Its been six days since I really pissed anyone off here, and, since I'm feeling especially feisty today, I thought why not tackle this issue. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with my leanings, I am unashamedly a mainly Chicago sports teams fan. I love the Cubs, Blackhawks, Bears, and Northwestern football. I'm happy for my White Sox friends when they do well, and I always hope that Illinois and DePaul will have decent basketball teams.
I have been a fan for most of my life, starting as far back as I can remember, which is when I was about five years old. I have seen more than my share of incredibly awful teams and not enough really good ones. As a fan of Chicago teams you feel blessed if your team reaches average, that's how sad it is for us. So I know about hope. I understand hype. I embrace the diehardedness (?) it takes to be a fan.
What I have never understood is blind loyalty and love of players, just because they are on my team. I find this insane, and very frustrating, especially when trying to talk with a fan who has completely lost their mind on a player.
The Cubs Ian Happ is one of those players that is a current darling of fans and I have no idea why. He has proven he can't play anywhere on the diamond without being a defensive liability and his hitting is below average, maybe average on a good day. Why has he become so beloved? He strikes out more than I did asking for dates in high school, and trust me that was a big number. Fans think he should be starting in center field instead of Albert Almora. Watch them both play and you will not pick Happ. Ever.
The great Victor Caratini is another Cubs player that has captured the hearts of fans. Apparently they have never seen him play. He can't even catch the ball when the pitcher throws it back in for a new one. Watch him sometime and count how many balls he drops throughout the game for any reason. Plus, he can't even hit his weight, from either side of the plate. This week I got into an argument with a fan who wanted to trade Willson Contreras, a guy who is going to be a yearly all-star, so that Caratini could start. What?!?!?
The newest Chicago sports legend, who has shown nothing to deserve his adulation, is Nick Foles, the recently signed free agent quarterback brought in to push Mitch Trubisky. I actually understand this love affair because Chicago fans have always loved the backup quarterback more than the starter. This is a tradition here so it makes sense. I just have two words for Bears fans, Steve Stenstrom.
Look, there is nothing wrong with having a favorite player, we all do, but blindly believing he, or she, is better than they really are is a waste of time. Love them for whatever reason you want, but maintain some reality about them. I love the guys that throw around the new stats to prove their point of why some bench player deserves to start and go directly to the hall of fame. I tell them stats are for fantasy sports, not real life. It makes their heads explode.
I don't need stats to know that Mike Trout is going to the hall of fame. I didn't need stats to know that Walter Payton was the greatest running back I ever saw. I don't need stats to know that Patrick Kane is ridiculously good. I don't need stats to know that whomever is playing quarterback for the Green Bay Packers will find five ways each game to crush my soul and spirit.
I'm guessing that most teams fans are the same as Chicago fans, but since I spend most of my time communicating/fighting with them, they seem worse than other teams. If you've ever spent three minutes in a local Chicago area tavern, you know how stupid the conversations can get when talking about any of the teams. "Hey Bobby, was Merritt Renew or Sherm Lollar the greatest catcher Chicago ever had?" "The last great quarterback da Bears had was Rudy Bukich my friend."
These are but a few examples of recent insanity I've been involved with, either in person, or on social media. Some days I can just laugh at them, but other days I want to take a hammer to my head until my last brain cell rolls out. And don't even get me started about the whole Javy Baez glorification going on, I don't have enough energy right now for that.