn’t listen, or care. Baseball? Boring. The Red Sox? Whatever.
That all changed around 2004. I know, I know, bandwagon fan, I suck, I’m not really a fan – I’ve heard it all a million times.
It was the ALCS comeback that sucked me in. I was only a couple of months into my internship at Villanova and was rather lonely. So, every night, I’d stay up late watching my “hometown” team claw its way back into the pennant race, never giving up.
It was cool to watch – nothing more, nothing less. Sure, I hadn’t suffered through the 80s and 90s like everyone else, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy the success. Did I become a die-hard Red Sox fan after that? No. But I did, at the very least, start to appreciate baseball a lot more than I had previously.
When I first moved to Chicago, I lived a half a block from Wrigley Field. So, you’d naturally think I’d start rooting for the Cubs. But really, it was more about just being outside and enjoying baseball in the summer. I’d prefer to go to Wrigley over “The Cell” because it was closer and Wrigleyville is more fun.
Then, when I started my current job in October of 2010, that all changed. My company is owned by Jerry Reinsdorf and his limited partners – and for the first year of my job I worked in the stadium. Actually, for the first two months of my job I was a White Sox employee, until we became our own separate entity in January 2011.
When you work with/for a team, it’s no longer just about wins and losses. It’s about rooting for the team AND the front office – the people you know and like and respect (and who work their asses off). I spent a year working with these people and can’t begin to tell you how hard everyone works or how much they care about this team – and one day you realize it’s just in your blood now, and that’s the way it is. People can think I’m ridiculous or that my affections can be bought, but that wasn’t the case with Villanova and it isn’t the case now.
Of course as I wrote this, I watched them lose to the Yankees but whatever. Can’t win ’em all, I suppose.