Magazine article The Christian Century

Go Sox, Go Cubs

Magazine article The Christian Century

Go Sox, Go Cubs

Article excerpt

THIS IS NOT an easy time to be a Chicago Cubs fan. Chicago is still celebrating the stunning World Series sweep by the Chicago White Sox. Baseball championships may happen regularly in cities like New York or Los Angeles, but not here. The White Sox last won the World Series in 1917. The Cubs' last World Series victory was in 1908. With the Sox victory, the Cubs are now alone in the realm of futility. The Boston Red Sox used to share the humiliation of the Cubs, but last year they rose up and won it all--after an 86-year dry spell. And now the White Sox have done it.

Alone now, the Cubs bear the heavy responsibility of trusting that life emerges from death, of believing in the promise of resurrection. All the rest, including White Sox fans, must contend with hubris and the temptation of pride, which, as we know, is the essence of sin.

Danish theologian Scren Kierkegaard wrote a book titled Either-Or, which suggests that authentic human life is always a product of critical decisions: either this or that. In Chicago the Kierkegaardian existential dynamic presents itself in the local mantra: Sox or Cubs. If you love one you have to hate the other.

The local media promote the contrast in terms of a geographic/economic/social paradigm. Sox fans live on the South Side and are blue-collar, lunch-pail, beer-and-brats people. Cubs fans are North Side yuppies, bankers and Mercantile Exchange traders who prefer sushi and Chardonnay. It is said that you can't love both teams. …

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