The next three days are a celebration, everyone tells me.
It's a baseball carnival, where we're supposed to rejoice in being one of only four metro-reas with two baseball teams. And it's a supposed heated rivalry, where the players kick into an extra gear in response to the passions that are heightened in the crowd.
And I hate this fake rivalry. It's a complete lab creation. It's not natural, and you can't tell me that it will be.
Full disclosure, I am a Cubs fan. And I am a Cubs fan that has never had any ill-will for the White Sox. I don't cheer for them, I'm just indifferent. It's something that happens on the Southside. My bile has always been saved for the St. Louis Cardinals, or when I was younger the New York Mets. Because, y'know, they were actually in my division. They were the genuine competition.
I know it's never been that way for Sox fans. Part of their identity is an anti-Cubs sentiment that so seems a complete waste of time. I would have though this would have evaporated with a 2005 World Series, but I was wrong. Sox fans have an underrated ballpark, with excellent food, and generally a competitive team. They don't need to identify themselves with being an anti-anything brigade. But they do, while the Twins continue to beat their skulls in and yet can't seem to attain the No. 1 rival label from Sox fans.
So to me, these things always mean more to Sox fans. If the Cubs win, I get no more joy out of it then I do a win over the Brewers. If the Cubs lose, I have to listen to Sox fans gloat and celebrate as if their season has meaning and is complete now. The best I can hope for is relief that I don't have to listen to it.
Whatever happens these next three days, these are still three serious flawed baseball teams who probably aren't going anywhere this year. We can pretend that these six games are a timeout from what is going to be a slog of a baseball season, but we know that doesn't work. It'll be a lot of noise and nonsense that in the long run will end up where a great majority of Chicago baseball has. Meaninglessness.
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 .