Chicago pro teams go 4-for-4 on Saturday, April 18, and Chicago goes wild. Media celebrate like the Cubs broke their 101-year World Series drought. Fan posts on Facebook, Twitter, et. al., would make you think all the world's a big, fat happy Greek wedding because of the fabulous day in which:
- The Cubs beat the hated Cardinals in extra innings;
- The Blackhawks rallied to win and go up 2-0 in their opening-round Stanley Cup series with Calgary;
- The White Sox pounded the defending AL champion Rays;
- And the Bulls pulled the biggest miracle of all, beating the (Kevin Garnett-less) Celtics in overtime in Boston in the first game of their first-round NBA playoff series.
What's wrong with this picture?
Does the media get a pass on this? They're supposed to "celebrate," such as it is, the Chicago point of view when it comes to winning, especially as accustomed as we've become to losing and choking around here.
But the fans placing posts on all the social media sites are either whacked, drunk, or some combination thereof (most likely). Cubs and Sox fans do not get along (check local court documents and police blotters for brutal beatings and killings - no, seriously). Cubs fans have two favorite teams: The Cubs, and who's ever playing the White Sox. White Sox fans have the same: Their Sox and who's ever playing the Cubs.
So how can Sox and Cubs fans both be happy about this. At best, they each had a 3-out-of-4 day as their arch-enemies won, as did their "friends" who are fans of their arch-enemies.
Sorry, Chicago. Can't have it both ways. And we in the media should've been noting that and getting fan reaction as well from that perspective. But we were drinking the 4-for-4 Kool-Aid, weren't we(?) and overlooking an even more-dynamic story that runs right to the aorta of this city's sports heart.
I see where the Yankees gave up 14 runs to the Indians at the new Yankee Stadium, the most ever allowed in a second inning anytime, anywhere, in MLB history. And kindly notice how I wrote that: The Yankees gave up 14 runs, not the Indians scored 14.
It's all about the Yankees, win or lose, isn't it? Until they lose enough to become irrelevant. Don't you wish that would happen? I predict Brian Cashman is going to love being the Assistant GM of the Orioles and Joe Girardi will be a great third-base coach for the Royals.
And to think, highly overpaid, free-agent players run to the Yankees because they say it's the place that gives them the best chance to win. Yeah, right? Win what? It's always the money, and the player who tells you differently is lying. Period. Exclamation point! Please remember that my sports-media brethren.
The NFL is claiming that the Bears' acquisition of franchise quarterback Jay Cutler is not behind their being scheduled five times in prime-time games this coming season. No, I'm sure it's because Brian Urlacher has become ordinary and they're hoping some sideline reporter "babe" gets Lance Briggs to admit on-air that he was outright cold smashed/stoned when he wrapped his Lamborghini around a utility pole last year.
Somewhere, somewhere up above, Harry Kalas just joined a conversation with Skip and Harry Caray, Lindsey Nelson, Curt Gowdy, Pete Axthelm and Jim McKay about where in heck did they find the current crop of look-alike, sound-alike, think-alike, speak-alike preppy sportscasters who all spout the company line.
Come to think of it, where did they find them?
Howard Schlossberg is an associate professor of journalism at Columbia College Chicago (http://www.colum.edu/) and a sports correspondent for the Arlington Heights, Ill.-based Daily Herald (http://www.dailyherald.com/), the only Chicago-area major metro daily not in Chapter 11. He serves on the editorial advisory board of and contributes to The Journal of Sports Media (http://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/ and www.olemiss.edu/depts/journalism/JSMindex.html).