It seems to most Chicago media that whatever Cubs fans do is wrong. When we filled the park in the '90s when the team was awful and the management was full of ingoramuses, we were just beer-swilling idiots who were out for a tan, a buzz, and to cop a feel.
Meanwhile, when Cardinals or Red Sox fans filled their park when their teams were bad, they were just loyal, dedicated fans.
Lately, with Wrigley Field having huge swaths of empty seats for most games, regardless of the weather, the empty seats have become the story. You've seen countless articles about all the things the Cubs are doing to try and get people into the park, things never heard of even just five years ago. Most commenters haven't proclaimed this as disloyal or incorrect, but it's a story. So it was a story when we did show up, and a story when we didn't.
Meanwhile, on the other side of town, the White Sox just played a series against the Detroit Tigers that was a battle for first place. Granted, it may not feel that way when the Sox are still under .500, but in the Confederacy of Dunces that is the AL Central, it was. And the Sox didn't come close to selling out any of the three games, save half-price night on Monday. Tuesday saw the likely Cy Young winner in the AL in Justin Verlander on the hill, and the place was barely three-quarters full, if that. This follows on the heels of last season, when late in the year the Sox played two series at home against a Twins team they were doggedly chasing for the division crown and they didn't come close to selling out any of those six games.
Where were the "Where are the Sox fans?" stories? You didn't see a one. I'm not here to tell you Sox fans are necessarily wrong for being so discerning. But when Cubs fans are, it's a story. Why is this? Some will tell you it's because Sox fans are the more "blue-collar" and don't have as much money and have to be choosey about which games they go to. This is absolute bull-roar. Despite the differences in the neighborhoods their stadiums are in, the difference in affluency between the two fandoms is minimal at best.
Again, neither approach is wrong. But when Cubs fans act oppositely of Sox fans, their drunken idiots. When they become as demanding before forking over ticket money, it's a curious social study. No complimentary mind you, just another avenue to criticize the organization.
Sam Fels is the proprietor of The Committed Indian, an unofficial program for the Blackhawks. You may have seen him hocking the magazine outside the United Center at Gate 3. The program is also available for purchase online. Fels is a lifelong 'Hawks fan and he also writes for Second City Hockey .