White Sox fans “so over” Cubs’ success

Fans line up for autographs at SoxFest
Fans line up for autographs at SoxFest, the annual White Sox fan convention, on Friday, Jan. 27. (Elan Kane/MEDILL)

By Elan Kane

It is not easy being a White Sox fan these days.

Susan Padove is a self-described White Sox “lifer.” She has been attending SoxFest, the annual White Sox fan convention, for decades. Surrounded by fellow fans waiting for the opening ceremony of this year’s SoxFest last weekend, she did not hold back her feelings on the Cubs winning the World Series and the amount of attention the team received.

“They’re entitled to their day in the sun, but I’m so over it,” she said. “It’s tough being a two-team city and we’re always kind of an afterthought when it comes to the media.”

But there was no consensus among White Sox fans at SoxFest for how to react to the Cubs’ success or the coverage the team received.

Like Padove, Gina Balestri, from La Salle, Ill., said her initial feelings of happiness for her friends who were Cubs fans soon turned to feelings of bitterness.

“I’m pretty much done with the Cubs,” Balestri said.

But there were White Sox fans in attendance at SoxFest who had somewhat mixed feelings.

“It’s good for the city, it’s good for baseball, but, yeah, we were rooting for the Indians,” said Peter Duda from Hyde Park, Ill..

Jeremy Suurmeier, from Round Lake, Ill., said he was most upset the White Sox did not receive the same amount of coverage when the team won the World Series in 2005, but still enjoyed watching the Cubs.

“I’m kind of sick of it because the Sox didn’t get it when they were winning, but I’m also kind of happy too for my uncles that finally got to see one in (over) 100 years,” Suurmeier said. “It was cool to see history for everybody in my family [who died and] never got to see one.”

Pat Derix, from La Salle, Ill. echoed that sentiment.

“It was good for Chicago and I was definitely annoyed with it,” Derix said. “Obviously 2005 we didn’t get nearly as much attention as they got in 2016.”

The national media seemingly forgot about the White Sox 2005 victory in its coverage of the Cubs’ success.

In late October 2016, ESPN showed a graphic depicting the number of Chicago sports championships since 1965. The graphic showed the titles won by the Bulls, Blackhawks and Bears, but omitted the White Sox.

“CBS This Morning” tweeted around the same time, “Wrigley Field is prepping this morning for an event Chicago hasn’t seen in 71 years: the World Series.” The network omitted the 2005 World Series games hosted by the White Sox as well as the 1959 World Series that featured the Sox against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

There were also White Sox fans at SoxFest who were either happy for the Cubs and their fans or simply did not care one way or the other.

Jim and Jan Mundo, from Chicago, said they were not bitter at all.

“They deserved it,” Jim Mundo said. “It’s been 107 (108) years since they’ve won so I think they deserved the attention.”

Jan Mundo added, “I’m happy for the older Cubs fans.”

Kathy Perek, from La Grange, Ill., had similar thoughts.

“We had our year with it, so I guess it was their turn,” she said.

Ray Perek, from La Grange, Ill., said he had no ill-will toward the Cubs.

“[I was] happy for the city,” he said. “I hold no hatred toward them but I’m indifferent. We have good friends that are Cubs fans, we don’t hold it against them.”

Photo at top: Fans line up for autographs at SoxFest, the annual White Sox fan convention, on Friday, Jan. 27. (Elan Kane/MEDILL)