Barry Rozner again pegs what Cub fans in the city itself are feeling these days, and it has seeped in, at even what must be a subconscious level, to Michael Barrett, who I don’t think has any conscious decision making ability.
Rozner, in part:
Ever since the White Sox won the World Series, there has been a consistent suggestion that a South Side title puts more pressure on Cubs management. So far, there’s no evidence to support that theory. It has, however, put more pressure on Cubs fans, and that might explain why they’ve been so edgy lately.
See, Cubs fans are used to the losing. It’s part of life. They’ve had so many bad seasons that “disaster’’ doesn’t even begin to describe the last century for their team. After awhile, the years and names run together, and it’s all just one big defeat. But it’s different now.
“It was totally one-sided. There was no respect there at all. But now, it’s all changed," my friend Jim, the longtime Cubs sufferer says. “When they say, ‘We won and you’ll never win,’ they have something we don’t. I never listened to them before, but it really (bleeps) me off. It’s irritating, and it’s embarrassing. “I’m not mad at them. I’m mad at the Cubs for being so bad right now when the Sox are so good.’’
What bothers him most is that he’s bothered. He never thought he’d pay any attention to his Sox fan friends and all the grief he gets, but now his ears are wide open and it burns deep down because the Cubs stink again. That’s the subtle change that has taken place since October 2005. Cubs fans, for the most part, still don’t care what the Sox do or when they play.
The difference is, when their Sox fan friends start thumping their chests and beating up the Cubs, the Cubs fans are listening, and it’s getting to them.
So if Cubs players, coaches and management wonder why the fans have become nastier this year, less patient, and perhaps even more dangerous, it has less to do with another rotten season than it does the timing of another rotten season. They’re booing more than ever because of the pounding they’re getting from White Sox fans at school, at work and on the train.
Let’s face it, the pressure on Cubs fans’ ears has never been greater.