Thursday, October 27, 2005

Not quite the emotion of Disco Demolition Night

I imagine years from now, White Sox fans will tell their grandchildren about 2005 and winning the World Series. They'll talk about the celebrations in the street, the elation after 88 years of mediocrity, and the euphoria of the first non-basketball Chicago sports championship in years. Then they'll scratch their heads and say, "Who did we beat again? I can't remember. The Cardinals? The Dodgers? Huh."

And you won't be able to blame them for the mental lapse. Because the nearly 6-hour-long Game 3 was so stultifyingly dull that viewers' brains began playing tricks on them in time for Game 4. Was Barbara Bush really sitting behind home plate, wearing a rainbow wig, and holding a "John 3:16" sign? Was George the Elder really talking into his cell phone, waving at the camera, and yelling "You suck!" at A.J. Pierzynski? Was Nolan Ryan really the paunchy guy they kept showing sitting in the stands above first base?

The games were so dull, the announcers on Fox had their brains surgically disconnected. How else could you explain clubhouse reporter Jeannie Zelasko's use of the English language while she interviewed World Series MVP Jermaine Dye:

Zelasko: "And isn't it prolific? The White Sox's slogan at the beginning of the
year was 'Win, or die trying.' And here I am talking to Jermaine Dye."

Yeah, it's pretty prolific, all right.

Color commentator Tim McCarver again demonstrated that the circuit from his brain to his mouth bypasses the editing gland, (Jeannie Zelasko, take note) prophesizing that players wouldn't bunt two seconds before they squared around to bunt, and claiming the home run Astros (soon-to-be-ex) closer Brad Lidge gave up in the NLCS was the furthest thing from his mind, two seconds before he gave up another game-losing home run.

For his part, even series MVP Jermaine Dye seemed to appreciate just how exciting a moment the White Sox sweep generated. After being given the MVP trophy and keys to a new car, he thanked Chevrolet before getting around to recognizing his teammates.

And before you accuse me of being a smug Red Sox fan who will consider everything since 2004 anticlimactic, consider two things:
  1. I am a smug Red Sox fan.
  2. But even I'll concede last year's World Series had relatively few truly memorable moments, except for seeing Doug Mientkewicz catching the final out, then seeing all the Red Sox jumping up and down, then seeing everyone in Red Sox Nation start to cry their eyes out.

But the White Sox 2005 win didn't benefit from a ridiculously dramatic playoff series against the Yankees immediately beforehand. ("And, of course, we won the ALCS. Who did we beat again? The Twins? The Orioles? Oh, the hell with it.") And the White Sox, despite the fact they had waited longer then the Red Sox for their World Series title, didn't have 86 years of mind-numbingly asinine ways of losing. For most of that time, they just stank. (Which, now that I think of it, must have been something of a liberating experience. Why wait until the last inning of the season to blow it, when you can be mathematically eliminated in May?) On the other hand, the Baseball Gods definitely owed one to the White Sox, after making them wear shorts for one game back in 1976, and for making them forfeit Game 2 of the doubleheader on Disco Demolition Night in 1979.

Regardless, congratulations are due to the White Sox, and their exciting four-game sweep of whoever it was.


Anonymous said...

The last White Sox Championship was 88 years ago and the so called curse started soon after. Depicted in the 19-88 movie "Eight Men Out", the White Sox thru away what so many now work their whole life to obtain and 8 players were banned from playing baseball for life. But this year on the 26th (2+6=8) of Octo (8) -ber they win the coveted championship with a single run scored in the 8th inning in a game where coverage started at 8 o'clock eastern. Thanks to the fact that they played the longest game in World Series history they actually scored 8 runs in the two games they played that day. Was it there destiny to win? Was it just in the cards? No, they just played great baseball.

Chris M

The Motor Moron said...

I recommend Bill Simmons (AKA "The Sports Guy" from book "Now I Can Die In Peace" since you are such a fan Mitch. In fact, you might have already read it.

Anonymous said...

And Lincoln had a Secretary named Kennedy and Kennedy had a Secretary named Lincoln. Coincidence... I don't think so.

Carol Davidson said...

Uh... it's over?

Anonymous said...

One of the things that gets forgotten in the long, undistinguished history of the White Sox is that, when they won the AL pennant in 1959, the City of Chicago set off its air raid sirens all over town to celebrate. White Sox fans immediately recognized what this meant and ran out into the streets to celebrate. The rest of the city thought that Soviet bombers were on their way and took shelter in their basements. Civil Defense officials took a bit of heat over this affair, especially from people on the North Side.

An anonymous Cubs fan in N. Bethesda, Maryland.