Chicago White Sox fans are rude
While I’m aware that my title is antagonistic and I’m setting myself up for trolls, I would be remiss if I lied about my experience at the U.S. Cellular field. I’m also aware that most of our experiences are made up of our perceptions, so I’m going to make the rudeness short and then tell you about the great experience I had with my family on Labor Day weekend.
Leon is a huge Boston Red Sox fan. When I met him, he loved the Mets, but I watched him slowly start to root for the underdogs in the league, the Red Sox. When they won the World Series, I don’t doubt for a minute that it was one of the best days of his life. He’d never been able to see them play in person and, on Labor Day weekend, it was going to be a Sox vs. Sox showdown in Chicago. Chicago is only 8 hours from us and only 3 hours from my family. It seemed like a no-brainer to swing by, grab them, and make a family weekend of Labor Day weekend.
As it was only a week before my 30th birthday, there was time for some birthday celebration in there, as well, so my mom and sister were more than down for the trip. We stayed at the Hyatt, in a beautiful room. There were some snafus with the room, which I’ll address later in this blog, but, for the most part, our trip was snag free. Leon decided to go to the game early to see if he could get some autographs and watch batting practice.
What he didn’t know was that, since he had seats in the upper level, security wouldn’t let him down to get close to the players. Papi (Ortiz) was signing autographs and did this for almost 20 minutes solid while Leon had to watch and be sad that he’d gone with the upper level seats. It was pathetic.
You’d think the upper level seats would be poor viewing seats, but they were actually awesome. We were under the shade and the wind was blowing nicely. It was about 71 degrees, give or take, and most of the Red Sox fans were in the upper deck.
Unfortunately, there were also a lot of drunk White Sox fans who made it a point to yell not only at the players, but at the Red Sox fans with a belligerence that was unmatched. One comment we heard from a child was “Take the needle out of your arm, Ortiz!” and from his father, “They didn’t test for ‘roids in 2004!” I was overwhelmed.
When the Red Sox fans would start to chant, the White Sox fans would shout “White” over the “Red” every time. When we’d clap, they’d boo. Frankly, I was a little shocked by the poor behavior. It didn’t take over the game, however. There were some key moments that I won’t forget that were noteworthy here.
At our second game, there was a father that sat in front of us. He didn’t stop smiling for the first five innings and, when he sat down, he proudly announced to the people next to him, that it was his little girl’s first ever White Sox game. She was three and wearing an adorable pink tutu White Sox outfit. She grinned throughout the game and managed to keep her eyes totally off the field. She would look at the people around her and ask their names. Her dad was so proud to have her there that I thought his face would crack. Of course, it was such a Hallmark moment that my baby heart almost teared up and bawled right there. Stupid emotions.
There was also the Russian that sat next to us. We were on the very top row of the stadium during our first game there. This man often spoke to his companions and we had no idea what he was saying, but every now and then, you would hear him yell, “YOOOOOOOOOUUUUKKKK!” (chanting for first baseman Kevin Youkilis) or “Go, Red Sox” in heavily accented voice. When they would do well, he would cheer loudly.
After the game, even when the Red Sox lost, the sense of camaraderie was strong. AJ was wearing his shirt, as was Leon, and a couple that we didn’t know came up to him and gave him the thumbs up. He was confused by this, as 8-year olds know better than to talk to strangers, but he understood that when you root for a team, you are part of a new club.
Overall, yes, the White Sox fans could have behaved better. I’m pretty sure I was spit upon at least twice, but I’m going to give the old woman behind me the benefit of the doubt that she just has trouble controlling her spit. The best part of my experience was being with my family and even if I didn’t enjoy the stadium, I was glad for the chance to be with them.
Thanks to Ellie at Practically Sisters for fixing my photograph!