Don’t Downplay the Crosstown Cup

Cubs vs SoxTime and time again, players on the White Sox and the Cubs will say, “It’s just another game”, when they get to play their crosstown rivals in the summer.

But is it really just another game?

Although the players wont admit it, no, it’s not just another game.

The White Sox and the Cubs are two professional sports teams that share the same home city; and when a player says that it’s not a big deal when the Sox and Cubs square off, he is lying. A Sox player can’t possibly feel the same atmosphere in a game against the Mariners as he feels in a game against the Cubs. Sure, I’ll buy into the claim that the Crosstown Cup is more important to the fans than it is to the players; but I still think that the players summon plenty of more excitement when playing the other team from Chicago.

Maybe the two teams are in different divisions. Maybe the two teams are in different leagues. Maybe one team is good and the other one is not. But the fact remains that most Sox fans love their team and hate the Cubs, and Cubs fans love their team and hate the Sox.

How else could you explain the spotty but recurring Cubs jerseys and hats in the stands at U.S. Cellular Field when the Sox are playing another American League team, and how else could you explain the same thing happening at Wrigley Field?

How else could you explain all of the t shirts and bumper stickers with the cartoon of the Sox fan urinating on a Cubs logo, and vise versa?

How else could you explain Sox fans making fun of Wrigley Field for being on the brink of collapsing to the ground, and how else could you explain Cubs fans making fun of U.S. Cellular Field for hardly ever having fans in the seats?

But just imagine… What if both teams were actually good? What if both teams were in the playoff race?

Well, that really hasn’t happened since 2008; but this year might be different. The Cubs will enter the weekend series with a record of 46-38, good enough for 3rd place in the NL Central. The Sox, meanwhile, will enter play this weekend in last place in the AL Central, but not completely hopeless. After winning 7 of their last 9 games against winning teams, the Sox are 5 games under .500 at 39-44.

In recent years, the sport of hockey has taken over the city due to the success of the Blackhawks. I’m sorry hockey fans, but Chicago has been and always will be a baseball town; and an action-packed series between two competitive ball clubs might be just what the doctor ordered for making Chicago love baseball first and foremost once again.

So sometime before 3:00pm Friday, try to install a seatbelt on your living room sofa because this weekend will be yet another wild ride in the crosstown series.