SBW welcomes Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Johnson to the ranks of Chicago baseball fans who lead double lives as both Cubs and Sox fans. S.J.'s column today talks about doing away with the tribal loyalties at a time when neither team seems to deserve our exclusive loyalty.
My own evolution as a Cubs-and-Sox fan rose many years ago from feeling some frustration in rooting only for the Cubs, but also the notion that I didn't have to chose between two local teams who never played one another (a tradition which of course has changed over the years). In any case, I think S.J. is dead-on that there are more Chicago baseball fans who SBW than will admit to it.
Increasingly, I'm meeting more casual baseball fans who SBW, or at least claim they do, so perhaps it is coming into fashion, and I hope to have contributed in at least some small part to the new wave, or at least help to chronicle it. The main challenge that these true Chicago baseball fans will face after this season is maintaining dual status as both teams hopefully will improve. It's easy to say you like both teams when both are going nowhere fast this year (though I cling to the possibility that the Sox will survive a late September three-team A.L. Central cataclysm), but the true test comes when they both are doing well and feeding the crazy possibility that we could see another Windy City World Series.
Another big challenge--and one that the column touches on--is surviving the Crosstown Classic North and South Series without tearing your hair out. There's a lot of taunting and ill will that must be endured during each of these three-game sets, but to survive with your sanity intact, just follow SBW's one simple rule:
Always root for the home team.